California Gov. Gavin Newsom has remained neutral in the California sports betting debate. But he shared some of his thoughts on Prop 27 while speaking with reporters in Los Angeles this week.
Specifically, he touched on one of the main goals of the mobile sportsbooks-backed initiative.
“I know initiatives and folks will say anything. Perhaps that initiative will provide a few dollars,” Newsom said. “I’m not supporting or opposing (Prop 27). 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.”
Most Californians know Prop 27 as the online sports betting measure that would allow sports betting apps like DraftKings and FanDuel to offer their online sportsbooks in the state. However, that prop is officially titled: Legalize Sports Betting and Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Fund Initiative. It stipulates that 85% of sports betting revenue state tax funds would go toward homelessness programs.
That’s why, alongside US sportsbooks, homelessness organizations are some of Prop 27’s most prominent supporters.
One of the main arguments from Prop 27 backers is that it is the only option that would fund solutions to California homelessness. While it is true that Prop 26 does not specifically earmark funding for homelessness, 70% of tax funds under Prop 26 would go to the state’s General Fund, which funds homelessness among many things.
Prop 26 supporters, meanwhile, say Prop 27 is just using the topic of homelessness to get people to vote for a measure that would financially benefit out-of-state corporations. Regardless of intent, the fact that 85% of state tax money from a massive sports betting market would go toward homelessness programs can only be seen as a good thing.
EXCLUSIVE SURVEY: 61% of California Sports Bettors Want Both Prop 26 and Prop 27 to Pass
Who Supports Prop 26 and Prop 27?
Newsom’s California Democratic Party is opposed to Prop 27 and neutral on Prop 26. The state’s Republican Party is opposed to both Prop 26 and Prop 27.
Nearly 60 California tribes have publicly endorsed Prop 26, including 14 non-gaming tribes. Three tribes, including one gaming tribe, have endorsed Prop 27. Here’s a full list of which CA tribes endorse Prop 26 and Prop 27.
California card rooms strongly oppose Prop 26, which would expand the Private Attorneys General Act. That would let tribes hire private attorneys to sue card rooms in costly lawsuits that card rooms worry could put them out of business. Also, Prop 26 would give tribal casinos another leg up on card rooms in terms of what it can offer gamblers.
Three California education organizations — the California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers, and Association of California School Administrators — oppose Prop 27.
Major League Baseball has endorsed Prop 27. It’s the only professional sports league to enter the California sports betting debate.