As the sports betting legalization ballot looms for Californians this upcoming November, the California State Association of Counties (CASC) has come out in opposition to Prop-27. The CASC has rejected the cohort of pro-Prop-27 voices, which includes mayoral offices, animal rights organizations, political rights committees and businesses.
Named the ‘Corporate Online Gambling Prop,’ Prop-27 is an online sports gambling proposition funded by out-of-state corporations to legalize online and mobile sports betting in the Golden State.
Seven national sports betting operators have proposed this piece of legislation, recently releasing their first ‘Yes on 27’ advert. Under their proposal, operators would have to acquire a sports betting license for $100m and have a 10% tax enacted on all gaming revenues. They say 85% of this tax revenue would go toward combating homelessness, addiction and supporting mental health initiatives.
The CASC executive director Graham Knaus released a statement saying: “California’s counties are on the front lines of the homelessness and mental health crisis, providing safety-net programs and services for unhoused residents. We carefully reviewed Prop-27 and concluded it’s a bad deal for counties and California. Make no mistake, Prop-27 is NOT a solution to homelessness.”
While a review by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office projected the measure could bring in $500m in revenue, the CASC argues this would not be ‘new’ revenue. It says many bettors would simply spend less on lottery or retail goods currently subjected to state tax; there would only be a transference of spending to sports betting.
The ‘Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming’ argues that 90% of the profits generated by the sportsbooks would end up going out of state. It believes that the complete focus on socially benevolent causes for Prop-27 is mere propaganda from commercial operators only looking to make money.