New Poll Shows Low Support, High Awareness For California Online Sports Betting Prop

Written By Matthew Kredell on August 3, 2022 - Last Updated on August 17, 2022
California online sports betting poll

The first polling based on the official ballot label for Proposition 27 shows voters solidly reject the California online sports betting measure.

Opponents of Prop 27 released internal polling on how it fares based on ballot language, showing its prospects appear grim.

Asked how they would vote based on the ballot label, 58% of respondents said they would vote no on Prop 27. This is compared to 33% who would vote yes. Broken down further, 45% would definitely vote no. Only 16% would definitely vote yes.

The polling comes just one week after the CA Secretary of State released the ballot label. Polling based on ballot label is significant because it’s the language voters will see on their ballots in November.

FM3 Research conducted the polling for Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming, a tribal-led no-campaign on Prop 27.

“If I were the Yes on 27 campaign or any of its out-of-state corporate funders, I’d be very worried by these results,” Kathy Fairbanks, spokesperson for the Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming, told PlayCA.

Nathan Click, spokesperson for the Yes on 27 campaign, responded:

“This isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Our own polling shows Californians support Prop 27 and creating permanent solutions to homelessness and mental health care by taxing and regulating online sports betting. The opposition wouldn’t be spending $100 million if they weren’t concerned our measure will pass. Look at their actions, not their press releases.”

Voters highly aware of California online sports betting prop

Two California sports betting questions will appear on the ballot this November. Prop 27 asks voters to approve online and mobile sports gambling. The other, Proposition 26, is seeking voter approval for in-person sports betting at California tribal casinos and a select number of California horse racing venues.

Polling results show voters have an unusually high awareness of Prop 27 for so early in the election campaign. That’s not all that surprising given the intense media battle already underway on the initiative.

Californians are seeing ads on the competing measures whenever they watch TV, listen to the radio or watch YouTube.

Sportsbook operators led by DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM back Prop 27, and recently gained the support of three limited-gaming Indian tribes. But most tribes are spending big dollars opposing Prop 27 through two coordinated campaigns.

The polling indicates that 76% of voters surveyed have recently seen, read or heard about Prop 27. Asked how they would vote on Prop 27 based on what they know, 61% said “no,” and 27% said “yes.”

According to the polling memo produced by Dave Metz and Rick Sklarz of FM3 and sent to tribal leaders:

“In sum, these survey results find most California voters to be aware of Prop 27 — an unusually high level of recognition for this stage of the campaign, but not surprising given the amount of advertising for and against the measure. Despite weeks of intensive statewide advertising by the Yes on 27 campaign, three in five voters express opposition both before and after hearing the language of the ballot label and only a third vote in favor based on the official ballot label wording.”

Survey methodology

FM3 conducted the survey between July 30 and Aug. 1. The company interviewed 900 Californians likely to cast a ballot in the November election. Respondents were contacted via email, text messaging, landline and cell phones.

FM3 Research is a California-based company with extensive polling related to ballot measure campaigns. It cites a sample margin error of 3.5% for the results.

Prop 27 ballot language

Here’s the official language set to appear on the ballot for Prop 27:

ALLOWS ONLINE AND MOBILE SPORTS WAGERING OUTSIDE TRIBAL LANDS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE. Allows Indian tribes and affiliated businesses to operate online/mobile sports wagering outside tribal lands. Directs revenues to regulatory costs, homelessness programs, nonparticipating tribes. Fiscal impact: Increased state revenues, possibly in the hundreds of millions of dollars but not likely to exceed $500 million annually. Some revenues would support state regulatory costs, possibly eaching the mid-tens of millions of dollars annually.

This is the language FM3 put in front of respondents in its polling.

Ballot label, title and summary are subject to court-ordered changes through Aug. 15. But all indications are that interested parties won’t file any lawsuits seeking changes.

 

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Matthew Kredell

A fifth-generation Californian, Matthew's reporting on the legalization of sports betting began in 2010 with an article for Playboy Magazine on how the NFL was pushing US money overseas by fighting the expansion of regulated sports betting. After graduating from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Matt started his career as a sportswriter at the Los Angeles Daily News. He has written on a variety of topics for Playboy, Men’s Journal, Los Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and ESPN.com.

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