California Republicans To Oppose Both Retail And Online Sports Betting Measures

California Republicans To Oppose Both Retail And Online Sports Betting Measures

California’s Republican Party has revealed its stance on Proposition 26 and Proposition 27, two ballot initiatives seeking to legalize sports betting in the state. Prop 26, a measure backed by the majority of tribes in the state, would legalize in-person wagering at tribal casinos and racetracks; while Prop 27, supported by a coalition of sportsbooks, would legalize online sports betting. The Golden State’s GOP is moving to oppose both measures.

In a rare case of bipartisan support, California’s Republican Party is joining its Democratic counterpart in being against Prop 27. The Republican Party’s stance was made public as the GOP formally announced its position on seven proposals that Californians are set to vote on this November, among them the two sports betting measures. In comparison, the Democratic Party only opposes Prop 27.

With the two primary sports betting initiatives on the November ballot, and little time left, the feud between these two initiatives continues to rise, with the pushes behind them likely to turn this into the state’s most expensive political campaign ever. And while both proposals have now been opposed by the state’s GOP, Proposition 27 -which has the backing of a number of major operators, including FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM- seems to have received the harshest criticism from the party.

“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,” said Jessica Millan Patterson, Chairwoman of the California Republican Party, on the party’s decision against the measure. “We stand with California tribes and oppose Prop 27.”

— CAGOP (@CAGOP) August 19, 2022 However, despite this tentative support for the tribes, California’s Republican Party does not only oppose Proposition 27, but is also against Prop 26 as well. This shows a contrast with the state’s Democratic Party, which moved in July to oppose Prop 27 while opting to remain neutral on the tribal-backed initiative.

The parties’ stances on these competing measures give voters a guide on which way to vote when they appear on ballots in November. However, there remains to be seen if voters take the parties’ recommendations on sports betting when the time comes.

“Voters are with Republicans on the ideas, and with our final ballot initiative positions now in place, we are ready to put in the work to ensure that voters are with us again this November,” added Patterson. “From now until polls close, we will be talking to voters about these important initiatives.”

Tribal gaming interests in the state were quick to respond to the GOP’s position, with the tribal-backed political committee Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming issuing a statement Friday in which it noted that both major parties were in unison on Prop 27. In the statement, the group included remarks from both party’s chairs claiming the online measure hurts tribes.

Still, Proposition 27 still has a number of supporters for its cause. Earlier this month, sportsbooks scored a key supporter for their online legalization proposal with Major League Baseball (MLB), which issued a statement praising the ballot initiative.

“As legalized sports betting continues to expand across the country, Major League Baseball remains committed to protecting the integrity of its games and creating a safe experience for fans who wish to wager on those games,” MLB said in a statement. “Proposition 27 – the only measure on California’s upcoming ballot that would authorize and regulate online sports betting – includes strong integrity provisions designed to help MLB carry out those commitments.”