What if Californians pass two sports betting initiatives?

in summary

There is a good chance that two initiatives to legalize sports betting will appear in the ballots in November. If both accept, they can take effect or the result can be decided in court, depending on who gets more votes for.


In November, Californians are likely to face the question: Should sports betting be legalized?

And then, a little further down in their bulletin, there’s a good chance they’ll be asked again: Should sports betting be legalized?

Yes. Most likely, two measures to legalize sports betting will appear in the vote in November. This has been curtailed from earlier this year, when four different initiatives were in play.

Of the other two measures, one is already eligible to vote in November, and the other is expected soon.

This is what every initiative does

The California Sports Betting Regulation and the Gambling Act are backed by a group of Native American tribes and are currently eligible to vote. This will allow tribal casinos and the country’s four horse racing tracks to offer sports betting. This will also allow tribal casinos to expand their gambling offerings to roulette and dice.

Meanwhile, the California Homelessness and Mental Health Solutions Act has been backed by several major sports betting companies, including FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM. This will legalize online sports betting outside of Native American lands and allow gambling companies to offer online sports betting if they partner with a tribe. Election officials are reviewing the signatures for this initiative – if they are valid enough, they will also be eligible to vote.

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Here’s what happens if they both pass

California sometimes ends up with newsletters that have multiple initiatives on the same topic.

If one passes and the other does not, then there is no problem: the one who passes enters into force, the others do not.

If they all pass and are not in conflict with each other, they can all come into force.

But if more than one pass and they are in conflict with each other, the one that is adopted with a higher difference than the votes “for” comes into force, and the other does not, according to the Constitution of California.

The initiative, backed by FanDduel, DraftKkings and BetMGM, says it does not contradict the measure, which allows sports betting in tribal lands, and that if both pass, both will take effect. The measure, supported by the tribes, says nothing about whether it contradicts other measures.

So, if both initiatives pass – and The initiative, backed by FanDuel and DraftKings, has a higher margin – both measures are likely to take effect, said Ian Imric, a Southern California lawyer whose practice includes gaming laws. But if both pass, and the tribal measure passes with a higher margin, the lawyers of the tribal measure could argue in court that the two measures are in conflict to try to prevent the entry into force of the measure, supported by FanDuel and DraftKings.

Duplicate other ballots

This is not the first time there has been more than one initiative on the same topic. In 2016, there were two initiatives related to the death penalty and two for plastic bags.

Lawmakers can also mediate deals between supporters of the initiative. In 2014, lawmakers passed a bill that allows supporters to remove their measures from the ballot closer to the election, giving them more time to potentially reach a deal. In April, for example, lawmakers negotiated a deal between patient groups, consumer lawyers and medical professionals, passing a law that increases the penalties for victims of medical abuse and preventing costly proactive battles.

In February, when four sports betting initiatives were included, state legislators Anthony Randon and Tony Atkins expressed interest in reaching a compromise on sports betting.

“I think it’s always confusing for voters when there are multiple ballots on the same point,” said Senate Sen. Tony Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego, at a Sacramento press club event. “If you want to see progress, it’s useful to make it simpler, so I think there may be an opportunity (to negotiate a deal),” Atkins said.

When CalMatters asked Atkins’ office if lawmakers were still considering a deal, a spokesman said they were still investigating it.

Learn more about the legislators mentioned in this story

U.S. Senate, 39 (San Diego)

How she voted 2019-2020

liberal
conservative

Area 39 Demography

Race / Ethnicity

Latin

19%

White

56%

Asian

16%

Black

5%

Lots of competition

4%

Voter registration

To

44%

GOP

23%

No party

27%

Something else

4%

Contribution to the campaign

Senator Tony Atkins took at least
$ 1.8 million
from Labor
sector since she was elected MP. This represents
20%
of her overall contribution to the campaign.

State Assembly, District 63 (South Gate)

How to vote 2019-2020

liberal
conservative

Area 63 Demography

Race / Ethnicity

Latin

76%

White

10%

Asian

6%

Black

7%

Lots of competition

1%

Voter registration

To

56%

GOP

14%

No party

24%

Something else

6%

Contribution to the campaign

Asm. Anthony Randon took at least
$ 2.8 million
from Labor
sector since he was elected MP. This represents
27%
of his overall contribution to the campaign.

How Californians feel

The majority of Californians believe that the initiative process needs to be changed, according to a study conducted by the California Institute of Public Policy in April. More than 90% of Kaliorians agree to some extent or strongly that the wording of voting measures is often too confusing for voters to understand what happens if the initiative is approved, and 56% said that special interests control much of the process.

Most initiatives do not pass, and Marc Baldassare, president of the institute, said the likelihood of a measure being further reduced is reduced if voters are confused by it.

The fact that initiatives can be confusing for voters – and that the process can be further confused by more than one initiative on the same topic – is a “huge problem,” said Mary-Beth Moylan, associate dean of the University of Pacific McGeorge Law School. .

“People are reluctant to read things up close. And often what is included in the title of the bulletin can be misleading, “Moylan said. “So this is especially dangerous in a situation where you have multiple initiatives on the same or a similar topic.”

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