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Time is Nearing to Decide California's Sports Gambling Fate

October 6, 2022

The November election cycle is a little more than a month away. That means that Californians have a little more than 30 days to decide whether or not they want California to join the 30-something states that have already legalized sports betting.

Against what was seemingly impossible odds earlier this year, two propositions related to sports gambling have made it onto the ballet. Though Prop 26 and Prop 27 have different beneficiaries, they are quite simple in one very important way. Both propositions would open the door for California residents to be able to legally bet on sports events. If either Proposition were to get a “thumbs up” from voters, actual sports betting could be a reality in California by the end of next year.

What will the voters do is anyone’s guess. For either proposition to pass, it will have to overcome the $440 million that was invested by sports gambling opponents to crush the future of sports betting in California.

For the benefit of California voters who will be going to the polls, here is a bit of useful information about each bill.

About California Prop 26

Proposition 26 calls for the state of California’s Native Indian Tribes and Horse Race Tracks to have the right to offer in-person live sports betting options. To be clear, the proposition has nothing in it that would allow for any form of online/mobile sports betting access.

The race tracks would be required to pay a revenue tax of 10% on all sports betting gross revenue. Indian tribes don’t normally have to pay taxes related to casino gambling revenue, but later provisions are expected to be negotiated through compacts in Prop 26 passes.

While the tax revenue would be designated for education, gambling addiction programs, gambling enforcement, and general uses, opponents of the proposition aren’t happy with one aspect of the legislation. The power that the legislation would give to the Tribes and race tracks would be detrimental to the success of the state’s poker clubs, which have been operating for decades.

About California Prop 27

Proposition 27 calls for both Indian Tribes and U.S. Sports Betting operators to have control over sports betting in California. Effectively, Indian Tribes would control in-person betting with mobile operators controlling bets made over the internet and mobile apps. In both cases, operators would be on the hood for a revenue tax of 10% on gross revenue with a small slice of the money going to help California’s homeless population.

Opposition to this proposition is a bit more straightforward. Opponents are not interested in non-California entities getting rich off the sports bets made by Californians. They also oppose the bill under the assumption mobile sports betting legislation in California is unnecessary. They are basing this on the notion that California sports bettors are already using VPNs to enable them to use mobile sports betting apps licensed in other states.

Argument aside, the time has come for voters to decide the issue. Surely, sports fans will be paying extra attention as the voter tallies start rolling in on election night.


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