What’s next for sports betting in California? – Whittier Daily News

Essentially, those promoting California ballot measures identify a problem — real or imagined — and try to convince voters that their proposals would solve it.

However, sentences 26 and 27 deviate sharply from this pattern. Instead, they want California voters to create new ways to waste their money by betting on sporting events.

There is no grassroots clamor for such opportunities. If there is an avid following for sports betting, it is probably young men who are the main promoters of online fantasy sports games.

Weak demand for sports betting, as well as wildly confusing saturation indicators for and against the two measures, explain why both will almost certainly be defeated in the November 8 election.

Last week, the Public Policy Institute of California released a new statewide poll that found only 34% of likely voters would support Proposition 26, while even fewer, 26%, would vote for Proposition 27.

The poll confirmed that if there is a sports betting constituency, it’s young adults – but they’re also among the demographic subgroups least likely to vote.

The online betting companies that sponsor Proposition 27, sensing that there was no chance of passage, began to scale back their campaign a few weeks ago. The casino-owning Native American tribes that put Proposition 26 on the ballot are taking no chances and are still running anti-Proposition 27 spots, but the lack of an effective Pro-Proposition 26 campaign seems to be dooming them as well.

Assuming both are rejected after spending more than half a billion dollars on lost campaigns, what happens next?

A quick look back at what happened before this year’s high dollar campaigns might be revealing.

In 2018, the US Supreme Court invalidated laws that banned sports betting, and since then 35 states have legalized it in some form. Of course, the companies that have promoted it in other states are eyeing California, the nation’s most populous state and therefore the largest potential market.

Some effort was made in the legislature, but the casino-owning tribes, who now have a near-monopoly on legal gambling in the state, were adamantly opposed to anyone else gaining access to players’ wallets.

With legislative efforts getting nowhere, the tribes proposed an initiative that eventually became Proposition 26, requiring sports wagers to be placed in person at their casinos or at four designated racetracks.

The online betting companies, led by FanDuel and DraftKings, then sponsored a competing measure that became Proposition 27, allowing bets to be placed via computer or mobile.

Some tribes briefly instituted a third measure that would allow them to control online betting, but this was dropped to focus resources on defeating Proposition 27.


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