California Poll Reveals 45% of Voters Would Support Sports Betting on November Ballot

  • Around 45% of Californians support betting, 33% oppose it, and 22% are undecided
  • Three sports betting measures could turn up on the statewide ballot in November
  • One tribal initiative would allow retail betting, another would allow online wagering
  • California could generate over $3bn a year in betting revenue, says one analyst
Figurines of people with speech bubbles
Some industry analysts have predicted a 2023 betting market launch for California, and attention has now shifted to the November ballot after a poll revealed 45% of voters in the state would support a betting proposal. [Image: Shutterstock]

Californians want their say

The University of California’s Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies has released the findings of a poll into sports betting support in the state. That research suggests that there are significantly more sports betting proponents in the state than there are opponents.

22% said they are undecided

A majority 45% of California voters indicated that they would support the amendment of the state constitution to accommodate sports betting. Those against such a proposal made up around 33% of the participants, while 22% said they are undecided.

Los Angeles Times Sacramento bureau chief John Myers shared news of the poll on Twitter:

Co-director of the institute, Eric Schickler, said in the poll release that in the current era it “is rare […] for a political issue to not be seen as partisan. But legalizing sports betting in California appears to be one of them, at least for the time being,” he added.

Battle for California

This latest poll suggests sports betting has the support of the people, but Californians may have to decide which horse to back in the race. Three sports betting ballot measures, each a different business model, could turn up on the statewide ballot later this year. They are backed by rival parties ready to splash record amounts of campaign cash.

A measure to legalize retail sports wagering at tribal casinos and state horse racetracks is the only wagering proposal to have already qualified for the November ballot. It would legalize retail wagering only at tribal casinos and the state’s four horse racetracks.

contributed a combined $100m to the campaign

The second initiative is backed by a coalition of national gaming firms fronted by DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel. They are aiming to legalize online wagering through an open market. In September, records showed the firms had contributed a combined $100m to the campaign.

The sportsbook coalition’s initiative got up the nose of some tribes, prompting them to introduce a third proposal that would grant tribal casinos the right to add online wagering operations.

A high market potential

All states sharing a border with California have already launched sports betting markets. Should California join the party, it would immediately sit at the top of the table.

According to a national gaming research firm analyst cited by The Times, California could generate over $3bn a year in sports betting revenue from a legal wagering market.

Yahoo Finance took to Twitter Tuesday to share an interview with Wall Street analyst for Oppenheimer & Co, Jed Kelly, who believes legal California sports betting would be a sportsbook’s dream: