California sports betting propositions appear to be heading for defeat


Polling data from the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies appears to be the latest potential nail in the coffin of both California Propositions 26 and 27.

The latest Berkeley IGS poll of Californians considered likely to vote in the November general election has found each prop is “trailing by significant margins” six weeks before the public gives its final say.

With spending having exceeded $500m across the two measures, the poll found that prop 27, which would permit online and mobile sports wagering outside of tribal lands, is currently facing a majority of 53 per cent against versus 27 per cent for.

Despite trailing by a narrower margin, Prop 26, which would allow in-person roulette, dice games and sports wagering on tribal lands, still sees 42 per cent voters lining up to vote no against 31 per cent that would favour the proposal.

“These results suggest that the sports wagering initiatives are foundering in the face of the opposition advertising campaigns,” Eric Schickler, IGS Co-Director, said. 

“The lack of support among key demographic groups makes passage of each an uphill climb, at best.”

As a number of entities have lined up to oppose both submissions during recent weeks, this latest study noted that “virtually all voter subgroups are lining up on the no side on prop 27”. 

Opposition to prop 26 is also said to be “broad-based although not to the same extent,” but a “gender gap in views” is also noted with females opposing the motion by two to one while males are said to be “divided”.

The study also issued an update on how an influx of advertising has influenced decision making, stating that “a voter’s exposure to advertisements about the two initiatives also appears to be a factor, with voters who say they have seen lots of ads about props 26 and 27 voting no by wide margins, while those who have seen little or no ads are about evenly divided”.

Furthermore, voter views of Indian tribes that operate casinos and other forms of legalised gambling in California are also reported as “generally positive”. 53 per cent of voters are said to view these favourable against 19 per cent that suggested an unfavourable viewpoint.

However, this is in stark contrast to the opinions of those group’s that operate online sports betting and igaming, with DraftKings and FanDuel cited as examples. Only 14 per cent of voters offered a favourable opinion while 48 per cent hold an unfavourable viewpoint.

The findings of this poll were taken between September 22-27 among 8,725 California registered voters, which it is said includes 6,939 likely voters.