The odds that California voters will approve either of the two legalized sports betting referendums on the ballot in November are getting longer, according to a gaming industry expert.
The two competing measures — one that allows betting only on tribal lands, and another that provides an online option — are drawing big-moneyed lobbyists who may divide voters, according to a report published Wednesday for clients by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, an independent research and consulting firm.
“The political power and deep pockets of interests with dogs in this hunt … together with competing sports betting measures whose back-to-back presentation on the ballot is likely to confuse voters have us leaning negative on California’s sports betting legalization prospects this fall,” the report said.
“We preliminarily put the odds of one or both measures passing at less than 50%,” it added.
If either of the two are approved, California could quickly become the biggest sports betting market — boosting companies like DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM.
Annual gross gaming revenue could exceed $3 billion a year, more than double New York’s, Eilers said.
The sports betting companies are among those backing Prop 27, otherwise known as the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Act, which would legalize online betting throughout the state in partnership with Native American tribes.
Critics of the bill fear it makes it too easy for anyone under 21 to bet on games.
Prop 26, the California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act, allows those 21 and over to place bets only in-person on tribal land.
Major League Baseball supports the broader referendum.
“MLB believes that Prop 27 has the safeguards to create a safe and responsible online sports betting market in California — a state with millions of MLB fans looking for alternatives to illegal offshore betting sites,” the league said.
Legalized sports betting, once limited to Las Vegas, has been approved in more than half the country, with 21 states allowing for online wagering.
Source: New York Post
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