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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Will voters buy the online gaming arguments?

Uploaded: Sep 8, 2022
If you want a clue to how lucrative online betting will be in California, just check out the expenditures for the competing propositions, 26 and 27.
Through Aug. 20, more than three weeks ago now, $357 million has been spent—that’s already $133 million more than went into the successful campaign to upend AB 5 for Lyft, Uber and Door Dash drivers two years ago. And there’s still two months to go until election day—Monday’s Labor Day holiday marked the “official” start to campaigns that ramped up months ago.
The competing propositions came about after the Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that states could not ban online betting and left it to the states for their own regulation or licensing. With the varied gaming interests in Sacramento all exerting plenty of money and elbow twisting the Legislature has been unable to agree on a law for California.
For an example of just what’s at stake, consider that the PGA Tour now has embraced gaming and is listing odds on its leaderboard to prepare for real time betting. Proponents see bettors wagering real time on individual shots, not just which player may win the tournament or lead after the round. The National Football League now has an official online betting sponsor and you routinely hear and see sports talk shows describing the spread and the over-under bets. Fox Sports devotes a Monday-Friday afternoon show to gaming—expect more not less. The NFL for decades had shunned gaming, but the move of the Raiders to Las Vegas, approved by the league, signaled the end of that era.
Just too much money available.
With Proposition 26 you have the four privately owned horse racing tracks in California aligned with most of the Indian casinos. There are 69 licensed tribal casinos in the state. The casinos experienced a hit as would be expected in 2020, but roared back with a record year for receipts in 2021. The sports betting would be limited to the casino sites and the tracks.
If you haven’t ever seen a tribal casino, they rival or outdo the best that the gaming industry has to offer in Reno (they’ve largely killed the Reno business) and they’re competitive with what Vegas has to offer. This proposition leaves both off-tracking betting facilities and the five county fair horse racing meets out of the money pot.
The Proposition 27 is taking a page out of the book written by campaign strategist who convinced California voters to approve the lottery back in 1984. It devoted less than 3% of its proceeds to schools yet that was the dominant selling point in the campaign. It also greatly frustrated school officials when they went looking for additional funds because taxpayers argued that the lottery took care of them.
You can say the same for the tax increase that was passed in 2004 that established a 1% surcharge on incomes over $1 million with receipts going to fund mental health services. You would be justified in questioning just how well that money has been spent in changing outcomes—witness the governor’s successful legislation this session to establish a special court system to place mentally ill people into treatment because of the ongoing failure to deal effectively with the challenges.
Prop. 27’s primary backers are the online betting companies, Draft Kings, BetMGM and Fanduel, which would be allowed to reach arrangements with the casinos to allow online sports betting. Tribes could also offer sports betting under their own brands.
If either one or both pass, then expect potentially hundreds of millions of additional taxes to flow to the state. That tax revenue is why other states sued the online companies a few years ago—to tap that revenue stream.
As always in politics, follow the money.

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?

Comments

Posted by Wyatt Cross, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Sep 8, 2022 at 12:36 pm

Wyatt Cross is a registered user.

Why not just have legalized onsite betting at the various sports venues?

Chances are the passage of Prop 27 will do little to curtail homelessness in CA as the bureaucracy and middlemen will gobble-up a sizeable portion of the proceeds on marketing expenditures.

The CA lottery was supposed to help our local schools but all things considered, kids aren't getting any smarter these days.


Posted by Teresa Winters, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 8, 2022 at 2:12 pm

Teresa Winters is a registered user.

@Wyatt Cross

The UC and Cal State Universities have dropped ACT/SAT test scores as an admissions criteria and grades are highly inflated these days. We didn't have grades above a 4.0 when I was in school.

Today, anyone with an afternoon activity can raise their GPA by .5 and look good on paper.

"The CA lottery was supposed to help our local schools but all things considered, kids aren't getting any smarter these days."

^ In terms of reality, it was never meant to do so and while many kids today are more advanced in math (i.e. algebra) than we were at their age, the majority have lost any comparative edge when it comes to practicing common sense and/or knowing a value of a dollar because few have p/t jobs or any real emergent adult responsibilities.

Prop 27 will not make dent in easing the homeless problem in California.

It is just another revenue-generating force for hiring and paying more state bureaucrats and their related expenditures.


Posted by Dan, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 9, 2022 at 6:37 am

Dan is a registered user.

