Sports fans in California wishing to place a bet have to be getting frustrated by now. There are 30 other U.S. states with legal sports betting right now, as well as D.C. New York launched its massive sports betting market earlier this year, and now all eyes are on the rollout of legal wagering in Ohio, Kansas, and Massachusetts.
And yet California, a state with a population nearing 40 million, still doesn’t have legal sports betting. Well, in just a few months, California voters will decide on the future of sports betting in the Golden State. As with any election cycle, advertisements for and against the various propositions are beginning to air, so let’s check out some of the recently released ads focused on California sports betting.
A Quick Look at Prop 27
There are currently two propositions that look to be on the ballot come election time in November: Prop 26 and Prop 27. Prop 26 is backed by many of the state tribes and would focus on retail sports betting at physical sportsbooks within tribal casino locations and certain racetracks. Prop 27, on the other hand, is supported by a number of different sports betting operators and would confirm online sports betting in the state.
One recent backer of Prop 27 is the MLB, which confirmed its support in an early August statement. A few of the sportsbook companies on the side of Prop 27 include FanDuel Sportsbook, Barstool Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, Wynn Resorts, Bally Bet, and BetMGM Sportsbook.
Pro-Prop 27 Ad Focuses On Mental Health and Homelessness
This week, two separate advertisements for and against Prop 27 were released. The “Yes on 27” ad from Californians for Solutions features Rachelle Ditmore, co-founder and CEO of City of Refuge in Sacramento. The nonprofit, created by Ditmore and her husband, looks to assist marginalized communities through shelter and support throughout the state of California.
The advertisement focuses on the benefits from the potential tax revenue from sports betting in the state, which would help to fund organizations such as City of Refuge. With the potential 10% California tax rate on sports betting, the majority of revenue would go towards various programs focused on mental health and homelesness.
Anti-Prop 27 Ad Centers Around Tribal Opposition
A second advertisement was released this week that urges Californians to vote against Prop 27. The ad from the Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming points out that the majority of California tribes are against the online sports betting proposition. This advertisement is partially a response to an earlier claim from Californians for Solutions that declared support from tribes. The ad proclaimed that only three tribes are currently in support of Prop 27, compared to a list of over 50 against it.
But the concerns go beyond the majority of tribes opposing the proposition. According to Casino.org, California Nations Indian Gaming Association chairman James Siva believes that the online betting initiative could disrupt current funding streams as well as endanger Native American gaming as a whole. With the election coming in November, the futures of both Prop 27 and Prop 26 will be fascinating to watch.