Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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California Sports Betting: What’s the Difference Between Prop 26 and Prop 27?

SAN FRANCISCO– Efforts to legalize sports betting in California were publicized in non-stop television spots aired statewide ahead of the November election.

So far, more than $350 million has been spent on television advertising for and against two ballot proposals that would legalize sports betting: Prop 26 and Prop 27.

The former would legalize on-site sports betting and the latter would legalize online sports betting.

So what’s the difference? And who supports and fights them? Here’s what you need to know.

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Sports betting is a form of gambling where someone can wager money on a sporting event.

Sports betting, with the exception of horse racing, is currently illegal in California.

There used to be a statewide ban on sports betting, but a 2018 Supreme Court case overturned that, and since then more than half the states in the country — including New York, New Jersey and Arizona — have legalized some form of sports betting. It is now up to California to decide what to do here.

RELATED: Should Sports Betting Be Legalized in CA? gov. Newsom, Graton Casino, Bay Area groups weigh in

Prop 26 would allow sports betting to be held in person only at tribal casinos and at four horse racing tracks in the state. It would also allow casinos to offer roulette, craps and other dice games, which are also currently illegal. You would have to be at least 21 years of age or older to place a bet and there would be no wagering on high school or college games. The measure is expected to generate tens of thousands of dollars in tax revenue for the state, which would go into the state’s general fund.

Prop 26 is largely supported by Native American tribes, including the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.

Many opponents are really only against sports betting. They cite issues surrounding compulsive gambling and the financial impact it has on families.

Prop 27 would legalize sports betting online, meaning you could literally place wages on your phone from your couch. It would allow major out-of-state gaming companies — like FanDuel and DraftKings, which are funding the venture — to partner with Native American tribes to offer online, even mobile, sports betting.

Prop 27 is supported by the big gaming companies, Major League Baseball and some homeless groups. The measure could raise hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue that would be used to support homelessness and mental health issues. That’s why Community Forward in San Francisco, which is in the process of building a new shelter for homeless women, supports this.

“Prop 27 is building long-term funding that is truly commensurate with the magnitude of the crisis we are facing,” Sammie Rayner, the group’s chief operating officer, told ABC7 News. “If we don’t have a safe fund, a sustainable fund to support homeless services, we will never end the cycle of homelessness.”

Three small Indian tribes have also supported the measure. They say it would allow them to benefit from gambling despite not having much foot traffic.

Over 60 Native American tribes oppose Prop 27. They say it will hurt their business.

Greg Sarris, the chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria — which operates Graton Casino in Sonoma County — is part of the “Yes on 26, No on 27” group. He told ABC7 News that Prop would harm 27 Native American tribes by giving gaming power to out-of-state gaming companies.

“California Indians have worked so hard to build a business that will help us support ourselves,” Sarris said. “We don’t want an outside group to come in and not only offer mobile sports betting, which is dangerous but sets a precedent for other types of gambling in the state of California that would hurt our business.”

The tribes are also concerned that the high cost of entry for online sports betting – including a $10 million license fee – would limit the number of tribes that could participate.

The governor remains neutral on both prop 26 and prop 27. However, at an event in Los Angeles, he told reporters that Prop 27 is not about tackling homelessness.

“I know initiatives and people will say anything. Maybe this initiative will fetch a few bucks,” Newsom said. “I don’t support or oppose it, I haven’t given it much thought, but it’s not a homeless initiative. I know Angelenos can read between the lines and they know better.”

The California Republican Party is opposed to both Prop 27 and Prop 26. The California Democratic Party is opposed to Prop 27 but neutral to Prop 26.

Either or both suggestions might go through. If both exist, things could get complicated.

The proposal with the most votes could argue that the other proposal conflicts with theirs. They could take legal action to prevent it from becoming law.

Watch the latest 2022 midterm election stories and videos here.

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