I bet you don’t know exactly what Prop 27 is

Luke Vore, Video Editor

With the midterm elections coming up on November 8th, it may be some people’s first chance to finally vote. And for those people, it can be overwhelming. You see so many propositions, politicians, and measures you’ve never seen, it is easy to be confused. Many people may vote for a specific candidate if they see they’re either Republican or Democrat. We may listen to what our parents and peers are voting for and do the same. However, one of the most influential ways to sway our vote is through ads. According to Brian Schwartz of CNBC, over “$6.4 billion is being poured into TV, radio and digital ads,” making this election year one of the most expensive ever. I’d like to focus on one specific proposition I continue to see everywhere, Proposition 27.

Prop 27, which has raised nearly $370 million- its biggest donors from sport betting companies like BetMGM- focuses on online gambling, something that is illegal in California. Currently, the only way you can gamble in our state is through the lottery, cardrooms, horse races, and the most popular being tribal gambling. Native American tribes are allowed to open up casinos on their land because of their rights under federal law, however, they do still need to work with the state to make sure they are regulated, with some payments going to local and state governments.

What voting ‘yes’ on Proposition 27 will do is allow tribes and other websites, like Fanduel, to provide gambling online. 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 gambling companies are required to pay 10 percent of sports bets to the state. This proposition would also help encourage people to stop using illegal online betting websites. Anyone that does so is required to pay a 15 percent penalty of the total amount they bet to the state.

While we have seen many ads pushing the idea of online gambling, we have also seen ads associated with homelessness under Prop 27. The 10 percent payment to the state will go to the California Online Sports Betting Trust Fund (COSBTF). The revenue will first go to state regulatory costs. However, 85 percent of what’s left will go to fight homelessness and gambling addiction programs, while the other 15 percent will go to tribes that are 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 this is because the major websites that will be paying the $100-million dollar fee to operate here in California are from out of state. People feel that companies like DraftKings, located in Massachusetts, would defeat the purpose considering they would be dealing with a non-Californian company, so not all the money would be going to our state. Another concern is the ability to gamble with any electronic device, including the ones in our pockets, may lead to more addiction and could possibly lead to gambling starting at a younger age. Click here if you are interested in seeing some of the fact-checking being done by experts on both sides for this proposition.

While this article does summarize what Prop 27 is, it is well worth it to dig a little deeper on your own so that you can make a well-informed decision. Remember, your vote matters, so let your voice be heard. Don’t just vote for someone or something because you were told to. Do the research and see what side you fall on. If you are interested in seeing what your closest polling place is, click here.