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Voters Rejects Sports Betting in the State

November 22, 2022

In a surprising turn of events, California voters rejected sports betting for the state. Legislature approved two different sports betting measures on the ballot in 2022, and neither of them were passed. With the defeat of the two sports betting measures, no one knows what will happen next with California as the most populous state in the nation.

What the Bills Looked Like at the End?

Proposition 26 was a tribal-backed measure and Proposition 27 was a commercial-supported measure. Neither bill received even close to the support it needed to succeed. For example, Proposition 26 had 29.3 percent support and 70.7 percent opposition. Proposition 27 fared even worse with 16.4 percent support and 83.6 percent opposition. Now, neither of the ballots have finished counting, but officials have already called this one a defeat.

Campaigning on both measures marked out the most expensive in the history of the United States. To paint a picture of how expensive, they raised $357 million. They bypassed Proposition 22 by over $130 million. California ballot measures have always been notoriously expensive, and this one was no different than the others.

Competing Messaging

Throughout their time, the two rival bills possibly confused voters even more with the two ballots, which have given us this ultimate result of a failure on both sides. Few people knew what Proposition 26 and Proposition 27 meant because you had so much competition between the two bills. Either way, voters have spoken, but it ultimately means that the state will not collect revenue from sports betting.

Since sports betting and online gambling have passed in many of the other states, it has proven valuable as a source of revenue. Even in a state like Iowa, casino games made the state over $300 million.

Battle for Another Day

As California slinks off defeated on its sports betting measures, we can expect that the battle has only started. CEO of FanDuel, Amy Howe, already expressed her intentions to try again in 2024. No one can say that the rejection of sports betting in the most populous state in the US isn't a setback for the industry, but it remains temporary, and with the continuing growth of revenues in other states, we may see an increasing willingness for California to legalize it soon.

Already 30 states legalized sports betting in one form or another, and we saw this all happening at a breakneck speed with many of them happening this year


Proposition 26 showed the most promise with it pandering less to big gambling brands that would have held the winner's share of the market. If Proposition 26 had passed, the casinos and four major horse tracks in the state would have had the option to offer sports betting to the people. This was a heavy blow to the debate over sports betting, but it won't end here. The trend continues in the upward direction, and across the United States, legal sports betting now accounts for 17 percent of all US betting. That shows how this will become huge in the future.


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