Prop 26: Understanding The California Sports Betting Tribal Proposal

Written By

Updated on

Prop 26

Prop 26 is one of the two options to legalize sports betting in California that will be on November’s ballot.

California voters can support retail sports betting at tribal casinos and racetracks through Prop 26, and online California sportsbooks through Prop 27.

Funding for the fight between both pro-campaigns and their opponents had already brought in more than $400 million in contributions by mid-September.

Quick hits on Prop 26

What is Prop 26?

Prop 26 is a ballot proposal that would legalize retail sports betting at tribal casinos and horse tracks throughout California for anyone 21 and older.

There would not be any betting on teams from California colleges. Prop 26 also would not allow betting on non-sporting events while Prop 27 allows betting on “competitive or novelty events.”

The four tracks would be taxed at 10% with funds going to problem gambling, mental health and sports betting regulation. Whether tribal casinos pay additional fees for offering sports betting would be addressed by their amended compacts.

Tribes would consider looking at online sports betting five or 10 years after launch, California Nations Indian Gaming Association Chair James Siva said in 2021.

Who supports Proposition 26?

There are two major campaigns concerned with Prop 26. YES on 26 has the financial backing of more than 10 tribes, along with support from multiple unions and organizations throughout the state. The main message on support has mostly focused on tribal sovereignty.

No on 26, naturally, is financially supported by cardrooms. There are also a few unions that oppose Prop 26, as those personal lawsuits could lower revenue paid to host communities, which could impact municipal jobs.

Neither of the state’s major political parties support the proposition. The Democrats are neutral on Prop 26 while the Republicans are against it.

Interestingly, the online proposal backed by top US sportsbooks like BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel is not directly opposing Prop 26. Representatives from multiple operators behind the proposal suggested both could pass and go into effect.

Who is behind Prop 26?

Tribal casino operators are the main supporters of the proposal.

The proposal would not just expand gambling but also give private citizens the right to sue over illegal gambling operations.

That is a significant point for the proposal as the tribes have fought with California’s cardrooms over exclusive banked card games for years.

What does Proposition 26 do?

The proposal would legalize sports betting at California’s tribal casinos and state-licensed racetracks. While Prop 26 would not allow online sports betting, it does expand the gaming industry in other ways.

Tribal casinos would also get the right to offer ball and dice games like roulette and craps at their properties.

Who is funding Prop 26?

Five tribes have contributed more than $10 million to Yes on 26:

When is Proposition 26 vote?

California voters will get to vote on legal sports betting and many other issues at the ballots on November 8. Mail voting for the 2022 California election will begin in October. Every registered voter in the Golden State will receive a ballot by mail in the weeks before Election Day.

When would Prop 26 take effect?

There would be no immediate changes to gambling in California.

New compacts between the state and gaming tribes would be drawn up to include the expanded gambling that would then be negotiated with and eventually approved by the governor.