The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians cemented its status as the single biggest spender on either side of this year’s record-breaking California sports betting proposition wars.
The tribe brought its total to $104.7 million by tossing another $25 million into the kitty. It did so in an attempt to defeat Proposition 27, which would legalize online sports betting in California.
It was San Manuel’s second $25 million contribution in a month and fourth overall to No on 27 – Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming. In all, the band has kicked in $103.1 million of that group’s $116.1 million. It’s also given another $1.6 million to Yes on 26, No on 27 – Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming.
The state of Prop 26 and Prop 27
Proposition 26, which would legalize in-person sports betting, has its own detractors. Most notably, that includes a committee funded primarily by California cardrooms.
San Manuel supports Prop 26 but has poured more of its resources into the fight against Prop 27. The reasons why seem clear. San Manuel owns the Yaamava’ Resort & Casino, a luxury property about an hour east of Los Angeles.
Last year, the tribe unveiled a $760 million expansion. It views online gambling as a threat to its brick-and-mortar investments.
Spending slows a bit ahead of Election Day
Fundraising for the campaigns to pass the measures has slowed considerably in the second half of September. Crown Gaming, parent firm of DraftKings, tossed another $101,700 into the pot in favor of Prop 27. That is a pittance considering the company had already spent more than $34.3 million in what looks like a losing effort.
Operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel have spent a collective $169.3 million to push Prop 27. This would effectively give them a monopoly over online gambling in the nation’s most populous state.
All the serious new money looks likely to hammer the coffin shut on Props 26 and 27. Elevation Entertainment Group, a La Jolla-based construction firm, put in a $500,000 donation to defeat Prop 26. The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians put in a bit more than $2 million for the Yes on 26, No on 27 campaign.