California Voters Reject Sports Betting Initiatives By Wide Margins – Horse Racing News


Two sports betting ballot initiatives – one that would allow racetracks and tribal casinos to operate sports books and the other permitting online sports wagering – were soundly rejected by California voters on Tuesday.

Proposition 26 would have permitted sports wagering at tribal casinos and four tracks – Del Mar, Golden Gate Fields, Los Alamitos, and Santa Anita. With some mail-in and provisional ballots still to be counted, voters rejected Prop 26 by a margin of  70.1 percent to 29.9 percent.

Prop 26 also would have expanded gambling at tribal casinos to permit roulette and craps, something they currently can not offer.

California racetracks and the Thoroughbred Owners of California urged voters to support Prop 26 but are not listed among donors supporting the initiative financially. More than a dozen California-based tribes funded the campaign in support of Prop 26, which was opposed by card clubs and poker rooms throughout the state.

Proposition 27, permitting licensed tribes or gambling companies to offer sports betting over the internet and on mobile devices, lost by an even wider margin, 83.3 percent against and only 16.7 percent voting in favor.

Prop 27 was supported by gambling companies FanDuel, DraftKings, Fanatics, Bet MGM, Penn National Gaming, WynnBet,  and Bally’s Interactive, along with some experts on homelessness and mental health. A portion of revenue from Prop 27 would have gone toward solving California’s homeless crisis.

Analysts estimated more than $450 million was spent on both initiatives.

At least 27 states, plus Washington, D.C., permit some form of sports betting, which was made legal by a 2018 Supreme Court ruling.