Don’t bet on it! California voters overwhelmingly DEFEAT sports gambling ballot initiative

Legalized sports gambling’s incremental nationwide acceptance was halted California, where voters overwhelmingly rejected initiatives by Native American tribes and the gaming industry.

The effort, considered the most expensive ballot proposition gamble in US history, raised nearly $600 million in competing efforts to expand gambling and try to capture a share of a potential billion-dollar market in the nation’s most populous state.

But voters did not want a piece of that action.

With more than 4.6 million votes counted, a measure largely supported by gaming companies that would have allowed adults to wager on mobile devices and online had only 16 percent support. The proposition that would have legalized sports gambling at tribal casinos and horse tracks had less than 30 percent support.

Legalized sports gambling’s incremental nationwide acceptance was halted California, where voters overwhelmingly rejected initiatives by Native American tribes and the gaming industry

The sports book room at the Aquarius Hotel & Casino is viewed on February 3, 2019 in Nevada - one of 31 other states that have legalized some form of sports gambling

The sports book room at the Aquarius Hotel & Casino is viewed on February 3, 2019 in Nevada – one of 31 other states that have legalized some form of sports gambling

The money raised and spent more than doubled the record amount spent in 2020 by Uber, Lyft and other app-based ride-hailing and delivery services to prevent drivers from becoming employees eligible for benefits and job protection.

More than 30 other states allow sports betting, but gambling in California is currently limited to Native American casinos, horse tracks, card rooms and the state lottery.

The race was marked by a blast of advertising that touted benefits supporters of each measure claim would come with approval. Each was countered by robust campaigns that warned of the dangers they posed.

Tribes who opposed Proposition 27, the mobile and online gambling measure, said voters didn’t want a massive expansion of gambling, they thought it would be easier to become addicted and feared children would place bets on devices.

‘Our internal polling has been clear and consistent for years: California voters don’t support online sports betting,’ said Anthony Roberts, tribal chairman of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. ‘Voters have real and significant concerns about turning every cell phone, laptop and tablet into a gambling device, the resulting addiction and exposure to children.’

In this photo illustration the FanDuel logo of a sports betting company is seen on a smartphone

In this photo illustration, the American daily fantasy sports contest and sports betting company DraftKings logo is displayed on a smartphone screen

With more than 4.6 million votes counted, a measure largely supported by gaming companies that would have allowed adults to bet on mobile devices and online had just 16 percent support

Opponents of Proposition 26, which would have allowed casinos and the state’s four horse tracks to offer sports betting in person, said voters did not want to enrich wealthy tribes who would get a virtual monopoly on gambling and also be able to offer roulette and dice games at their gaming operations.

‘Prop. 26 was not just a sports betting measure but a massive expansion of gambling by five wealthy tribes that included a poison pill aimed at taking market share away from highly regulated cardrooms that provide millions of dollars in tax revenue to communities and ten of thousands of jobs, ‘ the No on Proposition 26 Campaign said in a statement.

That group was funded largely by cardrooms that stood the most to lose if the measure passed. They said the so-called ‘poison pill’ would allow tribes to sue competitors such as cardrooms.

Supporters of each measure didn’t return messages seeking comment.

The casino and race track measure was bankrolled by a coalition of tribes who said a 10 percent tax would have helped pay for enforcement of gambling laws and programs to help gambling addicts.

The online sports gambling initiative was backed by DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel — the latter is the official odds provider for The Associated Press — as well as other national sports betting operators and a few tribes.

California Gov.  Gavin Newsom talks to reporters after voting in Sacramento.  Newsom, who easily won't re-election, didn't take a position on either sports gambling proposal

California Gov. Gavin Newsom talks to reporters after voting in Sacramento. Newsom, who easily won’t re-election, didn’t take a position on either sports gambling proposal

They promised to funnel tax revenues to help the homeless, the mentally ill and and poorer tribes that haven’t been enriched by casinos.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office found both initiatives would increase state revenues but it was unclear by how much. Proposition 26 could bring in tens of millions of dollars while Proposition 27 could bring in hundreds of millions, the office said.

However, that revenue could be offset if people spend money on sports gambling instead of shopping or buying lottery tickets.

Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who easily won re-election, didn’t take a position on either proposal but said Proposition 27 was ‘not a homeless initiative.’

The California Republican Party opposed both proposals. State Democrats opposed Proposition 27, but were neutral on Proposition 26. Major League Baseball backed Proposition 27.

The United States Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, effectively giving states the right to legalize sports gambling. Since then, 31 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the practice.

California stands as the biggest holdout followed by Texas, Georgia and, curiously, Kentucky, where horse racing remains one of the most popular pastimes.

SPORTS GAMBLING TERMS

action – what is bet on a game

The point spread – The amount by which one team is favored by. So if the Patriots are picked to beat the Jets by 10 points, it will look like this “Patriots-10” or “Jets+10”

ATS – ‘Against the spread,’ meaning ‘against the point spread.’So if the Patriots were picked to beat the Jets by 10, and won by 14, they would be 1-0 ATS. If the Jets lost by only 9, then the Patriots have a 0-1 record ATS.

even money – Even odds, so if you bet $5, you would stand to get $10 back if you win or $0 if you lose.

futures bet – A long-term bet usually aimed at predicting a champion

handicap – Someone who attempts to predict a winner of an event

handle – The total amount wagered on a contest

hedging – Just like in the stock market, gamblers can take bets to off-set risks of another wager

It may take several years, but one day the East Coast could offer large-scale sports books

Currently eight states offer legal sports better, and others may soon join the pack

Vig – The commission a bookmaker earns

moneyline – A bet in which your team only has to win in order for you to receive a payout. The spread is not considered for a moneyline wager. However, the payout for betting on a favorite is significantly lower than correctly picking an underdog. If the San Francisco Giants are favorited to beat the Miami Marlins, and ‘-175’ appears on the moneyline, that means it would take a bet of $175 to earn a $100 profit. If ‘+145’ appears next to the Marlins on the moneyline, that means a bet of $100 would garner a $145 profit.

over/under – Typically used to bet on the final score of a game. If the over/under of a Heat-Magic game is set at 200, and Miami wins 100-98, then whomever wagered on the under would be victorious.

prop bet – A ‘bet proposition’ is an exotic wager that typically involves a very specific set of circumstances. Betting whether or not LeBron James will score 40 or more points in a particular game would be a prop bet. Such wagers might become heavily scrutinized as sports gambling becomes legal across the country because prop bets do create opportunities for corrupt gamblers.

pick’em – A game with no favorite

parlay – A single wager on several outcomes. Typically parlays are more difficult to win, but offer higher payouts.

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