Politics

Poll: Calif. online sports betting initiative failing to catch fire with voters

While Californians prepare for a likely spending bonanza this fall over the rights to serve as the bookie for the state’s gamblers, it appears that one measure is already seeing hefty opposition mount.

A new poll finds that a sports betting initiative drawn up by three major online gambling entities – FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM, isn’t garnering sufficient support to win over voters.

The poll of California voters found that, with no information presented, 53 percent of respondents opposed the measure.

The poll, commissioned by the Tribal-backed Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming, was conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates and surveyed 1,094 registered California voters.

After providing statements in support and opposition of the online-centric measure, opposition soared to 64 percent, pollster Dave Metz wrote in a memo.

California’s tribal gaming interests have mounted an aggressive campaign to squash the online sports wagering measure, going so far as to target elected officials that have endorsed the online initiative.

One such effort included an attack on Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.

The tribal group is spearheading its own initiative, which has qualified for the November ballot.

That measure would legalize sports betting via tribal casinos along with legalize Vegas-style table games – including craps and roulette.

The tribal measure has drawn the ire of California’s regulated card rooms for seeking to enact a private-enforcement provision for criminal violations of gambling laws, a unique, gaming-specific spin on the labor-centric Private Attorney Generals Act.

Les Hubbard is a contributing reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun.