The chances for legalization of California mobile sports betting don’t look good, if you believe one recent poll with less than unbiased funding.
The query to 900 California voters about Prop 27 — which would allow online sports betting — revealed just 33% in the sample said they would vote yes, according to PlayCA. Set to hit the ballot as an initiative this November, Prop 27 must garner “a majority vote of the people” in order to pass. That leaves it currently wanting, if the polling has merit.
But does the polling have merit?
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Betting Factions Contest Veracity Of Sports Betting Poll
One thing to note: the poll in question, conducted by FM3 Research, was paid for by the anti-Prop 27 group called Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming.
Naturally, proponents for Prop 27 maintained that means the poll “isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.”
However, PlayCA’s reporting noted that the poll included actual ballot language. That means the voters responded to it based on a similar wording to what they’ll see come election day.
That would make the results pretty worrisome for those hoping to see online sports betting in California pass. The 33% that said they would vote yes contrasts against 58% who said they would vote no. And of the yes voters, only 16% said they’d “definitely” vote yes.
That polling stands in contrast to quotes from politicians in many other states that have recently legalized sports betting. Legislators often say constituents pushed hard for it. Massachusetts is one such example, and the pressure led to an all-night session that passed legal online sports betting.
Perhaps torrid ad campaigns have had an effect. Both sides have spent big. Politico lists spending on both sides in excess of $100 million, with the yes side at $150M and the no side at $120M.
Every state bordering California has legal online sports betting. However, constituents may not feel as motivated to get a bill passed just because they are tired of driving across borders. Most California population centers sit hours from state borders that would allow them to legally bet. Thus, annoyance at travel may not play a role the way it has in the Northeast.