The most expensive race in this year’s election doesn’t involve a Republican or a Democrat. The race has nothing to do with the balance of power in Congress.
It involves Proposition 27, which would allow sports betting at American Indian gaming casinos, horse racing tracks, and online There is a similar issue that is also among the most expensive races in the U.S. It is Proposition 26, which would not allow sports betting on mobile devices, but would permit tribal casinos and horse racing venues to conduct sports betting.
According to the campaign finance website Open Secrets, Proposition 27 has garnered $372 million in campaign contributions, while Proposition 26 has raised $153 million. By comparison, the most expensive U.S. Senate race has garnered $142 million in spending, according to Open Secrets.
While they appear separately on the ballot, there has been a concerted effort among Proposition 26 backers to block Proposition 27.
The group Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming, Sponsored by California Indian Tribes has spent $111 million trying to promote Proposition 26 while trying to block Proposition 27. Meanwhile, a group led by the sports betting industry has spent over $169 million in backing Proposition 27, according to Open Secrets. Fanduel and Draft Kings have spent a combined $70 million supporting the issue. Penn National Gaming, Bet MGM and Fanatics have each dropped $25 million.
Despite heavy spending by the gaming industry, a majority of California voters polled by the Public Policy Institute of California say they oppose the issues.
The stakes for the issue are high as an American Gaming Association study indicated that 46.6 million Americans plan to bet on the NFL at some point this season. In just the first eight months of the year, Americans have legally wagered over $50 billion on sports.
Sports gaming is legal in 36 states.
California voters are also considering a ban on flavored tobacco products, a reproductive freedom amendment, new dialysis clinic requirements and a tax on incomes of over $2 million.