New $2.5 Million Donation Shows CA Tribes Still Think Prop 26 Can Pass

If we’re judging by dollars, Prop 26 backers still believe the California sports betting initiative can pass on Nov. 8.

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, which owns Cache Creek Casino Resort, donated $2.5 million to the Prop 26 campaign on Oct. 21. That was the largest contribution to Prop 26 since Oct. 7, when the Pechanga Band of Indians donated $5 million.

With the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation’s contribution, funding for the Prop 26 campaign has reached $120.7 million as of Oct. 25. (If that seems like a small number, that’s because No on 27 — which involves many of the same backers as Yes on 26 — has raised $117 million for a grand total of $237.7 million between the two.)

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Although spending has slowed on Prop 26 as the election nears and polling indicates it’s a longshot to pass, $2.5 million is by no means a small amount. It shows there is still belief among those who support the ballot measure that it has a shot to pass.

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation has now donated $22.9 million in support of Prop 26. Cache Creek Casino Resort, located 45 miles west of Sacramento, is one of the 10 biggest casinos in California. It already offers 2,300 slot machines, 120 table games, a 14-table poker room, and 74,720 square feet of gaming space. It would benefit greatly from adding a retail sportsbook.

Will Prop 26 Pass in California?

Prop 26 would legalize in-person sports betting at any of California’s 67 Indian casinos and its four licensed horse racetracks: Santa Anita Park, Del Mar Racetrack, Los Alamitos Race Course, and Golden Gate Fields.

Recent polling from SurveyUSA suggests there’s a chance it can pass next month. In the poll, 43% of likely California voter respondents said they supported Prop 26, and only 32% said they opposed it. If these results are accurate, Prop 26 needs to only close a 7% gap between now and Nov. 8.

However, earlier polling from September paints a grimmer picture. In a poll conducted by UC Berkeley, 42% of likely California voters said they opposed Prop 26.

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.