Sports gambling is popping up on the California ballot not once, but twice, this November.
Propositions 26 and 27, which have both crowded California's airwaves, have seen donations amounting to $357 million from casinos, Native American tribes, Major League Baseball, and other interested parties.
The total from both props dethrones California's Prop 22 as the state's most expensive measure after it brought in more than $200 million. Prop 22, now ruled unconstitutional, was the 2020 initiative funded by Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and others that absolved ride-sharing and delivery apps from following labor laws and classifying their workers as employees.
But Props 26 and 27 have the potential to turn California into the globe's second-highest sports gambling market, just behind the UK.
Prop 26 is sponsored by Native American tribes, such as Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. It would legalize certain forms of in-person gambling that are currently not permitted — including sports betting, roulette, and dice games — on tribal lands and racetracks, according to the state's Legislative Analyst Office. The nonpartisan office provides fiscal and policy advice to the state legislature.
Prop 27 is sponsored by gaming companies including FanDuel and DraftKings, and would legalize online sports betting across the state, according to the office. The MLB is also a proponent of the measure.
If both measures were passed together, it could bring the state up to $3.4 billion annually, according to CalMatters. But if both passed, one measure may bring the matter to a court accusing the other of a conflict.
Funds earned via Prop 26 would initially go to schools and the remainder to California's discretionary fund, mental health research, and gambling rules. Prop 27's revenue would be allocated to provide resources to address homelessness, mental health issues, and addiction.
More than 60 tribes oppose Prop 27, saying it would take away from their business, KFSN reported. But at least three smaller tribes support the measure believing the gaming would actually double their annual income.
Roughly 80 tribal casinos reside in California bringing in more than 8 billion in revenue annually to the state, Calmatters reported. There are about 110 federally recognized tribes, per California Courts. This means that not all tribes benefit from gambling revenue, which proves to be a vital economic resource for some.
The ABC affiliate says that Republicans in the state are against both measures, while the Democrats are against Prop 27 and "neutral on Prop 26."
"I know initiatives and folks will say anything. Perhaps that initiative will provide a few dollars," Newsom told KFSN. "I'm not supporting or opposing it, I haven't given it a lot of thought, but it is not a homeless initiative. I know Angelenos can read between the lines and they know better."
More than 30 states have legalized online sports betting since a 2018 Supreme Court ruling that reversed a 1992 law prohibiting most states from the act, CBS Sports reported. California is the only state with a similar measure on the ballot this fall.
California's voters will decide on the measures on November 8.