Who is behind funding the $400 million battle?

Posted: September 14, 2022, 11:31 a.m.

Last update on: September 14, 2022, 11:31 a.m.

The stakes continue to rise in the political battle to control sports betting in California. The four committees created to support or oppose the two constitutional amendments have now raised more than $400 million between them.

Cali sign
A California state highway sign in San Simeon along the Pacific Coast. Four political committees linked to sports betting initiatives in the Nov. 8 ballot raised more than $411 million, according to data from the secretary of state’s office. (Image: Bensch511/Wikimedia Commons)

And in 55 days, when California voters finally go to the polls, it’s very likely that Proposition 26 and Proposition 27 will be defeated. There is also a smaller, but not to be overlooked, chance that voters will approve of both measures. This could lead to the case going through the state court system and result in millions of additional dollars being spent by stakeholders.

Those will be discussions for another day. For now, we’ll look at the main players involved in the political battle and how much each has contributed to their side’s cause celebre.

According to data from Cal Access, a database maintained by the office of the California Secretary of State, the groups – Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming; Taxpayers against special interest monopolies; Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support; and Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming — have raised war chests totaling nearly $411.5 million through Wednesday. This is by far the highest for California ballot metrics.

Learn more about Prop 26 and Prop 27 here.

Coalition for Safe and Responsible Gambling

Total raised: $109.5 million

Position: Pro Prop 26, which would allow retail sports betting at tribal casinos and state racetracks. The measure would allow tribal casinos to offer dice-based table games and roulette, and it would also allow individuals and entities to take legal action against operators who allegedly violated state gambling laws. games. The coalition is also Anti Prop 27, which would legalize online sports betting with proceeds going to mental health services, homeless support programs and some tribal economic development initiatives.

Main contributors: Federated Band of Graton Rancheria ($30.2 million), Pechanga Band of Indians ($25.2 million), Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation ($20.2 million), Barona Band of Mission Indians ($10.3 million dollars) and Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians ($10.3 million).

Reasoning: Tribal gambling operators claim that limiting sports betting to physical sports betting helps ensure that underage people cannot bet. They also say Proposition 26 helps tribal nations stay self-sufficient and provides the ability to prosecute illegal gambling operators. The group argues that Proposition 27 would not provide adequate funding for homelessness programs since out-of-state operators would retain 90% of the profits.

Taxpayers vs. Special Interest Monopolies

Total raised: $41.9 million

Position: Anti-propeller 26

Main contributors: California Commerce Club ($10.1 million), Hawaiian Gardens Casino ($10.1 million), Knighted Ventures ($4.1 million), Park West Casinos ($2.1 million), and The Bicycle Hotel and Casino ($2.1 million).

Reasoning: Gambling hall casino operators and their supporters, which include city governments and municipal workers’ unions, say Proposition 26 would further empower wealthy tribal gambling operators by giving them a virtual monopoly on gambling. Gambling halls also fear being targeted by the provision to prosecute suspected illegal operators, which could result in cities losing millions in tax revenue if gambling halls are forced to close.

Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support

Total raised: $169.2 million

Position: Pro Prop 27

Main contributors: FanDuel ($35 million), DraftKings ($34.2 million), BetMGM ($25 million), Barstool Sportsbook ($25 million), and Fanatics ($25 million).

Reasoning: Proponents say the measure would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue each year to help fund programs for the homeless and support those with mental health needs. It also requires commercial operators to partner with tribal nations in order to obtain a license, and it allows tribal entities to participate on their own, if they wish. The proposal also provides a funding mechanism for small tribes not involved in sports betting.

Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Game Safety

Total raised: $91.2 million

Position: Anti-propeller 27

Main contributors: San Manuel Band of Mission Indians ($78.1 million), Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians ($10 million), and Pala Casino Resort Spa ($3 million).

Reasoning: Tribal gaming operators say online sports betting would threaten millions in revenue their casinos generate for state and local governments. They also say the online sports betting measure includes loopholes allowing these operators to reduce their tax liabilities and provide less funding for social service programs that online sports betting companies claim their measure will support.

Comments are closed.