September 14, 2022 | Politico

New poll has bad news for backers of California online sports betting ballot measure

A new poll has bad news for supporters of a ballot measure that would legalize online sports betting in California.

Despite a multi-million dollar marketing blitz, Prop 27 is trailing by 20 points in a broad-ranging poll of likely voters released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California.

The survey conducted Sept. 2-11 found 54 percent opposed and 34 percent in favor of the measure, which is backed primarily by gambling companies FanDuel and Draftkings along with Las Vegas casinos.

The PPIC poll covered voter attitudes about the direction of the state more broadly as well as two other initiatives, both of which are faring well with voters at this stage of the campaign.

Prop 1, which would place the right to reproductive freedom in the state constitution, has support from 69 percent of those surveyed. Prop 30, which would raise taxes on people earning at least $2 million a year to subsidize the shift to electric vehicles, was ahead with 55 percent of voters.

And though Prop 27 would charge gambling companies fees and divert most of the money to homelessness programs — a provision touted by its backers — polling results don’t suggest a strong link between the measure and homelessness in the minds of voters.

Those surveyed ranked homelessness as the number-two issue facing the state, behind only economic challenges such as inflation. But fewer than a third of participants, 29 percent, saw the outcome of Prop 27 as very important, despite it drawing the most fundraising of any of the seven initiatives that will be on the November ballot.

“Even with the addition of homelessness in a gambling initiative, you have fewer than three in ten saying it’s very important to them,” said Public Policy Institute CEO Mark Baldassare. “The challenge for the sport gambling initiatives also lies in making people feel like this is important enough to vote ‘yes,’ that it’s gonna change the world.”

Supporters of the measure have spent $160 million promoting Prop 27, which would allow Californians to gamble on athletics events from computers and cellphones.

The PPIC findings suggest a victory for a coalition of indigenous groups that have contributed to a $150 million campaign to stop the measure — running TV ads warning that tribes will lose money to out-of-state competitors.

The opponents have thrown their weight behind a dueling initiative, Prop 26, that would legalize betting on sports, horse racing and games like roulette exclusively on reservations.

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