Betting on the Ballot Box

On Monday, another sports betting ballot measure qualified for the November ballot.  This one, sponsored by gaming giants Fan Duel, DraftKings, and BetMGM, would open the doors for companies to offer sports betting in California.  But it won’t be the only measure on the ballot asking voters if they want to legalize online sports betting. The other measure that’s qualified is backed by Native American tribes.  So, what’s the difference and why do we have two on the ballot?

The measure backed by Native American tribes, known as the “California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act,” would allow tribal casinos and horse racing tracks to offer sports betting along with casinos offering roulette and dice games.  The measure backed by gaming giants (Fan Duel, Draft Kings, BetMGM), known as the “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Act,” would legalize online sports betting beyond the borders of Native American land IF they partner with a tribe.  

Confused?  Just wait as there will be no shortage of commercials enticing voters on how to vote.  Experts believe the two measures could shatter records for the amount of money spent on campaigns.  Even if hundreds of millions are spent on voter outreach, it pales in comparison to the estimated $3.5 billion the industry could earn annually from California betters.

Needless to say, all bets are off as to who will prevail…or, if they’ll both prevail, and if so, what does that look like?

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