Regulated sports betting and gaming expansion measures have found tremendous support in the United States over the past few years, but California is proving to be an exception. According to recent polling, Golden State voters are on track to reject both Proposition 26 and 27 when they take to the polls in November.
Proposition 26, which would allow retail sports betting in Indian casinos, is only polling support from 31 percent of the population, according to a recent poll from the Institute of Government Studies (IGS) at Cal Berkeley. A full 41 percent of voters surveyed are planning to vote no on the measure.
Proposition 27, which would open online sports betting to non-Indian operators is actually faring worse with just 27 percent of voters saying they support the measure and 53 percent saying they’ll be voting against it.
So what is it that California voters are finding so distasteful about these two propositions? According to the IGS, it’s the advertising. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Berkeley IGS poll director Mark DiCamillo commented, “I think it’s the negative advertisements that have kind of been turning voters away. People who haven’t seen the ads are about evenly divided, but people who’ve seen a lot of ads are against it. So, the advertising is not helping.”
Unfortunately for supporters of Props 26 and 27, not only is all that advertising “not helping”, it’s also extremely expensive. Deep-pocketed supporters such as DraftKings have poured more than $400 million into supporting the measures, making them the most expensive ballot propositions in California history.
Should these measures go down in November, California will remain the biggest untapped regulated sports betting market in the United States.