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$150 Million in Out-of-State Money Funding Yes on 27 Online Gaming Proposition

By Brian Hews

August 4, 2022 ~ Proponents of Proposition 27 claim the initiative “guarantees hundreds of millions of dollars every year …eighty-five percent of all tax revenue goes to fund solutions to homelessness, mental health and addiction.”

Critics call the Corporate Online Gambling Act a deceptive proposition to legalize online sports gambling across California, turning virtually every cellphone, tablet and laptop into a gambling device.

They claim the fine print says 90% of the revenue will go to the online corporations and nothing will be earmarked for the homeless, no real jobs will be created, and the agreements between California and Indian tribes will suffer, draining billions of dollars from the state.

They also claim out-of-state gambling corporations are promoting the proposition, and they are right.

An examination by HMG-CN of Yes on 27 campaign committee documents from the Secretary of State’s website for 2021-’22 shows a massive $150 million in donations, with 95% coming from companies outside of California.

The list includes Bally’s Interactive, BETMGM and WSI from Nevada; Draftkings from Massachusetts, Penn Interactive from Pennsylvania and FBG Enterprises from Florida.

Yes on 27 is a sponsored committee; initially, the companies did not donate the money, opting to give the $100 million in funds as a loan which will have to paid back at some point or forgiven by the committee.

From Jan 1-March 31, 2022, $17 million was spent, a majority on petition and professional services.

Nearly $1.1 million went to digital advertising, a good chunk to the major daily newspapers up and down the state who are reporting on the proposition.

$118,000 went to the Los Angeles Times; $50,000 to the McClatchy Group; $50,000 to the New York Times and $24,000 to La Opinion.

A whopping $530,000 went to Google; $202,000 to Facebook and $124,000 to POLITICO.

But a smaller donation in February of this year will have many scratching their heads; $20,000 came from the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.

Calls into the LACDP went unreturned.

 

 

Screenshot showing LACDP donation to Yes on 27.

 

More Money

The money spigot from the out-of-state companies did not end; according to the period ending in July, another $50 million in “late contributions” poured into the Yes on 27 committee.

Unlike the first donations, which were classified as loans, the money given in July was classified as late contributions.

BETMGM, DraftKings and Fanduel gave $8.3 million each; Penn Interactive and FGB gave $12.5 million each.

Nevada-based Bally’s Interactive and WSI were not listed.

On the other side, the No on 27 committee garnered $1.3 million in 2021, entirely from California Indian tribes.

Between Jan. and Mar. 2022, Agua Caliente, Barona and Yocha Deche gave $5 million while the Chumash gave $2.5 million, for a total of $17.5 million; the committee spent $5 million.

Those same tribes stepped up with another $42 million between Apr. and Jun. 2022, which brought the total to $60 million, spending $25 million with a cash-on-hand of $30 million.

Contrary to the LA County Democratic Party, who gave $20,000 to the Yes on 27 Committee, several Democratic Committees, including Yolo, Santa Clara, Kings County, San Juaquin, Stanislaus, Fresno and Kern gave to the No on 27 Committee.

Along with the committees, California, San Diego, and Contra Costa Democratic Parties gave money; a total of $11,000 between the committees and parties.

 

 

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