California would be a sports betting goldmine for someone.
Hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of political advertising is being spent in California during this year’s election cycle but it is not for any Gubernatorial, Senate or House race. The money is going into advertising in an attempt to get Californians to approve legalized sports gambling. There are two propositions on the ballot. Proposition 26, would let people wager on sporting events in person at retail locations, casinos operated by tribes and the state’s four licensed horse racing tracks. Proposition 27 is backed by DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel and other national sports betting operators. The proposal would change state law to allow online sports betting for adults over the internet and on phones or other mobile devices. This is a gold rush for someone. Sports gambling is now legal in 31 states and the District of Columbia, according to the American Gaming Association.
The California Republican Party opposes both proposals. State Democrats oppose Proposition 27. Major League Baseball is backing Proposition 27. Why would Major League Baseball weigh in on a California gambling bill? That is simple, BetMGM is MLB’s gambling partner and provides data usage in sports betting, promotion across MLB-owned media platforms, domestic and international activations at MLB events. MLB has an interest in making sure the right proposal wins as it could mean more money flowing into the baseball industry. But it is unclear if Californians actually want legalized sports betting. The Public Policy Institute of California found that Prop 27 polling is not going MLB’s way as 54 percent are opposed to the measure while just 34 percent are in favor. California has been a gambling holdout in the four years since the Supreme Court of the United States allowed states and the District of Columbia to implement some form of sports gambling. At one time sports leagues were against sports gambling.
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