The Battle For Legal Sports Betting In California

Explaining The California Sports Betting Ballot Battle

Prop 26 and Prop 27 have each received over $150 million in support for their opposite sports betting proposals for the 2022 Ballot.
There have been educational organizations against Prop 27 (online betting) and working-class originations against Prop 26 (retail tribal betting).

LOS ANGELES – With voting on legal sports betting in California approaching in a few months, two separate sports betting bills have officially made the 2022 Ballot. Although both bills could pass, Prop 26 and Prop 27 offer opposite approaches to legal California sports betting.

Both Sides Heavily Funded

Each side is continuing to heavily fund their campaigns. There are seven private sportsbooks involved in promoting Prop 27, which would legalize online sports betting, and five of the companies have recently added $50 million for support.

Looking at Prop 26, which would only allow retail sports betting at Tribal Casinos, it received over $88 million in support over 11 days in June. This funding is coming from Tribal Casinos that do not want online sports betting in California to take away any of their potential revenue.

If Prop 26 passes and prop 27 fails, Tribal Casinos would have complete control of the sports betting revenue in CA.

Total Cash By Sports Betting Initiate

Prop 26 (Tribal) – $157.8 Million
Prop 27 (Private) – $150 Million

Support On Each Side

There have been two more education groups to oppose Prop 27. The Association of California School Administrators and the California Federation of Teachers have voiced their opinion on the danger of the youth having access to legal sports betting on their mobile devices.

On the other side, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has shown support for Prop 27. The organization has made a stance against Prop 26, with the concern of wasting hundreds of millions of dollars in state revenue tax

Two Very Different Proposals

At the end of the day, both Prop 26 and Prop 27 could receive enough votes to pass in November. Under the proposal for Prop 27, Prop 26 would not directly contradict the goal of mobile sports betting. With Prop 26 advocating for retail betting only, Prop 27 passing would be a huge issue that would have to be resolved.

If Prop 27 passes and online sports betting becomes legal in California, private sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel would still have to find tribal casinos to partner with. Prop 26, which proposes no form of mobile betting whatsoever, would allow legal sports betting on Tribal Casino grounds, as well as legal horse racing tracks.

There are already been three Tribal Casinos not in support of Prop 26, that have shown support for the private sportsbooks operating mobile betting. Meanwhile, there are over 12 Tribes that have supported and helped Prop 26 reach over $150 million in donations in support of the bill.

Breakdown Of Each Prop’s Revenue Tax Rate

When it comes to benefiting the state of California, each prop has proposed different purposes for the tax on the revenue from sports betting.

Prop 26 – 10% Tax Rate

15% Problem Gambling
15% State Regulator
70% California General Fund

Prop 27 – 10% Tax Rate

15% Non-Gaming Tribes
85% Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Fund Initiative

While the Tribes pushing for retail books only have proposed 70% to the general fund for California, Prop 27 has a more direct and specific approach. Prop 27 would see the majority of the tax aiding the homeless population in California.

This could be seen as a way to sway the population into voting and the Tribes against online sports betting have made their stance about this homelessness act clear. With the millions of dollars in funding, the Prop 26 founders and supporters have openly attacked the Homelessness Act.

The opposition is based on a few aspects. First, mobile sports betting has the potential to create addiction with ease of access of the activity. There was already a California homelessness act passed in 2020-2021, raising the question of where all of the funds went/where they would actually go for Prop 27.

The Tribes have also voiced concern about underage gambling being more accessible when not on Tribal Casino grounds.

News tags: California | California Legalize Sports Betting on American Indian Lands Initiative | Prop 26 | Prop 27 | Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Fund Initiative.

Ben Fiore

Ben has been an avid sports fan his whole life and mostly follows football and basketball, both professional and collegiate. He has been covering topics that vary from Super Bowl prop bets to articles about the generated revenue from regulated sports betting. He is currently finishing his Editing, Writing, and Media Degree at Florida State University, with a minor in Business. Diving into the world of sports betting, he is ecstatic to work in an area that has combined his two passions of sports and writing.


Author: Jeffrey Fisher