Two more California education organizations came out on Wednesday against Prop 27, the measure that would legalize online sports betting in the state.
The California Federation of Teachers and the Association of California School Administrators both announced they oppose the ballot initiative. Their move comes weeks after the California Teachers Association made a similar announcement.
“Research shows online and mobile sports betting is highly addictive, especially for youth and other vulnerable communities,” said Jeff Freitas, president of CFT, in a press release.
California voters face two very different choices when it comes to sports betting this November.
Prop 27, which is backed by major sports book operators, would allow for mobile sports betting throughout California. Proceeds from the measure would benefit homelessness and mental health programs in the state.
Many California tribes oppose Prop 27 because it would take a bite out of their profits. Under existing state law, tribes have a near-monopoly on all gaming activities in California. Some non-gaming tribes, however, have endorsed Prop 27. Under the terms of the proposal, 15% of the adjusted gross revenue would go toward California’s non-gaming tribes.
Prop 26, the other measure, would allow for sports betting at retail establishments throughout the state. Most of these are on tribal lands, but there are also four horse racetracks in California. Prop 26 would not allow for mobile sports betting.
Opponents to Prop 27 Highlight Youth Gambling Concerns
California is the most populous state in the US, with nearly 40 million people. It has more than 23 million adults 21 and over. This population is seen as the holy grail for sports betting enthusiasts. If approved, either through Prop 26 or Prop 27, California sports betting would be the country’s biggest market — probably by far.
When included with the CTA, the three education groups who have publicly opposed Prop 27 represent nearly 450,000 adults in California.
The outward opposition to the measure doesn’t mean all 450,000 must vote that way. Instead, the opposition, voted on by the various groups’ leadership, is viewed as a recommendation.
“Cell phones and mobile devices have become a way of life for even our youngest children,” said Erin M. Simon, president of the Association of School Administrators, in the press release. “Proposition 27 would turn virtually every cell phone, laptop and tablet into a gambling device giving youth unprecedented access to gambling at their fingertips.
“Our communities should be focused on protecting children and the danger Proposition 27 poses for youth cannot be understated.”
Sportsbooks Refute Claims Prop 27 Would Cause Youth Gambling Problems
Prop 27 refutes the claim that it would give kids access to gambling. On the “Get The Facts” section of Prop 27’s website, it says the measure would require sportsbook operators to use “most modern and proven know-your-customer technology, akin to the advanced systems utilized by global financial institutions” to ensure all users are 21 or older.