Survey Shows California Tribes Winning As Prop 27 Support Declines

Written By J.R. Duren on October 3, 2022
Commercial options to California sports betting looking grim according to survey findings

The gambling fight over California has been nothing short of a war, and recent signs indicate the state’s tribes are winning.

The results from a recent survey as well as changes to Proposition 27’s advertising indicate that Proposition 26, which would allow retail sports betting in California on tribal land and at horse tracks, is winning with voters.

And that’s a big win for the state’s tribes, too, because an overwhelming majority of them support Prop 26. The main Prop 26 site notes:

“A growing coalition led by California tribes is urging a YES vote on PROP 26, a November 2022 ballot measure to allow highly regulated in-person sports wagering at tribal casinos and four licensed horse racing tracks.”

Prop 27 support is weak according to survey

Over the past few months, pollsters have been doing their best to predict what will happen with California sports betting when Prop 26 and Prop 27 go to voters this November.

The results have been all over the board:

  • More than 90% of the state’s tribes support Prop 26
  • A recent survey from Eilers & Krejick Gaming indicates neither proposition will pass
  • State and city politicians have voiced their support and opposition to both propositions
  • A Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll shows 54% of voters would vote “no” on 27

The PPIC poll is a significant one. PPIC is an independent agency, and its survey this past month is the most recent reliable one.

Not only did it find that a majority of voters would vote “no” on 27, but it also found that just 34% would vote “yes.”

What’s missing from the PPIC survey is voters’ thoughts on Prop 26. So, while we know that California voters may be against Prop 27, what’s unknown is if those same voters are for or against 26.

The Eilers & Krejcik survey would suggest that voters are also against Prop 26.

The firm found that there’s more than a 50% chance that both propositions would fail this November.

Prop 27 backers pull ads across the state

Typically, there are two ways to understand how well a proposition will do on a ballot. First, look to the voter surveys. While they aren’t perfect, they’re an invaluable way to gauge voter sentiment. Second, look to ad spending.

And to that second point, things aren’t looking good for Prop 27, according to a recent report from the San Francisco Chronicle.

The paper learned that the Prop 27 movement is pulling back most of its advertising spending in the state’s major markets. According to the paper, ads will run this month in:

  • Los Angeles
  • The Bay Area
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • Fresno

A representative for the Prop 27 campaign told the Chronicle the move isn’t a surrender; it’s a change in tactics. The campaign will reach consumers directly rather than muddying the airwaves.

California sports betting and what’s next for props 26 and 27

At this point, California sports betting is a mess. Voters may be getting tired of the deluge of TV and sports betting streaming ads. They may be confused as to which proposition promotes what.

Some may flat-out not want sports betting in their state. Knowing that, it wouldn’t be surprising if neither proposition passed. However, October is a huge month for professional sports:

  • The NFL regular season is in full swing
  • The MLB playoffs start soon
  • The NHL and the NBA regular seasons begin

The state has 15 franchises in those four leagues alone, and the fan bases of those teams may realize how much sports betting they’re missing out on.

The timing is advantageous to both propositions, but will it be enough to pass sports betting in California? We can only guess.

Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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