I bet you don’t know exactly what Prop 27 is
With the midterm elections approaching on November 8, this could be the first chance for some people to finally vote. And for those people, it can be overwhelming. You see so many proposals, politicians and measures that you have never seen before, it is easy to be confused. Many people can vote for a specific candidate if they see they are Republicans or Democrats. We can listen to what our parents and peers vote for and do the same. However, one of the most influential ways to influence our vote is through advertising. According to CNBC’s Brian Schwartz, more than “$6.4 billion is invested in TV, radio and digital advertising,” making this election year one of the most expensive ever. I would like to focus on one specific proposition that I keep seeing everywhere, Proposition 27.
Prop 27, which has raised nearly $370 million – its biggest backers from sports betting companies like BetMGM – focuses on online gambling, which is illegal in California. Currently the only way to gamble in our state is lottery, card rooms, horse racing and the most popular being tribal gambling. Native American tribes are allowed to open casinos on their land due to their rights under federal law, however, they must still work with the state to ensure they are regulated, with some payments going to local governments and state.
What voting “yes” on Proposition 27 will do is allow tribes and other websites, like Fanduel, to offer online gambling. This would include sporting events, awards shows and video games, while excluding high school games and elections. At the end of each month, tribes and gaming companies are required to pay 10% of sports bets to the state. This proposal would also help encourage people to stop using illegal online betting sites. Anyone who does so is required to pay a penalty of 15% of the total amount they bet to the state.
While we’ve seen many advertisements pushing the idea of online gambling, we’ve also seen advertisements associated with roaming under Prop 27. The 10% payment to the state will go to the California Online Sports Betting Trust Fund (COSBTF). Revenue will go first to state regulatory costs. However, 85% of what remains will go to homelessness and gambling addiction programs, while the remaining 15% will go to tribes not involved in online gambling.
However, why would you vote “no”? Well, one of the main reasons why some people, including some Native American tribes, don’t like it is because the major websites that will pay the $100 million fee to operate here in California come from out of state. People think companies like DraftKings out of Massachusetts would defeat the purpose since they would be dealing with a non-California company, so not all of the money would go into our state. Another concern is that being able to play with any electronic device, including the ones we have in our pockets, can lead to greater addiction and could eventually lead to starting to play at a younger age. Click here if you would like to see some of the fact-checking done by experts on both sides for this proposal.
While this article summarizes what Prop 27 is, it’s worth digging a little deeper on your own so you can make an informed decision. Remember that your vote counts, so make your voice heard. Don’t just vote for someone or something because you were told. Do some research and see which side you fall on. If you want to know which is your nearest polling station, click here.