• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Sports Betting Trounced at California Polls

  • California voters resoundingly rejected two propositions that would have legalized sports betting.
  • Prop 27 was the most expensive ballot measure in state history.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

California resoundingly rejected two ballot measures that would have legalized sports betting.

With 42% of the vote counted, Proposition 26, which would have legalized sports betting on tribal lands and at race tracks, had been rejected by 70.4% of voters. Prop 27, which would have legalized mobile sports betting, was doing even worse, with 83.3% of voters saying no.

  • The committee supporting Prop 27, which received major funding from DraftKings, FanDuel, and Penn National Gaming, raised $170.2 million to the opposition’s $238.1 million
  • Prop 27 was the most expensive ballot measure in state history.
  • Prop 26 supporters raised $121 million to the opposition’s $43.9 million.

“The industry spectacularly messed this up,” Gambling.com Group CEO Charles Gillespie told Front Office Sports, citing Prop 27 campaign messaging that focused on homelessness funding with little mention of sports betting.

What’s Next?

California could still legalize sports betting through its legislature.

“The large commercial sportsbooks are going to have a few private conversations with the tribes and try to strike a deal,” said Gillespie. “If they can’t, you’ll have another ballot initiative in 2024, and the commercial sportsbooks are potentially going to be a lot less deferential to the tribes.” 

Gillespie noted that some sportsbook company CEOs are likely “relieved that California is not regulated,” because launching in the nation’s most populous state would be very expensive. 

Sports betting is legal in some form in 33 states, per Action Network, with some still sorting out regulations and lawsuits.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Historic Premier League Season Closes As U.S. Influence Expands

Man City can expect to receive roughly $79 million from the EPL’s system of merit payments.

WNBA’s Boom Time: Record Growth, Clark’s Debut, a Controversial Deal

League attendance is up by nearly a third, while the Liberty set a single-game ticketing record.

‘This Is Semi-Pro’: Inside One Arena Football League Team’s Collapse

The collapse of the Georgia Force, as told by the players who lived it.
Michael Block signs autographs on the 18th hole during day three of practice for the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

‘I Prefer It This Way’: How Life Works for PGA Club Pros

Here’s how life works for the qualifiers at golf’s second major.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

The Next Era of the Harlem Globetrotters


Featured Today

February 5, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; The grounds of the Capitol Building empty out following the conclusion of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019.

‘A Breathtaking Lobbying Campaign’: The NCAA’s Sophisticated Effort to Save Amateurism

Inside the carefully coordinated, multimillion-dollar operation to end the athletes’ rights era.
May 14, 2024

The WNBA Was Forged in Houston. Why Won’t It Go Back There?

Houston’s a perfect fit for expansion. The league isn’t considering it yet.
May 9, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) stands with the team during the national anthem on Thursday, May 9, 2024, during the preseason game against the Atlanta Dream at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
May 12, 2024

‘Perfect Storm’: The Rise of Local WNBA Broadcast Pacts

With national attention reaching new heights, regional coverage could dictate the future.
Mar 29, 2023; New York, New York, USA; American actors and comedians Chris Rock (left) and Ben Stiller sit court side during the third quarter between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden.
May 11, 2024

The Haves and Have-Nots: How the Knicks’ Celebrity Row Works

Unwritten rules, an expectation of quid pro quo, and nothing is free.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers

MLB Officially Investigating Gambling Allegations Against Ohtani’s Close Friend and Longtime Teammate

David Fletcher reportedly used the same bookmaker as Ohtani’s former interpreter.
May 7, 2024

Commissioners Grapple with Power Limits Amid Sports Betting Boom

The NBA’s Adam Silver acknowledges ‘we only have so much control.’
May 8, 2024

Former Ohtani Interpreter Pleading Guilty to Bank Fraud, False Tax Return

Ippei Mizuhara faces up to 33 years in federal prison for his crimes.

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.
Mystic Dan
May 6, 2024

Kentucky Derby Roars Back With Big TV Numbers, Inks NBC Extension

The Triple Crown horse race posts an extended set of audience and betting increases.
May 5, 2024

Can ESPN Bet Get on Solid Footing Before Football Season?

Penn Entertainment missed its quarterly estimates.
May 2, 2024

ESPN’s Pat McAfee Jokes About ESPN Bet’s Poor Performance

‘You get knocked down, you come back!’ he said.
May 1, 2024

New Report Shows How Bookie Laundered Ohtani’s Stolen Cash

Ohtani’s stolen money wound up in a Las Vegas casino.