Despite Grim Outlook, DraftKings, FanDuel Funding Prop 27 in October

Private sports betting companies aren’t giving up on Prop 27 in California just yet, despite polling suggesting it has a slim-to-none chance of passing Nov. 8.

According to the California Secretary of State’s database, FanDuel and DraftKings have continued funding the Prop 27 campaign into the month of October.

On Oct. 1, DraftKings contributed $101,700 to Yes on 27. On the same day, FanDuel donated $2,000.

Of course, those amounts pale in comparison to the $34.2 million DraftKings had spent and the $35 million FanDuel had spent on Prop 27 entering October. But, still, it shows that at least these two sportsbook giants believe the California online sports betting ballot initiative has a fighting chance in the November 2022 election.

But … does it?

What Do the Polls Say About Prop 27?

Last month, the Public Policy Institute of California released polling from 1,060 likely California voters. Of those respondents, 54% said they opposed Prop 27, 34% said they favored it, and 12% were undecided on the online CA sports betting measure.

Then, earlier this week, the University of California at Berkeley released polling from 6,939 likely California voters. Of those respondents, just 31% supported Prop 26, which would legalize in-person sports betting at California Indian casinos and four licensed horse racetracks, and 27% supported Prop 27. Furthermore, 53% were opposed to Prop 27 and 42% were opposed to Prop 26, while 27% were undecided on Prop 26 and 20% were undecided on Prop 27.

The Prop 27 campaign changed its advertising strategy following the PPIC poll. It pulled most of its TV ads and switched tactics to focus on direct communication, such as online ads and mailers.

The Prop 26 campaign, meanwhile, has taken aim at California card rooms in its latest ad campaign. Card rooms (and their third-party vendors) have exclusively funded the $42.5 million No on 26 campaign.

READ MORE: Inside the Prop 27 Campaign’s to Erase 20% Gap By Nov. 8 Election

In a conversation with California Casinos, Yes on 27 spokesperson Nathan Click said the campaign remains upbeat despite grim polling results. He said the campaign will focus on stressing the measure’s ability to create jobs, increase state tax revenue, and help prevent homelessness. He said internal polling actually shows voter approval is higher for Prop 27 than Prop 26.

“We’re undaunted,” Click said. “We’re hitting the pavement, hitting the doors, hitting people’s mailboxes, mobile devices, and wherever they access the internet. So that should give you a pretty good idea.” 

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.