How to tell the difference between Propositions 26 and 27

Kaitlyn Milam, News Reporter

Illustration by Silvia Catarino / The Runner.

Propositions 26 and 27 are two opposing sports betting initiatives on the ballot for this General Election on Nov. 8, 2022.  

“California Proposition 26, Legalize Sports Betting on American Indian Lands Initiative (2022)” on Ballotpedia states that Proposition 26 would legalize dice, roulette games, and sports betting at American Indian gaming casinos and licensed racetracks in California for people 21 years of age or older. A 10% tax would be imposed on the profits generated from sports betting at licensed racetracks, where 15% of this revenue will be distributed to the Department of Health for problem gambling and mental health research, another 15% to the Bureau of Gambling control, and the last 70% to the General Fund.  

David Silva, the president of the native and indigenous student coalition club, said that Proposition 26 would provide funding and resources to non-recognized tribes that do not own or operate casinos. It will also provide extra funding to tribes that currently operate casinos.  

All forms of sports betting are illegal in California. According to “Initiative No. 19-0029 – Amendment” submitted by Mark Macarro, the Tribal Chairman of the Temecula Band of Luiseño Mission Indians, in Section 2 part B., unregulated and untaxed sports betting is taking place in the California black market without consumer or responsible gambling protections.  

Silva said, “There are gonna be organizations, such as the racetracks that benefit from prop 26 being passed, that have no affiliation with casinos.”  

These organizations are using tribal casinos as a way to jump ahead and get these laws passed for their own benefit.  

In Section 2 part N., Macarro stated that California tribal governments have operated Indian gaming casinos on their own tribal lands since 2000. These casinos have generated important resources needed to help reverse the brutal history endured by California Native Americans. 

“We [native and indigenous people] have been struggling for a long time and now that we actually have a pretty prominent resource in terms of providing funding for our tribes, that used to never have funding, these companies see how much money they can make off of the tribes,” said Silva.  

The article “California Proposition 27, Legalize Sports Betting and Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Fund Initiative (2022),” on Ballotpedia states that Proposition 27 would legalize online and mobile sports betting for people 21 years of age or older. A 10% tax would be imposed on sports betting revenues and licensing fees, where 85% of revenue from this tax would be allocated to the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental health Support account, and the other 15% will go to the Tribal Economic Development Account.  

“I would not support prop 27 at all. Legalizing online betting will open the door to every company inside and outside of California that wants to make a profit off of online betting. They are using the native and indigenous name to increase their profits,” said Silva.  

Maia Garcia, a second-year biology major and music minor said, “Proposition 27 is masqueraded as a socially positive initiative responsible for funding mental health and homelessness programs in California and as a source of income for Native American Tribes. The passing of this proposition would open a new world of commerce that would immediately be monopolized by large, out-of-state gambling corporations.” 

“Nearly half of all unsheltered people in the country live in California, and public school data shows that more than 250,000 public school students are experiencing homelessness,” according to the ballot initiative “Initiative 21-0017” by Kurt R. Oneto, Nielsen Merksamer LLP, in Section 2 part A. Oneto also stated that the California Department of Justice will regulate safe and legal online sports betting. Age verification and information-sharing procedures will be put in place to deter minors from participating by imposing penalties and fines for violations, according to Section 2 parts F. and G.  

Silva said that Proposition 27 would take away the responsibility of the state to actually address the homelessness crisis, which is very prevalent in California, and place it on the tribal communities that own casinos.  

“We need an initiative that puts our people in mind first, and not as a heart-warmingly marketable afterthought,” said Garcia.  

Proposition 26 and 27 will be eligible for voting on Nov. 8, 2022, during the General Election. For more information on Proposition 26 and 27, visit