UNITED STATES—California’s journey into the world of legalized sports betting has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. Two proposals, Props 26 and 27, took center stage on the November 2022 ballot. Each of the proposals took a different strategy to legalize sports betting, which triggered a complex debate involving Native American tribes, gaming companies, and the general public.

This article will summarize how Propositions 26 and 27 went, the outcome, and where we are now. We’ll also be sharing a list of the offshore casinos dominating the gambling space in CA. Stay tuned!


Prop 26 and Prop 27 aimed to legalize sports betting in California, but they differed significantly in their scope. Prop 26 sought to permit in-person sports gambling exclusively at tribal casinos and four horse racing tracks statewide. 

Meanwhile, Prop 27 proposed the legalization of online sports betting, allowing major gaming companies like FanDuel and DraftKings to collaborate with tribes, enabling people to place bets from anywhere, including their phones.

Prop 26: Tribal Territory

Led by a majority of California’s Native American tribes, Prop 26 proposed a more limited approach, restricting sports betting to in-person wagers at tribal casinos and four horse racing tracks. 

This proposition promised to generate tax revenue for the state while supporting tribal economies, building upon their existing gambling infrastructure. It was supported by major Native American tribes in California, who were concerned about protecting their existing businesses. 

Prop 27: Gaming Industry’s Stance

Prop 27, on the other hand, was backed by big gaming companies like FanDuel and DraftKings, aiming to tap into the potential multi-billion dollar sports betting industry. 

Supporters argued that the initiative would generate significant tax revenue, addressing issues like homelessness and mental health. However, critics, including some homeless advocates, raised concerns about the funds flowing to out-of-state corporations.

Prominent figures such as Greg Sarris, Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, argued that Prop 27 posed a threat by extending gambling authority to out-of-state gaming companies, thus jeopardizing California Indians’ ability to support themselves economically.

Regulatory Framework

Both propositions presented different regulatory frameworks, with Prop 26 focusing on in-person gambling and Prop 27 opening the door to online sports betting. 

However, the high cost of entry for online sports betting, including a $10 million licensing fee, raised concerns among some tribes, limiting their ability to participate.

Public Opinion

The California Republican Party opposed both propositions, while the Democratic Party opposed Prop 27 but remained neutral on Prop 26. 

Although neutral on Prop 27, Governor Gavin Newsom shared that the proposition was not primarily about combating homelessness but rather an initiative to provide a few extra dollars.

The Outcome: A Draw, Not a Touchdown

Despite the intense lobbying and record-breaking spending, neither proposition crossed the finish line. Prop 26 and Prop 27 failed to secure the most positive votes, leaving California in limbo regarding legalized sports betting.

Where We Stand Now: The Game Continues

The 2022 California sports betting ballot may have resulted in a losing draw, but the game is far from over. The legal battle continues, with pending lawsuits and challenges surrounding the propositions. 

The California legislature also explores alternative pathways to legalize sports betting, potentially through new bills or ballot initiatives.

The Uncertain Future: A Field of Possibilities

While the immediate outcome remains unproductive, the debate has undoubtedly shifted the landscape of California’s gambling scene. The potential for a lucrative online market, the concerns of tribal sovereignty, and the state’s ever-present fiscal needs continue to be critical considerations. 

Whether California would legalize sports betting and in what form remains to be seen. But one thing is sure; the battle between tribes and gaming companies will likely continue, with future rounds promising to be just as intense and unpredictable as the ones we’ve witnessed so far.

Offshore Casinos and Online Market Dominance

While the debate over Prop 26 and Prop 27 unfolded, the California online casino market saw significant influence from some offshore casinos, which currently dominate the digital gambling landscape. 

Operating beyond the scope of state regulations, these casinos have attracted a substantial amount of California’s online bettors. While these casinos might seem like the only available options, selecting the best online casino for CA betting is all narrowed down to several factors:

  • Licensing and Regulation
  • Reputation and Trustworthiness
  • Game Variety and Quality
  • User Experience and Interface
  • Bonuses and Promotions
  • Payment Methods and Security

Some notable offshore casinos that meet these criteria include:

  1. BetOnline
  2. Bovada
  3. Ignition Casino
  4. Red Dog Casino
  5. Wild Casino
  6. DuckyLuck Casino

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What was the outcome of the 2022 propositions?

Prop 26 and Prop 27 received more votes to pass. This means California still has no legalized sports betting, leaving the issue unresolved.

Is sports betting legal in California?

As of January 2024, sports betting remains illegal in California. The 2022 ballot stalemate has left the future uncertain.

Where is gambling legal in the US?

Gambling has been legalized in several states in the US, including Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Mississippi, and other additional states.


The final decision for California’s sports betting legalization remains uncertain. While both Prop 26 and Prop 27 fell short in 2022, the stakes have remained strong. As legislators and stakeholders explore alternative pathways, lessons learned from Prop 26 and Prop 27 can guide the development of a workable framework for legal sports betting in California.