On Wednesday, an independent gambling expert said he believes Prop 26 and Prop 27 both won’t pass this November. That would delay legalization of sports betting in California to 2024 at the earliest.
Adam Krejcik, partner at independent research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, posted a tweet late Wednesday in which he cast further doubt on the chances of success for Prop 26 and Prop 27. Prop 27, which would legalize online sports betting, is seen as a major longshot to pass in the California election. Prop 26, which would legalize in-person sports betting at California Indian casinos and licensed horse racetracks, has a better shot. But it, too, has become an underdog.
“Bottom line, we don’t think Prop 26 or 27 passes,” Krejcik wrote in his tweet promoting his appearance on CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith, “but will sides come together and get something done in 2024?”
Are Prop 26 and Prop 27 Doomed to Fail?
Krejcik’s tweet is the latest in a series of signs Californians might not get sports betting soon after all. His research firm released a report in August that gave both measures “less than 50%” chance of passing. In mid-September, the Public Policy Institute of California released polling that said 54% of likely California voters plan to vote no on Prop 27.
And earlier this week, crypto prediction market Polymarket listed markets on the likelihood of Prop 26 or Prop 27 passing. As of Thursday morning, with market prices translated to percentage of potential voters, 74% believe Prop 27 will fail and 64% believe Prop 26 will fail.
According to an August survey conducted by California Casinos, 61% of Californians interested in sports betting want both Prop 26 and Prop 27 to pass. And if they had to choose one, 60% preferred private companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel run California sportsbooks over the tribes.
However, California’s tribes have rallied behind defeating Prop 27. So have the California Democratic Party and California Republican Party. That appears to be working, despite seven US sportsbooks pouring more than $169 million into the Prop 27 campaign.
“Historically the tribes in California have had a lot of political clout and they’re continuing to flex their muscles here,” Krejcik said in his appearance on The News with Shepard Smith.
Will Tribes and Sportsbooks Come Together in 2024?
That’s what Krejcik seemed to suggest was necessary in his tweet. Otherwise, could we see the two sides beat each other up so they both wind up losing again?
Three California tribes are currently trying to get a tribal-led California online sports betting initiative on the 2024 ballot. The tribes are: . They haven’t yet received the minimum amount of verified signatures. So they still have work to do to get on the 2024 ballot.
But if both Prop 26 and Prop 27 fail this November, could that plan be scrapped for another one that California tribes and US sportsbooks can both put their full weight behind? The answer might come down to tribes’ willingness to relinquish some control on the California gambling market, which they have a near-monopoly over.
“They’re the stewards of gaming,” Krejcik said on CNBC. “And I think they really want it to be done on their terms.”
Krejcik is also a board member for Catena Media. California Casinos is part of the Catena Media network.