Prop 26 and 27: What are they?


Photo by Owen Davis

This November, California will decide on the fate of two major propositions in relation to sports gambling: Prop 26 and Prop 27. The former would legalize in-person sports gambling while the latter would legalize online sports betting. As the voting deadline for these two issues only comes closer, controversy about them has been spreading, with more than $350 million in advertisements being used in support, and opposition, of the two propositions. However, these advertisements often leave out key information about what the propositions will actually entail.

Prop 26 will specifically allow racetrack betting for people 21 years of age and older. Out of all the money used in these bets, 10% of the sports bets made each day will be redirected to state budgets, with estimations claiming that tens of millions of dollars could be generated annually for the government. Additionally, this proposition would also amend California’s Constitution to allow roulette and similar dice games at tribal casinos, a practice that is technically banned to this day. 

With the funds generated from this bet taxation, this proposition plans to meet minimum required spending levels on education as well as general state regulatory expenses. Any extra funds are planned to be allocated to various programs addressing gambling addiction, mental health, and gambling enforcement.

In comparison, Prop 27 will allow for tribal casinos and various gambling companies to offer mobile and online sports betting for adults 21 and older. With online sports betting currently being illegal in California, this proposition would provide for legal online betting for athletic events like the National Football League (NFL). Similarly to Prop 26, any profits generated from this betting would be taxed, and estimates have claimed that taxes and fees would equal hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The funds obtained through this taxation would be dedicated to funding programs for homelessness and gambling addictions, as well as Native American tribes that do not partake in sports gambling.

With the voting deadlines for these propositions coming up soon, Californians will have an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns about allowing these new methods of gambling. It’s extremely important that voters educate themselves on the pros and cons of these propositions so that they can make an informed decision come election day.