Sports betting legislation is a heated discussion in California, with several stakeholders arguing how the services should be provided. Tribes, gambling companies, and card rooms all want a piece of the pie. Propositions 26 and 27 are on the table, each going against the other on the November ballot. Hundreds of millions have been spent to try and find support for the measures and according to a new poll, it may all be for naught.

UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies recently released the findings of a new poll. The poll was co-sponsored by The Times, and it shows that there is a small chance that voters will approve either measure connected to sports betting this fall.

Negative Ads Having the Wrong Impact

Supporters of both measures have spent in total, over $400 million on advertising for the ballot measures. As part of the effort, negative ads have been blasted on television and anywhere else that proponents could find. This seems have to have had the opposite effect that shareholders envisioned.

Mark DiCamillo, the Berkeley IGS poll director, stated that it seems negative advertisements are turning voters away from the prospects of legalized sports betting. People who have not seen the ads are evenly divided on the topic, but those who have seen them are against it. Advertising does not seem to be helping the cause.

Viewers appear to be frustrated with the back and forth, for those who have seen the ads. It similar to a political smear campaign. When voters see negative ad after negative, it turns them off of the subject and many decide not to vote at all just due to frustration.

Details of the Measures

Each bill would allow various forms of sports betting in California. Proposition 26 would allow tribal casinos to offer in-person betting along with horse race tracks. From the poll, only 31% were in support with 42% opposed. The survey consisted of just under 7,000 voters. Proposition 27 focuses on online sports betting. This measure saw even less support at 27%, with 53% of those surveyed opposed.

Residents of California have been hit hard with advertisements involving the sports betting measures and spending has been astronomical. Previous state campaign spending records have never been as high as this one.

The negative effect can be seen even further by reviewing the details of a February poll taking by Berkeley IGS. Back then, Californians were in favor of sports betting. However, now that there are two competing measures, it seems to be making it more difficult to pass.

Proposition 26 is backed by four Native American tribes of California. A 10% tax would be placed on betting with funds going toward gambling addiction treatment. A coalition of over 30 tribes are in support of the measure.

Proposition 27 is backed by companies like DraftKings and FanDuel. If passed, the companies involved in the industry would need to team up with a tribe in the state and provide $100 million for licensing.