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Voter Division To Hinder California Sportsbook Legalization

California sports betting legalization bill proposal

Legal sports betting in California has become one of the most expensive points of contention leading into this November’s Midterm Elections. With a total of $357 million banked on a potential state gambling expansion, the question now focuses on who will control the market.

CA Legal Betting Propositions

On November 8th, registered California voters will decide between two very different domestic sportsbook propositions. The first, Prop 26, hones in on the value of tribe-operated gaming and restricts operator privileges to eligible indigenous groups.

Appealing to the more conservative voter base, the tribes have agreed to stick with a retail-only rollout. In exchange for this level of authority, participating tribes will forfeit 10% of all sportsbook revenues to the state.

With a completely inverse approach, Prop 27 asks Californians to legalize domestic betting on a much broader scale. Under this legislation, locals would have access to domestic mobile sports betting apps as well as a wide array of in-person and online options.

Other than welcoming digital-friendly sportsbooks to the state, Prop 27 would also allow for the entrance of major gambling conglomerates such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars.

Divisive Campaigning To Backfire

Between the two legalization options, many have suggested that California’s sports betting is a no-brainer. But as voting day draws nearer, some worry that the division of the state’s pro-sportsbook voter population could spell detriment for betting altogether.

A consulting firm named Eilers and Krejcik Gaming recently published a report pointing to that very outcome. The company explains that ruthless campaigning strategies don’t do much to sweeten non-gamblers on the prospect of safe and legal betting. The report says this:

“The political power and deep pockets of interests with dogs in this hunt … together with competing sports betting measures whose back-to-back presentation on the ballot is likely to confuse voters have us leaning negative on California’s sports betting legalization prospects this fall,”

Eilers and Krejcik now claim that the odds of legalization on any front this year are at less than 50%. While it is too late for lobbying groups to go back on any inflammatory statements, it isn’t too late to modify future branding.

Getting In Voters’ Good Graces

California’s only hope towards becoming a legal sports betting state rests on the backs of folks who would likely never step foot in a casino. With that in consideration, political action committees need to focus their marketing on what gambling gives to a community.

And if state-licensed sportsbook operators have one leg to stand on, it’s revenue.

Both sportsbook propositions stand to bring millions of dollars back into the state. This money will go to fund employment programs, state retirement contributions, and homelessness prevention efforts.

With just over two months left until Midterms, there isn’t much time to act. But regardless of the election results, Californians can still access legal online sportsbooks via offshore betting sites.

Source: New York Post

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