California’s Sports Betting Ballot Set To Break Spending Records

Published: August 10, 2022
Author: Dean Carr
Last Updated: August 10, 2022

The fight to legalize sports betting in California is projected to be the most expensive campaign in the state’s history.

The Los Angeles Times has reported that the two parties battling over the future of sports betting in California have already raised $350 million between them to go on their respective campaigns. In addition, they expect that total to surpass $500 million by the time the vote comes around on November 8 later this year.

Home to more than 40 million people, California is the most populous state in America and is, therefore, one of the most highly anticipated states to open up to legalizing sports betting. At this moment in time, all of the best California sportsbooks are offshore sportsbooks and are the only ones that are accessible to residents online.

The most populous state that currently has state-based online betting is New York. The New York sportsbooks that have opened shop on the east coast have enjoyed enormous success so far in a state that has a population of 19.3 million — less than half the number of the Californian population.

More than $9 billion in bets have been accepted by New York sportsbooks since they opened their doors on January 8. A further $328.9 million has been raised in tax revenue and this has contributed to the extra push that has come from those in California.

There are two sides to the argument; Proposition 26 and Proposition 27. The former is proposing legalizing in-person sports betting at 66 tribal casinos and four race tracks. Under this, state-based mobile betting apps would remain illegal.

The terms of the latter, however, would see operators be allowed to set up mobile apps in California and has been backed by bookmakers such as DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM.

The funds raised thusfar have come from a variety of parties. $150 million have been provided from sports betting sites, $92 million has come from tribes that own casinos and $66 million was raised by tribes that are against Proposition 27. $41 million has come from California’s cardrooms that are in support of Proposition 27.

The ballot will be decided by Californians voting yes or no on both sports betting questions. If the public consensus vote approves both ballot questions the one with the most “yes” votes will win. However, this is as long as the two are determined to not be in conflict of each other in court.