California Sports Betting: Online Initiative Opposed By State Dems

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on July 11, 2022
California sports betting

The chances for California sports betting may have taken a slight ding on Sunday. According to a release from, a website run by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, the California Democratic Party announced official opposition to Prop 27. That ballot initiative, set for a November vote, would pave the way for online California sports betting.

Meanwhile, the group chose to straddle the fence on the competing initiative, which would allow only retail sports betting at tribal venues. That will also head to the same ballot in November as a separate referendum.

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Democrats Line Up Against Online Sports Betting

The Democratic Party’s executive board released official positions on the referendums that will become subject to vote by the state’s constituents. They opted to take a stance against Prop 27, called “California Online Wagering” and backed by the biggest online sports betting operators in the U.S.

Unsurprisingly, the tribes backing the competing Prop 26 are pleased with the development.

“By opposing Prop 27, California Democrats rejected out-of-state corporations and reaffirmed their commitment to California’s Indian tribes,” Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Tribal Chairman Reid Milanovich said in a statement. “Prop 27 is not a solution to anything. It would expose children to a massive expansion of gambling and turn every cell phone, gaming console, tablet and laptop into a gambling device. Prop 27 is a direct attack on tribal gaming and Indian self-reliance.”

Does Opposition Move The Needle?

Certainly, one can question how many children would be exposed to gambling considering the success of the legal and regulated market.

The article did note that some prominent state Dems remain behind Prop 27.

Additionally, some tribes have signaled support for Prop 27 in recent weeks. The bill does call for a chunk of tax revenue — 15% — to go to tribes that choose not to participate in the regulated market.

Ultimately, the Democratic Party announcing its opposition may not mean much. Californians will decide for themselves and vote en masse, with legislators sorting out some of the finer details based on the voting. In a recent series of ballot referendums, voters sided with the official party line on only four of 11 issues, so hope still remains for California online sports betting.

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Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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