On Friday, Major League Baseball announced its support for authorizing sports betting in California. The MLB became the first U.S. major sports league to take a side between sports betting companies and the state’s tribal gaming operators.
Two primary sports betting initiatives are on the November ballot that includes Proposition 26 in-person betting restriction, while Proposition 27 would allow online sports betting.
It was Proposition 27 that led to the MLB’s stance to support legalization and was endorsed by a coalition of sportsbook operators, including FanDuel and DraftKings. Both brands are among MLB’s official betting partners.
By 2021, MLB approved allowing sportsbook operators to endorse baseball franchises. Detroit Tigers became the first team that was signed for a sponsorship deal with PointsBet.
MLB supports the initiatives as Proposition 27 includes the California Solution for Homelessness and Mental Health that will pocket a percentage of the income to tackle the homeless crisis in the state.
Prop 27 would let out-of-state online gambling companies suck hundreds of millions out of California and threaten the economy of California tribes. Vote no! https://t.co/4VL3PXQfci pic.twitter.com/Z5ecMZn2J5
— Alfred Twu (@alfred_twu) July 10, 2022
According to David Purdum of ESPN, MLB voiced its opinion on how sports betting will not affect the baseball games’ integrity, the play, and the results.
“As legalized sports betting continues to expand across the country, Major League Baseball remains committed to protecting the integrity of its games and creating a safe experience for fans who wish to wager on those games,” said Purdum.
“Proposition 27 the only measure on California’s upcoming ballot that would authorize and regulate online sports betting includes strong integrity provisions designed to help MLB carry out those commitments,” he added.
— RLinnehanXL (@RLinnehanXl) August 12, 2022
MLB announced that the sportsbook operators must be required to notify leagues if there is any suspicious betting activity. Then, the sportsbook operators must allow the leagues to propose a restriction on the possibility of them doing suspicious action. Also, MLB has the right to facilitate other forms of integrity-related cooperation between the state, leagues, and sports betting operators.
“MLB believes that Prop 27 has the safeguards to create a safe and responsible online sports betting market in California — a state with millions of MLB fans looking for alternatives to illegal offshore betting sites,” Purdum added.
Tribal coalition supports Proposition 26
The coalition of California’s tribes led by Pechanga said that they supported Proposition 26, The California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gaming Enforcement Act. Kathy Fairbanks, spokesperson for Proposition 26 supporters told ESPN that they have a larger supporter coalition opposing Proposition 27.
“A large and growing coalition of Indian Tribes, social justice advocates, teachers, parents, homeless and mental health advocates, business, public safety and labor leaders all strongly oppose Prop 27,” Fairbanks said.
Fairbanks said that the reason behind the tribe’s opposition was Proposition 27 will affect the function of the gadget and will turn to devices, including phones, laptops, gaming consoles, and tablets. Also, there is uncertainty about whether children will take part in gambling activities or not.
“The out-of-state gambling corporations funding Prop 27 wrote it so they take 90% of the profits out of state, leaving little for California. We’re confident voters will reject this deceptive, dangerous measure in November,” she added.
From the perspective of Proposition 26, sports betting on mobile devices would not be permitted, except for retail sports bets and four horse-racing tracks and casinos ran by tribal authorities.
Voters in California will decide which initiative between Proposition 26 and Proposition 27 will pass on November 8.