Sports betting voting metrics set new record of $243.8 million in California • OpenSecrets

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Paris at a viewing party for the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino on March 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Two multimillion-dollar election measurement battles will shape the future of California’s billion-dollar sports betting industry. The committees reported raising nearly $243.8 million through June 30 to support or oppose Propositions 26 and 27, two ballot measures that could legalize sports betting in California, according to analysis by OpenSecrets of a new dataset tracking voting metrics across the country.

Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia have legalized sports betting in one form or another since the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban in 2018. California is currently the only state considering a ballot measure or legislation to legalize sports betting, according to American Gaming. Association.

Proposition 27, a ballot measure that could amend the California constitution to legalize online and mobile sports betting outside of tribal lands, has attracted more than $202.6 million in contributions to support or oppose its passage. . More than $61.5 million of that total was raised by a committee both opposing Proposition 27 and supporting Proposition 26, which would legalize in-person sports betting only at Native American race tracks and casinos. Another committee raised more than $41.1 million to oppose Proposition 26.

Sportsbook overtook Proposition 22, which classified app-based drivers as independent contractors rather than employees or agents of those companies in 2020, as the costliest election metrics campaign in reported history. the state. Ride-sharing and delivery companies including Uber, DoorDash and Lyft have poured more than $205 million into “Yes on 22,” a “self-proclaimed coalition of on-demand drivers and platforms, small businesses, security public and community organizers”.

More than 58 Native American tribes, both California’s Democratic and Republican parties, and several educational organizations oppose Proposition 27, Gaming Today reported. Online betting companies and homeless support organizations are the main supporters of the election measure.

Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support, the so-called “Yes on 27” committee, said it received more than $100 million from seven online betting giants on August 30-31, 2021. The betting giants in online DraftKings, BetMGM (owned by MGM Resorts), and FanDuel have contributed nearly $16.7 million each to the coalition. FBG Enterprises (doing business as Fanatics Sportsbooks), Bally’s Interactive, Penn Interactive and WSI each contributed an additional $12.5 million.

While funded by big names in online and mobile gaming, Yes on 27 is made up of organizations dedicated to supporting the homeless, including the San Diego Regional Task Force on Homelessness, Community Services of the Bay Area and the Sacramento Coalition to End Homelessness.

The Yes on 27 advertisements also highlight tribes excluded from the tribal casino industry concentrated near major metropolitan centers. Jose Moke Simon III, president of the Middletown Rancheria of the Pomo Indians of California, narrates the coalition’s ads, which feature members of his community. These tribes are potential partners for online betting platforms – a provision mandated in Proposition 27, which states that “These companies must partner with a tribe with a tribal-state pact.”

“Only one proposal supports California tribes like ours,” Simon said in a Yes out of 27 announcements. Another advertisement sponsored by the coalition claims that Proposition 27 provides “permanent solutions to homelessness, mental health and addiction in California.”

But the Yes on 27 ads are “spectacularly misleading,” Los Angeles Times economics columnist Michael Hiltzik warned, saying the ballot measure could harm California’s fiscal and public health.

Sports bettors are twice as likely as general bettors to develop gambling problems, according to the National Council on Public Gambling. McGill University and the Oregon Research Institute.

While online sports betting could bring in up to $500 million in state revenue each year for homeless relief projects and gambling addiction programs, Hiltzik says the latter deals “d ‘a problem of its own’.

But the coalition says there is already a “massive market for illegal and illicit online sports betting” – online platforms could be a safe and legal alternative to protect punters.

It is technically possible that proposals 26 and 27 will be adopted this fall. But the Coalition to Allow Regulated Sports Betting has raised more than $61.5 million to support Proposition 26 and oppose Proposition 27, OpenSecrets’ analysis of the new data found.

The “Yes on 26, No on 27” coalition is sponsored by Native American gaming tribes in California and comprised of several prominent community and political organizations. The coalition says Proposition 26 will strengthen tribal self-sufficiency, provide well-paying jobs for Californians, and generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue for the state, while Proposition 27 will harm tribes, shift government priorities State and will expose children and citizens to problems. gambling.

“Our measure represents a responsible and progressive approach to allowing sports betting in California without the risks of opening up all connected devices to online gambling,” said Tribal Chairman Kenneth Kahn of the Santa Ynez Band of Indians. Chumash, which supports Proposition 26. Chumash Casino and Resort Enterprises donated $5 million to the Coalition to allow regulated sports betting.

The Yes on the 26th, No on the 27th coalition has received significant support from some tribal organizations, including nearly $15.3 million from the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians, $15.1 million from the Yocha Dehe Nation Wintun and nearly $10.3 million from the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming, another committee sponsored by larger tribal organizations, raised $41.1 million to oppose Proposition 27. San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, which owns Yaamava’ Resort and Casino 60 minutes from Los Angeles, contributed $28 million, the No to 27 committee’s largest donation to date for this election cycle.

Taxpayers Against Special Interest Monopolies, a coalition of licensed card clubs, has raised more than $41.1 million to oppose Proposition 26. Key players in the “No on 26” coalition include the California Commerce Club and the Hawaiian Gardens Casino, which each contributed nearly $10.1 million to the coalition.

No on 26 argues that Proposition 26 would give certain large tribal organizations — “some of the wealthiest and most powerful special interests in the state,” they claim — monopoly power to push card clubs like them out of the game. market.

Proposition 26 would allow tribal casinos to sue gambling groups that violate state law. But Mary-Beth Moylan, associate dean for academic affairs at the McGeorge School of Law, called misleading the argument that Proposition 26 would force gambling halls out of business with a flood of baseless lawsuits.

“Everyone, the tribes that might bring the lawsuits and the cardrooms that would defend them, have a lot of resources to have lawyers to meet whether they are without merit or not. I think that is an unfounded fear, although it is partly true that there will probably be more lawsuits,” she told KCRA.

Isaac Hale, assistant professor of politics at Occidental College, echoed that sentiment, noting that “there is no independent analysis to suggest Proposition 26 will put law-abiding card rooms out of business.”

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