California Voters Firmly Rejected Sports Betting, But Proponents Will Keep Trying

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Picture California sports betting propositions employing the voice of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and saying, “I’ll be back.” That’s precisely what’s going to happen in 2024, predicted professor Kathryn R.L. Rand during a recent University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) webinar about the ballot measures that failed yesterday.

On Nov. 2, Rand predicted Propositions 26 and 27 that would’ve legalized California sports betting would die ugly deaths.

Indeed they did. Prop 26, which called for retail sports betting legalization on tribal lands, saw 70.1% “no” votes yesterday. According to the California Secretary of State‘s website, 3.7 million Californians disapproved.

As for the proposition that is more familiar to the average American – think DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook –  Golden Staters gave proposed legal California online sports betting a drubbing. Exactly 4,479,494, or 83.3% of Californians voting on the issue, pushed “no” on Prop 27.

Why California Sports Betting May Return in 2024

Speaking on a UNLV webinar about the measures, Rand said sports wagering is so widespread in America that, at this point, California sports betting legalization measures will inevitably return to the ballot.

She predicts it’s apt to be on the 2024 ballot. Plus, if voters only approve retail sportsbooks, online sports betting ballot issues will likely appear in subsequent elections.

Most of the UNLV International Center for Gaming Regulation (ICGR) webinar concerned the mechanics of the now-failed propositions and how they might impact tribes.

Rand spoke on the webinar because she was a visiting professor at UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law in the Indian Nations Gaming and Governance Program earlier this year. She is a Floyd B. Sperry Professor of Law and co-director of the Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law and Policy at the University of North Dakota.

Meanwhile, like Schwarzenegger‘s “I’ll be back” line at the end of the film The Terminator, Golden Staters may want to ready themselves for the return of California sports betting propositions.

Maybe like Schwarzenegger‘s character in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Californians will see the altered proposition less as a villain and more like a protagonist.

However, the timeline for California’s next attempt is likely to be less than the seven years movie audiences had to wait for a sequel.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is the lead writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She had her first published byline at age 10, but didn't get paid for her writing until she got her first newspaper job. Fletcher's newspaper career started at Suburban News Publications in Ohio and eventually took her to The New York Times, where she's still a contract freelance reporter for the National Desk. She covers breaking news from Philadelphia, as needed. In March 2021, Fletcher began writing about online casino gambling as the lead writer for Online Poker Report.

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