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Both California Sports Betting Initiatives Not Favored By Voters According to Poll

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Oct 5, 2022 · 8:27 AM PDT

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Sep 7, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman David Villar (70) looks on from the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
  • A UC Berkley Institute of Governmental Studies poll found both sports betting initiatives are unfavored by state voters
  • Both retail and online sports betting ballot initiatives face an uphill California battle
  • All voter subgroups are not in favor of online sports betting initiative

More bad news for California online sports betting, as a recent poll from the UC Berkley Institute of Governmental Studies found a majority of voters are not in favor of a ballot initiative to legalize online sports betting.

The California general election is just six weeks out and this is the second recently published poll  showing that both sports betting ballots have an uphill battle if they hope to be approved next month.

No to California Online, Retail Sports Betting

According to a recent poll conducted by the university, 53% of respondents are against Prop 27, the “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act,” which aims to legalize California online sports betting for operators partnered with California Tribes. Only 27% of respondents are in favor of the proposition and 20% are undecided.

The poll was administered from Sept. 22 to 27 among 8,725 California registered voters, including 6,939 likely voters.

Prop 27 calls for a 10% tax on online sports betting, with 85% of tax revenues going to programs to help solve homelessness and those that support mental health. The remaining 15% of the tax revenues would be earmarked for California tribes not partnered with an operator.

The findings of the poll aren’t as grim for Prop 26, the “Tribal Sports Wagering Act,” which would legalize retail sports betting for California Tribal Casinos and four state racetracks, but did not forecast a sunny future for the initiative. Only 31% of respondents approved of the retail sports betting initiative compared with 42% who disproved of the measure.

“These results suggest that the sports wagering initiatives are foundering in the face of the opposition advertising campaigns. The lack of support among key demographic groups makes passage of each an uphill climb, at best,” IGS co-director Eric Schickler said in a release from the institute.

Most Subgroups Not in Approval of Sports Betting

The major voting subgroups included in the survey roundly oppose both sports betting initiatives. According to the poll, nearly all of the voter subgroups surveyed are in opposition to Prop 27, including both Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, whites and voters of color, men and women, and voters living in the state’s eight major region.

The only major subgroup in favor of California online sports betting are young voters, especially those under 30, with 44% of respondents saying they will vote for the initiative compared with 33% who will not.

Opposition to Prop 26 is “broad based,” according to the poll results, but not as overwhelming as those opposed to Prop 27. White Republicans and conservatives oppose Prop 26 by two to one, but Democrats and independents are voting no by smaller numbers. Liberal voters are split on the issue of retail sports betting hosted by California tribal casinos.

Women oppose Prop 26 nearly two to one while men are equally divided on the issue.

Again, like Prop 27, voters under the age of 40 are in favor of the initiative compared with voters 65 and older who oppose it by a three to one margin.

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