Dueling Sports Betting Measures in ‘Rise’ Ahead of Election Day, Poll Results – Orange County Register

Two dueling sports betting ballot measures in front of California voters this year have set spending records this election cycle.

TV ads — a cacophony of messages promising economic stability for tribes, more homeless services and even an increase in gambling — run regularly. Billboards have popped up along Southern California’s busy streets and glossy papers are piling up in mailboxes.

Together, the two sports betting operations have set the record as the most expensive election campaigns in the state, according to OpenSecrets campaign funding data. Campaigns on both sides of the nomination have spent more than $440 million to date, according to CalMatters.

But for all the noise and money, Proposition 26 and Proposition 27 can be bad bets. A recent Berkeley IGS poll, conducted in English and Spanish in late September, found voters most likely to either oppose or be undecided about one of the ballot measures.

More specifically, only 31% of the likely voters surveyed said they support Prop 26, the measure that would allow in-person sports betting at tribal casinos and California’s four privately owned racetracks. It would also allow tribal casinos to offer roulette and craps games.

Among respondents, 42% said they did not support the voting measure and 27% were undecided.

In comparison, just 27% of likely voters said they support Prop 27, an effort to legalize online sports betting in California by major gaming companies (like DraftKings or FanDuel) and tribes that already have state contracts.

This means that 53% of voters were against the measure and a further 20% remained undecided.

“These results suggest that sports betting initiatives are failing in the face of opposition advertising campaigns,” said IGS Co-Director Eric Schickler. “The lack of support among key demographics makes the passage an uphill one at best.”

The Berkeley IGS poll suggested that the cornucopia of advertising played a role in public perceptions of the election action. Respondents who said they saw many ads related to the electoral action disliked them by a wide margin, while those who saw little to no ads were more evenly spread, according to the survey.

The proponents of both measures also criticize a negative attitude towards the flood of advertising.

“The out-of-state gaming companies’ misleading ads have thoroughly confused voters to the point where they just say no to everything,” said Kathy Fairbanks, a spokeswoman for the Yes on 26/No on 27 campaign. “Our poll shows that local voters still have strong support for Native American tribes and tribal games.”

Fairbanks said her campaign has not yet released a Yes to 26 because she has only focused her resources on fighting Prop 27.

“Prop 27 took on over $100 million in deceptive and false attacks — $45 million before we even qualified to vote,” said Nathan Click, a spokesperson for the Yes on 27 campaign. “It says the same opponents funding these ads didn’t spend a penny to support their own sports betting proposal.”

Broken down further, the poll found that almost every subgroup — from men to women, from Democrats to Republicans and more — opposed Prop 27. Only likely voters under the age of 30 signaled support for the measure, 44% to 33%.

For Prop 26, Republicans and conservative voters were more strongly opposed to the measure than Democrats and liberals — although these latter groups were still opposed to the measure.

In Orange County, 41% of voters polled said they opposed Prop 26 and 56% opposed Prop 27. Only 31% supported Prop 26 and 28% supported Prop 27.

Prop 26 is evenly distributed across the Inland Empire: 36% of voters support the measure and 36% oppose it. However, 51% of Inland Empire voters oppose Prop 27, while only 27% support it.

“We are grateful that voters appear to reject the out-of-state gaming companies and their $170 million deception campaign. However, Prop 27 is still on the ballot and still poses a significant threat to tribal self-reliance and all Californians,” Fairbanks said.

Since 2018 — when the US Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports betting and left it up to the states — nearly three dozen states and Washington, DC have legalized sports betting in some way.

Pointing to the states that have allowed sports betting, Click said “California should be next.”

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/05/dueling-sports-betting-measures-in-uphill-climb-ahead-of-election-day-poll-finds/ Dueling Sports Betting Measures in ‘Rise’ Ahead of Election Day, Poll Results – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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