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MLB Speaks Out in Favor of California Online Sports Betting Initiative

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Aug 12, 2022 · 10:06 AM PDT

Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts rounding the bases
Jul 7, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts (50) runs the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
  • California’s online sports betting initiative has a supporter in the MLB
  • MLB stated Prop 27 is the only measure on the upcoming ballot to authorize and regulate online sports betting
  • According to the league, the proposition includes strong integrity provisions to help MLB safeguard the game

Major League Baseball has thrown its support behind the California online sports betting ballot initiative.

The MLB sent out a release this afternoon praising the integrity provisions in the “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act,” a sports betting company-backed online sports betting measure know as Proposition 27 on the upcoming general election ballot.

Proposition 27 Nets Its Biggest Supporter to Date

The initiative, according to the MLB, will bring a safe and responsible online sports betting market to California.

“As legalized sports betting continues to expand across the country, Major League Baseball remains committed to protecting the integrity of its games and creating a safe experience for fans who wish to wager on those games. Proposition 27 – the only measure on California’s upcoming ballot that would authorize and regulate online sports betting – includes strong integrity provisions designed to help MLB carry out those commitments,” the MLB said in the release.

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.

If approved by voters in November, online sports betting operators would be able to offer online sports betting to California residents as long as the operators are partnered with a California tribe.

The MLB praised the safeguards included in the initiative.

“The measure would, for example, (1) require sports book operators to notify leagues of suspicious wagering activity, (2) allow leagues to propose restrictions on betting markets that are particularly susceptible to manipulation, and (3) facilitate other forms of integrity-related cooperation between the state, leagues, and operators. MLB believes that Prop 27 has the safeguards to create a safe and responsible online sports betting market in California – a state with millions of MLB fans looking for alternatives to illegal offshore betting sites.”


The MLB joins three California tribes to have publicly endorsed the online sports betting initiative. The Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians, the Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians, and the Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut Tribe have all released public statements in favor of the online sports betting initiative, praising the measure as a way for smaller, disadvantaged tribes to bolster their economic standing.

Stiff Opposition to Prop 27 Remains

The MLB’s support of the online sports betting initiative comes on the heels of several groups publicly speaking out against Prop 27 this week.

A number of prominent California politicians publicly released statements decrying the proposition, claiming it would funnel profits out of the hands of state tribes to out-of-state companies.

Earlier this week, the California Federation of Teachers and the Association of California School Administrators also voted to officially oppose Prop 27. They joined the California Teachers Association in opposition of the online sports betting proposition.

“Cell phones and mobile devices have become a way of life for even our youngest children. Proposition 27 would turn virtually every cell phone, laptop and tablet into a gambling device giving youth unprecedented access to gambling at their fingertips,” said Erin M. Simon, President of the Association of School Administrators, in a released statement. “Our communities should be focused on protecting children and the danger Proposition 27 poses for youth cannot be understated.”

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