These Groups Have Donated the Most Money to Prop 26 and Prop 27 So Far

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

GroupAmountDate
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians$25,000,000Feb. 2, 2022
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians$25,000,000July 18 2022
Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria$20,000,000July 21, 2022
Pechanga Band of Indians$10,000,000June 21, 2022
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation$10,000,000June 21, 2022
Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians of the Rincon Reservation$10,000,000Feb. 2, 2022
Barona Band of Mission Indians$5,000,000July 6, 2022
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians$5,000,000June 22, 2022
Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria$5,000,000May 26, 2022
Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria$5,000,000July 6, 2022
Pechanga Band of Indians$5,000,000April 26, 2022
Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation $5,000,000April 1, 2022
Barona Band of Mission Indians $5,000,000Feb. 18, 2022
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians $5,000,000Feb. 11, 2022
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation$5,000,000Feb. 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 sports betting only in-person at tribal casinos and California’s four horse racetracks: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields, and Los Alamitos Race Course.

TALKING MONEY: Prop 26 vs. Prop 27 and … ? The 4 Most Expensive Ballot Battles in CA History

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.

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

BIG NORCAL CITY SAYS NO: 3rd-Largest CA City Urges Residents to Vote No on Prop 26 and Prop 27

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

GroupAmountDate
Betfair Interactive US LLC d/b/a FanDuel Sportsbook$16,667,000Aug. 31, 2021
BetMGM LLC$16,667,000Aug. 31, 2021
CrownGaming Inc. d/b/a DraftKings$16,666,667Aug. 30, 2021
Penn Interactive Ventures$12,500,000Aug. 30, 2021
Penn Interactive Ventures$12,500,000July 21, 2022
FBG Enterprises Opco, LLC$12,500,000July 20, 2022
FBG Enterprises, LLC$12,500,000Aug. 31, 2021
WSI US LLC$12,500,000Aug. 31, 2021
Bally's Interactive LLC$12,500,000Aug. 30, 2021
BetMGM LLC$8,333,000July 20, 2022
Betfair Interactive US LLC d/b/a FanDuel Sportsbook$8,333,000July 15, 2022
CrownGaming Inc. d/b/a DraftKings$8,333,333July 12, 2022
California Commerce Club, Inc.$5,000,000May 13, 2022
California Commerce Club, Inc.$4,000,000Dec. 22, 2021
Hawaiian Gardens Casino$3,000,000Dec. 3, 2021
Hawaiian Gardens Casino$3,000,000June 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. 

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.

THAT SOON?! Under Prop 27, California Online Sports Betting Could Launch By September 2023

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.

About the Author

Kris Johnson

Kris Johnson is a Senior Writer at Gaming Today with more than 15 years of experience as a sports journalist. Kris' work has appeared in Sports Business Daily, Sports Business Journal, NASCAR Illustrated, and more. Kris also authored a sports betting novel entitled The Endgame.