The future of legal sports betting in California was a key item on ballots yesterday, and voters weighed in with a resounding “no” in regard to in-person, mobile, and online domestic sportsbooks in CA.
Both Proposition 26 and Proposition 27 merely required a simple majority to pass, but California’s constituents have spoken loudly in opposition to domestic sports betting, squashing both constitutional amendments with a convincing defeat.
Sports betting at California’s tribal casinos and select horse racing venues would have been permitted had Proposition 26 received a favorable vote. Of the two ballot initiatives, 26 seemed to have the better chance of passage and featured support from the Lt. Governor, several regional Chambers of Commerce, and of course, Native American gambling interests.
Here is how Proposition 26 fared yesterday:
- Yes – 29.3% – 1,534,021 Votes
- No – 70.7% – 3,692,656 Votes
Following the momentum set forth by Prop 26, 27 received ballot approval thanks to the funding efforts of outside sportsbook vendors like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, and others that were intent on attaining a slice of the potential California sports betting revenue pie.
If yes votes for Prop 25 received the majority vote, it would have allowed for online sportsbooks and mobile sports betting apps to operate within California.
Here is how voters reacted to Proposition 27 at the ballot box:
- Yes – 16.4% – 860,535 Votes
- No – 86.3% – 4,374,928 Votes
What’s Next For California Sports Betting?
All interested parties in California must now go back to the drawing board and restrategize. No gambling expansion will occur in CA without a constitutional amendment, which requires approval from California voters.
However, it was the voters themselves that were confused with two competing factions trying to gain support for their Proposition while simultaneously trying to cause the other Prop to fail.
Constituents were already struggling to understand the implications prior to the introduction of a competing Proposition.
What’s not up for debate is the number of dollars that are currently exiting the state and being spent at either offshore sportsbook sites that operate overseas or domestic books located in neighboring territories.
The state-by-state sports betting revenue reports reveal that tax collections from domestic sportsbooks are significant and can cover existing budget shortfalls.
California is facing several environmental and infrastructural crises at the moment and could use the added dollars that legal sports betting in Los Angeles and the state’s other well-populated communities will provide.
Proposition 26 and its proposed brick-and-mortar sports betting venues would recapture a percentage of the monies that are currently being spent on out-of-state, but adding mobile and online options to the equation ups those collections exponentially.
Granting Californians the ability to place a mobile bet on their smartphone or tablet or use an online sportsbook on their laptop or personal computer increases the probability that the wager will happen in the first place.
The reason? Mobile and online sports betting alleviates the need to travel to a remote location to place a wager and, furthermore, doesn’t require that gamblers stick around to receive their payout.
Until California politicians figure out another way to properly convince the voting public to side with them on domestic sportsbooks, offshore sports betting sites that operate overseas represent the only legitimate option.
Source – LA Times