California GOP Declares Opposing Stance on Proposition 27

  • California now has bipartisan support against Proposition 27
  • External gaming giants and entities want Proposition 27 to pass on the upcoming ballot
  • Republicans also oppose other sports betting measures, while Democrats are neutral
  • The WSJ estimated that the fight for Prop. 27 could be the most expensive political battle
California flag
California Republicans are against Proposition 27 and the expansion of online sports betting. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Bipartisan protests

California’s Republican Party will join the Democratic Party in opposing Proposition 27 and other sports betting measures. 

demonstrating an increasingly rare form of bipartisan agreement

The Democrats have been against sports betting options, most notably Proposition 27, for a long while. In aligning with the opposing party, California politicians are demonstrating an increasingly rare form of bipartisan agreement.

Voters will have the opportunity to weigh in during the November elections when Proposition 27 and other similar initiatives will be on the ballot.

Debating Proposition 27 

California’s GOP revealed its sports betting position as part of the unveiling of its stance on seven key issues. Its stance on Proposition 27, which would open the door to the most external infiltration of the betting market, could prove to be the most important. 

The highly-debated proposal would also allow Californians to place mobile and online wagers. 

Gambling giants such as FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings, and others are pushing for Proposition 27. If approved, they would be allowed to set up their operations in what figures to be one of the two biggest gambling states.

Major League Baseball also recently revealed that it strongly supports the legalization of Proposition 27. There has not been universal support for such a divisive topic, however.

Community groups and local businesses have also spoken against what they feel is an invasive measure.

Many of California’s native tribes are rallying against the proposal for fear of losing their sovereignty. As it stands, they are in control of all gambling operations in the state and could lose a massive share of the market. Community groups and local businesses have also spoken against what they feel is an invasive measure.

On the flip side, many of the disenthused groups are supporting Proposition 26, which would legalize in-person wagering. Locals would be able to place their bets at tribal-run casinos and racetracks.

However, California Republicans also oppose Proposition 26. The Democrats, despite being strongly against Proposition 27, have remained neutral on this topic.

Changes in the landscape

The debate and eventual resolution over Proposition 27 will largely determine the trajectory of the state economy and market. For operators, California serves as one of the biggest potential sources of revenue generation. For the state, sports betting would provide another booming offering to its endless entertainment.

Nevertheless, voters will have to get past the wishes of both parties to legalize it.  

Jessica Millan Patterson, Chairwoman of the California Republican Party, opposes Proposition 27 because of the effect it will have on the tribes.

“Prop. 27 breaks the promise made to California’s Native American tribes to grant them the sovereign right to operate gaming in California in order to improve the lives of their communities across the state,” she said. “We stand with California tribes and oppose Prop 27.”

the battle over Proposition 27 would be “the most expensive political battle this year”

The GOP’s stance was a massive victory for the anti-gambling crowd, which had started to give out under the influence of wealthy interested groups. The Wall Street Journal estimated earlier this year that the battle over Proposition 27 would be “the most expensive political battle this year.”

Projections from research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming LLC estimated that a California betting market could turn $3.57bn in revenue if in-person and online gambling are legalized. The debate will ultimately be put to rest once the November ballot turns up.