After nearly $600m had been ploughed into expensive TV and newspaper advertising to support one form of sports betting over another in California, the whole issue came crashing down on Tuesday.
The gaming industry’s big guns were in a shoot-out with the Californian Native tribes over their respective stances on opening up the most lucrative state in the US to sports betting. And the voters have turned it down.
Neither proposition was acceptable to the California public when they went to the polls this week to see if California would join with 30 other states in permitting sports betting – and taxing it.
California is left for the moment with the Native casinos, horse tracks, card rooms and the state lottery.
Each campaign wooed the public with promises of benefits if their method of operating sports betting was approved. The Indians wanted to keep betting to the four horse tracks and the casinos and it would be in-person betting.
The gaming industry, led by big names such as DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM, said it would be permitted online and through mobiles.
The state’s Republican Party opposed both; the Democrats only Proposition 27 – that of the big gaming companies.