California Sports Betting Propositions

Members of the Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians who support Prop 27.

About Prop 26 and Prop 27

Sports betting in California is currently illegal. Unfortunately, the country’s most populous state is still several steps away from legalizing the sports betting industry. Two propositions legalizing sports betting in the Golden State, Propositions 26 and 27, both failed at the ballot box last fall. The colossal defeat of Prop 26 and Prop 27 suggest sports betting may not even be approved by voters in the 2024 election.

While the two propositions would legalize and regulate California sports betting, they do so in very different ways.

Prop 26 would allow in-person sports betting at California tribal casinos and horse racing venues. Introduced and backed by many of the state’s Native American tribes, Prop 26 would also allow the addition of dice and roulette games to tribal gambling properties. In addition, while Prop 26 does allow sports betting, it bans wagering on California’s college sports teams, such as UCLA and USC.

On the other hand, Prop 27 would introduce legal online sports betting to the masses. Backed by companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel, Prop 27 requires operators to partner with recognized tribes to offer sports betting in California. Most tax revenue is slated to support homelessness and mental health support programs, while 15% has been carved out for non-gaming tribes.

California Prop 26 Explained

California Prop 27 Explained

The Latest CA proposition news

Questions about Prop 26 and Prop 27

What is California Prop 26?

Prop 26 would allow in-person sports betting at California tribal casinos and California horse racing venues. It would also ban wagering on in-state college sports teams.

Prop 26 is about more than just sports betting, though. It would also allow tribes to spread dice and roulette games at their casinos, and would clear the way for tribes to sue cardroom operators under the Private Attorneys General Act.

What is California Prop 27?

Prop 27 would allow online sports betting throughout California. All online sportsbooks must partner with a federally recognized Indian tribe, and operators would be charged an initial $100 million license fee, renewable every five years for $10 million.

The initiative taxes operators at a 10% rate. Furthermore, 85% of tax revenue would go to homelessness and mental health services in California. The other 15% would go to non-gaming tribes around the Golden State.

What does a yes vote on California Prop 26 mean?

A yes vote on Prop 26 would mean support for the positions of a majority of tribes in California. If Prop 26 is passed, US sportsbooks would be allowed to open at tribal casinos and select California horse racing venues.

What does a no vote on California Prop 26 mean?

A no vote on Prop 26 would not allow tribes to operate on-site sportsbooks. It would also bar tribes from adding dice and roulette games to their casino floors and disallow lawsuits from tribes against California cardrooms under the Private Attorneys General Act.

What does a yes vote on California Prop 27 mean?

A yes vote on Prop 27 would endorse the prospects of legal online sports betting. If passed, Prop 27 would allow for widespread retail operations within California’s boundaries but outside of tribal lands.

What does a no vote on California Prop 27 mean?

A no vote on Prop 27 is seen by many as a rejection of out-of-state corporations. It can also be seen as support for most California tribes, which oppose Prop 27 and currently control most of California’s legal gambling market.

Who supports California Prop 26?

Support of the tribal sports betting measure starts with a coalition of 25 Native American tribes, led by:

  • Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians
  • Barona Band of Mission Indians
  • Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
  • Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

It continues to include social justice organizations such as the California/Hawaii branch of the NAACP, public safety groups such as the California District Attorneys Association and San Diego Police Officers Association, and many chambers of commerce in areas with tribal casinos.

Here’s a full list of organizations that have come out supporting the tribal initiative.

Who supports California Prop 27?

The online sports betting initiative is backed by seven companies interested in operating California sports betting apps:

  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • BetMGM
  • Bally’s Interactive
  • Fanatics
  • PENN Entertainment
  • WynnBET

Key supporters include:

  • Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians
  • Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians
  • Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut Tribe
  • Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg
  • Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer
  • Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff
  • Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia
  • Elise Buik, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Los Angeles
  • California Black Chamber of Commerce
  • More than a dozen homelessness and housing service organizations

Can both Prop 26 and Prop 27 pass?

Yes. Prop 26 and Prop 27 are independent of one another, and both would need a simple majority at the ballot box on Election Day to pass. Both could simultaneously pass, and Prop 27 backers say their measure does not conflict and could coexist with Prop 26.

What happens if both Prop 26 and Prop 27 pass?

In short: Lawsuits. Backers of each initiative have also spent millions of dollars attempting to defeat the other. In theory, if both props pass, sports betting would be legalized both in-person and online. However, how the California sports betting landscape shapes out following what figures to be an expensive legal fight is anyone’s guess.

What happens if neither Prop 26 nor Prop 27 passes?

If neither prop gets passed, sports betting backers return to the drawing board. The next time a sports betting initiative could be passed is in 2024. Southern California’s San Manuel tribe is already focusing on 2024 with their ballot initiative, which is already facing an uphill battle.

More Prop 26 & Prop 27 news

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