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California overwhelmingly rejects sports betting bills

Chris Sununu
Posted at 11:52 AM, Nov 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-09 11:52:03-05

Voters in California soundly rejected a pair of issues that would have brought legalized sports betting to the state.

The propositions were among the most expensive races in the U.S.

Proposition 27 would have allowed sports betting at American Indian gaming casinos, horse racing tracks, and online. A similar issue was Proposition 26, which would not have allowed sports betting on mobile devices, but would permit tribal casinos and horse racing venues to conduct sports betting.

According to the campaign finance website Open Secrets, Proposition 27 garnered $372 million in campaign contributions, while Proposition 26 raised $153 million. By comparison, the most expensive U.S. Senate race garnered $142 million in spending, according to Open Secrets.

While they appeared separately on the ballot, there was a concerted effort among Proposition 26 backers to block Proposition 27.

As of early Wednesday, Proposition 26 was defeated by a 70/30 margin, while Proposition 27 went down 84/16.

The group Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming, Sponsored by California Indian Tribes spent $111 million trying to promote Proposition 26 while trying to block Proposition 27. Meanwhile, a group led by the sports betting industry spent over $169 million in backing Proposition 27, according to Open Secrets. Fanduel and Draft Kings spent a combined $70 million supporting the issue. Penn National Gaming, Bet MGM and Fanatics have each dropped $25 million.

The stakes for the issue are high as an American Gaming Association study indicated that 46.6 million Americans plan to bet on the NFL at some point this season. In just the first eight months of the year, Americans have legally wagered over $50 billion on sports.

Sports gaming is legal in 36 states.