There’s an ongoing arms race between supporters of California’s Prop 26 and Prop 27 sports betting ballot initiatives ahead of November’s election. Here are the largest monetary donations on the California Secretary of State’s database, as of Aug. 15.
Largest Prop 26 Contributions
|San Manuel Band of Mission Indians||$25,000,000||Feb. 2, 2022|
|San Manuel Band of Mission Indians||$25,000,000||July 18 2022|
|Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria||$20,000,000||July 21, 2022|
|Pechanga Band of Indians||$10,000,000||June 21, 2022|
|Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation||$10,000,000||June 21, 2022|
|Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians of the Rincon Reservation||$10,000,000||Feb. 2, 2022|
|Barona Band of Mission Indians||$5,000,000||July 6, 2022|
|Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians||$5,000,000||June 22, 2022|
|Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria||$5,000,000||May 26, 2022|
|Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria||$5,000,000||July 6, 2022|
|Pechanga Band of Indians||$5,000,000||April 26, 2022|
|Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation||$5,000,000||April 1, 2022|
|Barona Band of Mission Indians||$5,000,000||Feb. 18, 2022|
|Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians||$5,000,000||Feb. 11, 2022|
|Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation||$5,000,000||Feb. 8, 2022|
California tribes dominate the list of largest contributions in support of Prop 26. In fact, the 15 donations that have totaled $5 million, $10 million, $20 million, or $25 million have all come from CA tribes.
That comes as no surprise, given that Prop 26 would allow California sports betting only in-person at tribal casinos and the state’s four horse racetracks: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields, and Los Alamitos Race Course.
The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians lead the way with two $25 million donations from Feb. 2, 2022, and July 18, 2022. The tribe runs Yaamava’ Resort Casino (formerly known as San Manuel Casino), the largest casino in California.
The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria had a $20 million pledge on July 21, 2022. The tribe runs Graton Resort & Casino, a 534,000-square foot casino resort 9 miles south of Santa Rosa that is set to add 144,000 square feet of gaming space, 221 hotel rooms, and a 3,500-seat theater in the near future.
The Pechanga Band of Indians (Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula), Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation (Cache Creek Casino in Brooks), and Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians of the Rincon Reservation (Harrah’s Resort Southern California in Valley Center) each contributed $10 million.
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The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria also had two $5 million donations. The Pechanga Band of Indians and the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation each chipped in $5 million more apiece.
Then, three other California tribes have combined for five $5 million donations. Those tribes also run casinos:
- Barona Band of Mission Indians (Barona Resort & Casino in Lakeside) — $5 million donations on Feb. 18, 2022, and July 6, 2022
- Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (three casinos in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Cathedral City) — $5 million donations on Feb. 11, 2022, and June 22, 2022
- Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation (Sycuan Casino in El Cajon) — $5 million donation on April 1, 2022
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Where Would Tax Money Go Under Prop 26?
Prop 26 includes no provision for online and mobile sports betting. Supporters contend that tax revenue from legal sports betting will be used to improve schools, wildfire prevention, problem gambling programs, and gambling enforcement control.
Prop 26 is backed by 80 tribal and non-tribal organizations, according to a June 22 press release from the Yes on 26 — Stand With Indian Tribes campaign.
“The revenue generated by this measure will bring tens of millions of dollars each year to our state budget and local governments alike,” American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California President Tracy Stanhoff said in the release. “It will also support tens of thousands of jobs. It’s a win for tribes and all Californians.”
Largest Prop 27 Contributions
|Betfair Interactive US LLC d/b/a FanDuel Sportsbook||$16,667,000||Aug. 31, 2021|
|BetMGM LLC||$16,667,000||Aug. 31, 2021|
|CrownGaming Inc. d/b/a DraftKings||$16,666,667||Aug. 30, 2021|
|Penn Interactive Ventures||$12,500,000||Aug. 30, 2021|
|Penn Interactive Ventures||$12,500,000||July 21, 2022|
|FBG Enterprises Opco, LLC||$12,500,000||July 20, 2022|
|FBG Enterprises, LLC||$12,500,000||Aug. 31, 2021|
|WSI US LLC||$12,500,000||Aug. 31, 2021|
|Bally's Interactive LLC||$12,500,000||Aug. 30, 2021|
|BetMGM LLC||$8,333,000||July 20, 2022|
|Betfair Interactive US LLC d/b/a FanDuel Sportsbook||$8,333,000||July 15, 2022|
|CrownGaming Inc. d/b/a DraftKings||$8,333,333||July 12, 2022|
|California Commerce Club, Inc.||$5,000,000||May 13, 2022|
|California Commerce Club, Inc.||$4,000,000||Dec. 22, 2021|
|Hawaiian Gardens Casino||$3,000,000||Dec. 3, 2021|
|Hawaiian Gardens Casino||$3,000,000||June 8, 2022|
Major sportsbook operators including DraftKings (CrownGaming Inc.), BetMGM, and FanDuel (Belfair Interactive US) are behind Prop 27. Each of those sportsbooks added $16.7 million to the Prop 27 war chest last August, and each obviously want to launch their own Golden State platform — such as DraftKings California.
Barstool Sportsbook (PENN Gaming) and Fanatics (FGB Enterprises), a sports clothing brand trying to break into sports betting, each contributed $12.5 million twice. WynnBET (WSI US) and Bally Bet (Bally’s Interactive) also made $12.5 million contributions.
Then, BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel have also added $8.3 million contributions.
It comes as no surprise that the 12 biggest donations in support of Prop 27 have come from sportsbooks. These sportsbooks stand to gain ridiculous amounts of money from a potential California sports betting market that would be the biggest and most lucrative in the US — probably by far.
Commerce Casino (California Commerce Club) also chipped in $5 million and $4 million. Hawaiian Gardens Casino donated $3 million twice. Those are two of Southern California’s largest card rooms — a group that is strongly opposed to Prop 26. In fact, their donations were marked specifically in opposition to Prop 26, not necessarily in support of Prop 27.
Where Would Tax Money Go Under Prop 27?
Prop 27, if passed, will allow online and mobile sports betting. Supporters of Prop 27 contend that their ballot initiative will help end homelessness in California. In early July, Adimpact Politics reported that Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support placed $20 million on ads supporting Prop 27.
California contends with serious homeless problems. Prop 27 provisions include 85% of the money generated from the sports betting tax would will be earmarked for the fight against homelessness.
“California needs to think big if we are going to be serious about tackling homelessness, and this initiative does just that,” Elise Buik, president and CEO of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, said in a statement. “It could provide hundreds of millions each year in funding for proven solutions that help people experiencing homelessness come off the streets and into housing with supportive services.”
Both of the proposed initiatives will appear on the California ballot on Nov. 8.