Newsom Scoffs At CA Sports Betting Prop 27’s Claim To Help Homeless

Written By JR Duren on August 26, 2022 - Last Updated on September 12, 2022
Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Sports Betting Prop 27

Despite two sports-wagering measures on November’s ballot, the governor of California has refused to offer his opinions on sports betting. However, California Gov. Gavin Newsom did take time to scoff at Prop 27’s claim to aid homeless.

Prop 27’s main selling point to voters is that 85% of tax revenue generated from online California sports betting will go toward the state’s homeless problem and mental health issues. Prop 27 would allow major sportsbooks to partner with tribes to offer mobile betting across the state.

Newsom offered reporters a morsel of insight into his opinion on Prop 27 during an event for the homeless this week in Los Angeles.

“I know initiatives and folks will say anything. Perhaps that initiative will provide a few dollars. I’m not supporting or opposing it, I haven’t given it a lot of thought, but it is not a homeless initiative. I know Angelenos can read between the lines and they know better.”

Newsom against using homeless to sell proposal

At first glance, Newsom’s nugget about Prop 27 was trivial. But given his notorious silence on the issue, his brief statement said plenty. He seems concerned about leveraging the homeless to pass an initiative, not about legalizing sports betting.

His lack of interest in sports betting is nothing new. This past month, Newsom’s campaign told PlayCA the governor was more worried about ballot measures related to abortion rights and flavored tobacco.

Newsom’s dismissiveness of Prop 27’s primary claim is even more interesting considering a close ally of the governor is leading the initiative’s public relations efforts. Nathan Click, the primary spokesman for Yes on 27, is Newsom’s former communications director and is currently working on Newsom’s political campaign.

Newsom coy on California sports betting, lawmakers are not

While the Governor’s Office remains ambivalent about wagering on sports, lawmakers have been quite vocal.

Both major parties oppose Prop 27. California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan said the measure destroys a pact made with tribes.

“Prop 27 breaks the promise made to California’s Native American tribes to grant them the sovereign right to operate gaming in California in order to improve the lives of their communities across the state.”

The dual opposition to Prop 27 is significant. Bi-partisan agreement on controversial topics is rare.

Republicans took their stand even a step further. They also oppose Prop 26, which would allow only in-person sports wagering at California tribal casinos and California horse racing venues.

Photo by AP Photo / Godofredo A. Vásquez
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JR Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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