Sportsbooks Splash $50 Million in the Battle Over Legalized Betting in California

Los Angeles California skyline sunrise
A view of the Los Angeles, California, skyline at sunrise. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / AFP)

Five of the seven supportive sports betting firms for the legalization of mobile sports wagering in California have collectively put forward an additional $50 million to the campaign’s coffers in July.

However, the tribal organizations who oppose this move also have money to spend. On June 1, twelve tribal collectives dished out $88 million to battle sportsbooks attempting to enter the Californian market.

The sportsbook push to legalize mobile wagering is referenced as Prop 27, and since the tribes added $88 million, they now boast a total of $157.8 million to oppose the bookmakers. The California Secretary of State’s database reveals that the sportsbooks total is $150 million.

Which Sportsbooks Are Spending the Most on California Sports Betting?

The recently added $50 million stemmed from top sportsbooks and a fifth that still awaits a launch date:

  • • FanDuel: $8.3 million
  • • BetMGM: $8.3 million
  • • DraftKings: $8.3 million
  • • Penn Entertainment: $12.5 million
  • • Fanatics: $12.5 million

These cash injections amount to $25 million. The other two sportsbooks battling for mobile wagering in California (Bally Bet and WynnBET) contributed $12.5 million in 2021 to support Prop 27.

The collective additionally sought-after the support of three tribal partners last month to assist with their proposal.

Who Is Against Mobile Betting in California?

Since June 1, 2022, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has invested the most money in opposing mobile sports betting. The tribe has donated a total of $28 million from four separate donations.

This figure is closely followed by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, who donated $25 million from two donations. Dissimilar to San Manuel, Graton’s donations also support Prop 26, a proposal from November’s ballot that opposes retail sports betting.

Ten alternative organizations have donated over $35 million since June 2022:

  • • Pechanga Band of Indians: $10 million
  • • Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation: $10 million
  • • Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians: $5 million
  • • Barona Band of Mission Indians: $5 million
  • • Pala Casino Resort Spa: $3 million
  • • Pala Casino Resort Spa: $3 million
  • • Chumash Casino and Resorts Enterprises: $2.5 million
  • • Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians: $200,000
  • • Wilton Rancheria: $50,000
  • • Elk Valley Rancheria: $6,000
  • • Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians: $5,000

Donations were gifted to support Prop 26 and to oppose Prop 27.

Cardrooms Tag Team With Sportsbooks

Allies in battle are lining up alongside the sports betting operators who’ve created Prop 27, as multiple California cardrooms are against Prop 26.

Sports betting isn’t the only concern of cardrooms. Adding dice and ball games to tribal casinos could present legal battles of what the tribes believe are illegally operated cards.

More than $42 million has been handed over to fight Prop 26, and $10 million of that fund has arrived since June 1:

  • • Hawaiian Gardens: $5 million
  • • Knighted Ventures LLC: $1 million
  • • Bumb & Associates: $1 million
  • • Capitol Casino: $250,000
  • • Elevation Entertainment: $250,000
  • • California Grand Casino: $200,000
  • • Napa Valley Casino: $150,000
  • • LE Gaming: $50,000