Experience guide to Proposition 26: Whether to allow sports betting at tribal casinos

Juan Cebreiros, Staff Writer

Editor’s note: With the upcoming Midterm Election on Nov. 8, there are a handful of propositions for California voters to consider. Despite the brief explanations on the ballot, they can still be confusing for people who have no idea what they are or what will be changed if they vote yes or no. These are important decisions that will affect many Californians. This is the second of seven summaries that will give voters more information on what the proposition is and what are the pros and cons that come with them.

Proposition 26 is on legalizing sports betting in tribal casinos and would allow Native American casinos, as well as horse tracks, to offer in person sports betting and would be permitted to offer roulette and dice games. Age restrictions are something that would need to be discussed with Governor Newsom and each Native American casino. However, in person sports betting involving race tracks would be available to everyone at least 21 years old. 

Tribes would not be taxed but instead the bets that are placed at the horse race tracks. The tribes won’t get off for free though, as they will be required to reimburse the state of California for the cost to maintain sports betting within the casinos. 

Analysts say that passing this proposition would be great for the state economically as it would generate millions of dollars for the state to use towards education, mental health studies, and other important matters. 

This is the first time legalizing sports betting in tribal casinos has been on the ballot and is something California has wanted to pass since the Supreme Court ruled states could legalize sports betting in 2018. We also live in an age where sports betting is at an all-time high, as over 50 billion dollars were spent on sports related bets in 2021.

Those in favor of the proposition believe it would help Native American tribes become more self-sufficient, as this would create a new bridge for them to increase their business revenue. With it being required for people to be in person in order to place bets, supporters argue the likelihood of underage gambling would be almost non-existent.

Those who are opposed to prop 26 believe the passing of this would give casinos too much power and force out competing card rooms. Other casinos also allow 18 year olds to gamble and this could possibly lead to not only underage gambling, but potential gambling addiction in these young adults as well. This is also viewed as a major blow to horses, as the ability to bet more openly and easier on horse racing will revive the industry and in result, endanger more horses.

Down below are links to the other six proposition guides which will help you get an understanding:

Proposition 1: Constitutional right to reproductive freedom

Proposition 27: Allow online sports betting

Proposition 28: Arts & music education funding

Proposition 29: Impose rules on dialysis clinics

Proposition 30: Tax millionaires for EV and wildfire funding

Proposition 31: Uphold flavored tobacco ban