California Prop 27 Ad Spending Ranks 4th-Most Among All Midterm Elections

The money spent so far on ads for and against the two California sports betting initiatives, Prop 26 and Prop 27, is more than most of the congressional and gubernatorial races throughout the country. That’s according to a new analysis of ad spending for the 2022 midterm elections from AdAge and Kantar/CMAG.

AdAge and Kantar/CMAG looked at ad money spent from Dec. 28, 2021 to July 25, 2022. During that time, ads for or against Prop 27 added up to $118 million. That’s of the top five most expensive campaigns among all elections in the US. For reference, that $118 million is more than 1/5 of the total money spent on House of Representatives campaigns. It’s well more than the $87 million spent by the Democrats’ House Majority PAC.

Here’s some more perspective: The five most expensive House races combined add up to $82 million.

The ad money spent for or against Prop 27 is the fourth-most among all campaigns in the country. Only Senate races in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Arizona have spent more.

Prop 27 is backed by the mobile sportsbook operator-led Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support. It’s opposed by Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming and the Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming.

CA SPORTS BETTING: An Insider’s Guide to Potential Sports Betting Revenue in California

What About Prop 26 Ad Spending?

As or Prop 26, AdAge and Kantar/CMAG found that $100 million had been spent on ads for and against the tribal-backed initiative. That brings the total ad spend for Prop 26 and Prop 27 to $218 million. That’s almost as much as the $242 million Democrats have spent on all House of Representatives campaigns.

Prop 26 is backed by a group called the Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming. It’s opposed mainly by Taxpayers Against Special Interest Monopolies.

Prop 27 would allow online and mobile sports betting in California. It is backed by the country’s top mobile sportsbooks, including DraftKingsFanDuel, and BetMGM. Three California tribes support Prop 27, but the vast majority of California’s tribes back Prop 26.

Prop 26 and Prop 27, Explained

Prop 26 would allow sports betting only in-person at California’s tribal casinos and horse racetracks. It would not allow online sports betting. That would leave the likes of DraftKings and FanDuel out of the massive California sports betting market — at least initially.

If both Prop 26 and Prop 27 pass, we’ll likely see a legal battle. The two initiatives directly contradict each other, in that Prop 26 does not allow online sports betting while Prop 27 does.

About the Author

Matthew Bain

Matthew Bain started as News Editor and Content Manager at California Casinos in 2022. Before that, he spent six years as a sports reporter and then deputy sports editor for the Des Moines Register, during which time he won nine statewide journalism awards, including the Genevieve Mauck Stoufer Outstanding Young Iowa Journalists Award. As deputy sports editor, Matthew oversaw the Register's recruiting coverage while also innovating the outlet's high school sports coverage. Matthew graduated from San Diego State and grew up in California, but he's somehow a Boston Celtics fan. Long story.