Polling Shows California Voters Tepid Support for Gambling Expansion


California voters have two chances to expand their regulated gaming options when they take to the polls in November. But, according to a recent poll from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), most of them aren’t very enthusiastic about Propositions 26 and 27. (Prop 26 would expand table gaming and add sports betting for tribal gaming operations while Prop 27 would open online sports betting to all operators with much of the revenue used to fight homelessness.)

According to PPIC, only 34 percent of Californians support Props 26 and 27, while an astounding 54 percent say that they would vote against the measures.

Those numbers come despite the 70 percent of Californians who think that homelessness is a problem. But one criticism of Prop 27 is that while it’s project to raise an additional $500 million annually to help fight homelessness, that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the $13.5 billion the State spends annually on the same problem.

While it’s less clear why Golden State residents aren’t backing Prop 26, which expands gaming in Indian casinos, but they’re not interested in that one much either. Perhaps they can see how stilted the measure is in favor of Indian casinos, while basically closing the market to all other operators, and eliminating the possibility of online sports betting entirely.

The Los Angeles Times has come out against both measures in a scathing editorial that goes on at some length about the evils of gambling, but also points out the legitimate failings of bills. Their final work, and it’s one that average Californians seem to agree with, is, “Propositions 26 and 27 present more risks than benefits, which makes both of them a bad bet. Vote no.”

Author: Sofia Barrett