Prop 27 is a bad bet for California

Ballot measure would only help online betting companies profit

Mason Foster, Guest Writer

Proposition 27 claims to assure long-term funding for homelessness, gambling addiction, and tribes not affiliated with sports betting. However, it’s backed by two major sports betting companies. Proposition 27 is solely meant to help these big sports betting companies profit, and the funding for public services is simply a sweetener to help get the bill passed. Therefore, Prop 27 should not be passed.

Proposition 27 is a bill that would allow online sports betting in California through the Internet and mobile devices. The bill would also give long term funding to public issues such as homelessness and gambling addiction.

One reason Proposition 27 should not be passed is because it has limited regulations. By not limiting regulations, they have the potential to add to gambling addiction which is counter-intuitive, since the bill promises to allocate funds to fighting against gambling addiction.

The CEO of Family Health Centers in San Diego, Fran Butler-Cohen, states that she is “getting tired of ballot initiatives that put in this kind of soft thing to make it more palatable to the voters. This is a gambling initiative.” We can infer that a lot of California’s pressing issues such as homelessness and mental health only get attention from bills because they want votes, and although passing something like Proposition 27 could help some with homelessness, it’s not the main goal of the bill. Although Prop. 27 promises long-term funding for homelessness, homeless services don’t want to be associated with it, due to how political online sports betting is. Abram Diaz, the policy director of the NonProfit Housing Alliance of Northern California says some in the housing community “are wary of being attached to the issue either way. It’s a tricky one, very complicated. And while we work in the political space of housing, really, we just want to get to the bottom line of building units to address the problem — not get in the business of entering political thickets.” This is a completely understandable reason for homeless services not to want to be affiliated with Prop. 27, and just goes to show that bills throw in sweeteners such as these for votes.

Both DraftKings and FanDuel, the two major online sports betting companies backing Prop. 27 are already making plenty of money. DraftKings’ projection for 2022 is about $2 billion, while FanDuel’s is about $4 billion. This bill, and these big corporations, do not care about funding for public services. The only thing they care about is boosting profit margins.

Proposition 27 seeks to legalize online sports betting, and in return promises to guarantee funding for homelessness, gambling addiction, and tribes not affiliated with sports betting. However, these guarantees are simply thrown in to get the bill passed, so that the two major online sports betting companies can boost profits. If these companies truly cared about homelessness and gambling addiction, they could just spend their campaigning money on these issues, rather than promising a percentage of the bill’s income. Therefore, Proposition 27 is simply a gambling initiative, and should not be treated as a long term solution to homelessness or gambling addiction.