The California Democratic Party is now financially involved with the sports betting battle of Prop 26 and Prop 27.
On Sept. 9, the California Democratic Party donated $1,055.09 to No on 27 – Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming, according to records kept by the California Secretary of State. That was the party’s first financial contribution in relation to Prop 27, which would legalize online sports betting, or Prop 26, which would legalize in-person sports betting at California casinos and horse racetracks.
Until Sept. 9, the California Democratic Party had been opposed to Prop 27 only in messaging. It publicly announced it opposed Prop 27 — and was neutral on Prop 26 — back in late July. But now, even though $1,055.09 is a drop in the bucket of the $200.7 million that No on 27 has raised, the state’s Democrats have financially contributed to the campaign.
As of Sept. 13, the California Democratic Party had donated $179.9 million to midterm election campaigns, including $23.3 million to ballot measures. So its donation in opposition to Prop 27 constitutes 0.0045% of its total contributions in support or opposition of measures on the California 2022 ballot.
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The California Republican Party, which has also publicly opposed Prop 27 (and Prop 26) has not made any financial contributions in relation to either sports betting measure.
In August, Democratic and Republican leaders of the California state legislature released joint statements announcing their opposition to Prop 27. Although the statements from Democrats didn’t endorse Prop 26, they certainly made clear their support of California Indian tribes, most of which have publicly endorsed Prop 26.
“California’s tribes have proven to be safe and responsible operators of gaming in California, providing benefits to their communities and to their members,” Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins said at the time. “I stand with tribal governments in opposition to Prop 27 and support their right to operate gaming facilities on their lands.”
How Much Money Have Prop 26 and Prop 27 Campaigns Raised?
As of Sept. 13, $411.8 million had been spent either supporting or opposing Prop 26 and Prop 27. That further establishes this as the most expensive ballot battle in California history.
Of that $411.8 billion, $41.9 million is in opposition to Prop 26; $109.5 million is in support of Prop 26; $91.2 million is in opposition to Prop 27; and $169.2 million is in support of Prop 27.
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Beyond the California Democratic Party donation, notable recent contributions include:
- DraftKings donated $8.2 million to Yes on 27 on Sept. 8
- FanDuel donated $4 million to Yes on 27 on Sept. 8
- Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians donated $2.5 million to Yes on 26 on Sept. 7
- FanDuel donated $6 million to Yes on 27 on Sept. 1
- San Manuel Band of Mission Indians donated $25 million to No on 27 on Aug. 31
Prop 26 and Prop 27, Explained
Prop 27 would legalize online and mobile sports betting in California. It would tax sports betting at 10%. Of those tax funds, 85% would go toward homelessness programs and 15% would go toward non-gaming tribes in California. Mobile sportsbooks would have to partner with a California tribe to offer online sports betting. They would have to pay a $100 million licensing fee, too.
Prop 26 would legalize in-person sports betting at Indian casinos and California horse racetracks — Santa Anita Park, Del Mar Racetrack, Los Alamitos Race Course, and Golden Gate Fields. It would tax sports betting at 10%. Of those tax funds, 70% would go toward the state’s General Fund, 15% would go toward problem gambling programs, and 15% would go toward the state regulator.