Election Day in the United States is always one that comes with some huge implications, and that’s going to be the case in 2022 as well. Sports betting has started to become a huge part of election day as political races can impact the future of this industry.
There is even more at stake in the state of California as voters could actually legalize the industry in one or two different forms. Proposition 26 and Proposition 27 are both facing voters, and each of those initiatives are much different on the ballot.
Proposition 26 was put on the ballot after Native American tribes were able to come together to collect enough signatures. This wasn’t an easy process, but the tribes are hoping to get enough support to legalize retail sports betting at their casinos.
The other initiative, Proposition 27, was put on the ballot after executives from several of the top sports betting companies collected signatures. If this proposition were to pass, then online sports betting would be available throughout the state of California.
Nothing will be official until all of the votes are counted, but it’s starting to look more and more likely that both propositions will lose. Despite both groups sending millions of dollars, residents in California just don’t appear ready for sports betting.
There have been some pretty big surprises at the polls before, but it seems highly unlikely that this will be one of those situations.
Hard Work to Defeat Proposition 27
DraftKings and FanDuel were the two sports betting companies that were spending the most money to try and get Proposition 27 passed. Both companies spent over $100 million in advertising and campaign dollars, but they were fighting a losing battle from the beginning.
The Native American tribes in California continue to dominate the entire gaming industry in the state, and they fought back against the sportsbooks. There were some smear campaigns used by the tribes to convince people to vote no against Proposition 27.
Sportsbook operators have insisted that they are willing to work with Native American tribes and have both forms of sports betting available. The tribes did not want to give up any power in the gaming industry and preferred that both propositions fail.
What’s Next in California?
If, in fact, both of the propositions fail in California, then it could be another couple of years before there is any progress on sports betting. Native American tribal leaders have already announced that they have no plans of trying to get another proposition on the ballot in 2024.
Depending on the official outcome of the vote, sportsbook operators are likely not willing to go through all the work of organizing another petition to get back on the ballot. That could leave just one more option, and that would require state lawmakers to pass a bill to legalize sports betting.
Election Day Could Impact Other States
The decision by voters in California is the biggest race to follow when it comes to sports betting, but it’s not the only state to have a vote decide the fate of this industry. A number of states have attempted to legalize the industry, but a change in which political party controls the state legislature could have a massive impact.
Stacey Abrams is running for governor in the state of Georgia, and she has already put her support behind sports betting. Missouri is another state that could use some new lawmakers to help push sports betting past the finish line.