Propositions 26 & 27: Sports-betting ballot measures defeated

Both sports gambling propositions are headed for defeat, as initial results Tuesday showed voters were overwhelmingly opposed despite the most expensive ballot measure battle in state history.

Proposition 27 is garnering fewer “yes” votes than Proposition 26, after initial results were published. Prop 27 trails by over 60 points, the widest margin of any of the ballot propositions, while Prop 26 is trailing by 41 points, as of results available around 9pm.

The campaigns dueling over Props 26 and 27 spent over $400 million, a record-breaking amount, to convince voters to authorize sports-betting in California. Both propositions would legalize sport-betting, but the competing factions disagreed on who could offer it, where it could happen, and how the revenue would be allocated.

A coalition of California tribes supported Prop 26, which would have legalized sports-betting, but only in-person at existing tribal casinos and racetracks.

Prop 27 was backed by the large online sports-betting companies, such as DraftKings, and would have created an even larger new market by allowing sports betting to happen around the state through online platforms. The measure would require each company to partner with a California tribe, and specified that the tax revenue would go to address homelessness, a selling point in many of the ads.

The backers of Prop 26 also opposed Prop 27, saying the revenue being promised wouldn’t really help solve homelessness in the state, that the large companies would be the ones to pocket most of the profits, and that online sports-betting is more accessible, and thus more of a threat to gambling addicts and to children.

Supporters of Prop 27 and opponents of Prop 26 said the large gaming tribes should allow more remotely-located tribes to profit from expanding legal gambling in the state to online venues. California cardrooms also opposed Prop 26, also running TV ads, adding to the cacophony of ads. California cardrooms, who said the gaming tribes used the proposition to try to kneecap cardrooms over a longstanding disagreement.

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