Battle Between Prop 26 and Prop 27 Heats Up In California

US voter elections politics
A voter fills out his ballot for the California recall election at the Santa Clara County registrar of voters office on September 14, 2021 in San Jose, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP

The battle between supporters of Prop 26 and Prop 27 could end with the legalization of sports betting being delayed even further in California.

After months of back and forth between the two groups have included television ads that have been as contentious as you’ll ever see. The problem is neither side seems to have been convincing enough to have any confidence that they will get the votes they are looking for on the November midterm election.

Both Sides Appear to Be Losing

The contentious battle surrounding the legalization of sports betting doesn’t seem to be benefitting either side. Several sources close to the scene in California have confirmed that the various commercials for both sides have actually made the issue more confusing to most voters. That’s pretty much a worst-case scenario for advocates of both sides considering people are a lot less likely to vote yes on an issue they don’t understand.

What is looking very likely is that neither side will get the yes vote that they are looking for. That means the real losers here are California sports betting fans. This stalemate is likely the result of mixed messaging from both sides. Both sides have spent millions of dollars on ads that basically slander the other side.

While that’s nothing new in the world of politics, the one thing they seem to have underestimated is how little people understand the issue in the first place. What has happened as a result is that both sides do not seem worthy of receiving support from California voters.

Understanding Prop 27

Prop 27 would legalize online and mobile gambling for individuals 21 or older in California. The revenue earned from this would be earmarked for homelessness as well as the tribes that don’t have an online app since. This initiative is backed by some of the biggest operators in the industry.

They also have the support of some of the smaller tribes in California that do not have access to the gambling revenue that the tribes who back Prop 26 already enjoy.

Understanding Prop 26

Prop 26 also seeks to legalize sports betting in California but more specifically, only in tribal casinos and the four horse racing tracks in the state. The other part of Prop 26 which is also very important to the tribes who already have control of gambling in California has to do with casino table games.

Prop 26 would allow craps and roulette at tribal casinos which would be huge money makers.

The last part of Prop 26 is important but also isn’t easy to understand for an outsider looking in. It would let an individual file a lawsuit to enforce gambling laws in California instead of it being the responsibility of the Attorney General which is currently the case.

If you aren’t already aware of the gambling history of California, what you need to know is the tribes have two enemies; card rooms and the state of California. In fact, the tribes have taken the state all the way to the Supreme Court in a decision they eventually lost regarding the legality of the card rooms operating in the state.


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