It seems like you're saying that we're at a dangerous inflection point in the online gambling debate, as industry forces have moved the market to the point of borderline legalization.

Further, it seems like you're saying what's needed is not ballot initiatives driven by big industry, but a thoughtful discussion on the impact of gambling. And, obviously, the natural best outcome would be a comprehensive bill from the legislator that balances the demands of consumers who want online gambling vs the potential damage it can have, particularly for low income individuals.

Either way, I"m hearing a hearty endorsement to vote "No" on both of these initiatives and ask our lawmakers for better options not written by those who stand to benefit the most and who are working to carve out as much of theirs as possible.

Another strong argument Tim, can't debate that.


Posted by Julianne Masters, a resident of another community,
on Sep 9, 2022 at 8:55 am

Julianne Masters is a registered user.

I don't believe that Prop 27 will deliver on its advertised spiel. Prop 27 will not ease homelessness in California as most of the resources will go toards administrative costs.

That said, I sometimes respond to panhandlers seeking 'spare change' by giving them a $5.00 bill as the money goes to them directly and it is neither my business nor responsibility to tell them how to spend it because the money is a cash gift.

Gambling is purported to be a sin by steadfast Christian mindsets but many churches hold raffles and host bingo games as fundraisers where the participants (many of whom are church members) are essentially gambling.

Our lay members are currently exploring the idea of having football betting on all Sunday NFL games and adding a large screen TV in the reception area with refreshments (food and alcohol) following services as a means of generating additional revenue. Non-church members would also be able to participate via proxy or by phone-in bets.

At one time, gambling was frowned upon as a detriment to the game itself (most notably in baseball) but times have changed as hardcore gamblers will wager on nearly anything.

The scratcher lottery tickets in 1986 opened the door for gambling in California and there is no going back.

On the other hand, politicizing gambling with false or misleading humanitarian promises is reprehensible.


Posted by Julianne Masters, a resident of another community,
on Sep 9, 2022 at 8:56 am

Julianne Masters is a registered user.

> toards [sic] administrative costs.
>> towards


Posted by Ramon Valencia, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 8:05 am

Ramon Valencia is a registered user.

"Gambling is purported to be a sin by steadfast Christian mindsets..."

There are absolutely no quotes in the Bible condemning gambling, just inferences that outside distractions can be an affront to God.

Having sports betting following church services along with the serving of alcoholic beverages is a terrific idea as it would increase recreational church participation, increase the coffers, all while providing a safe and convenient environment for sports gambling.

Casino games (excluding slot machines) could also be added to provide outlets for those who enjoy poker, blackjack, craps, and roulette.


Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 9:56 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

When the dinking and gambling is finished for the evening, hoe many DUI drivers will get on the road and city streets? Perhaps some in a rage because they lost money gambling, in Gods house no less.

I do not believe we need another DUI outlet. There are more than enough already.


Posted by Mallory Johnson, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 10:07 am

Mallory Johnson is a registered user.

• "Having sports betting following church services along with the serving of alcoholic beverages is a terrific idea..."

Some churches are more stringent than others when it comes to the serving of alcohol.

Episcopalians always have wine and distilled spirits available following church services and Lutherans serve beer at their summer church picnics.

Catholic churches offer real wine at Communion and Japanese Buddhist Temples sell beer and sake at their summer Obon festivals.

Jesus is also known to have turned water to wine...intentionally.

Only the Southern Baptists, Presbyterians, United Methodists, and the Church of Latter Day Saints refrain from having alcohol available following their services or at church socials.

Raffles and bingo are a form of gambling and sports betting at a church venue would be no different.

Why should Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Indian casinos be the only ones to offer
walk-in gambling outlets?


Posted by Richard Hall, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 11:30 am

Richard Hall is a registered user.

"When the dinking [sic] and gambling is finished for the evening, hoe [sic] many DUI drivers will get on the road and city streets? Perhaps some in a rage because they lost money gambling, in Gods house no less."

^ No gambler worth his/her salt blames the 'house' whether it be a back den, casino, or a church.

It is critical to scrutinize the other players involved in the game and to diligently monitor what transpires, being cognizant of unusual streaks and anomalies.

Best to use Uber if drinking and gambling. To blame others for one's gambling losses is the sign of an amateur.


Posted by Beatrice Layne, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 12:11 pm

Beatrice Layne is a registered user.

> "There are absolutely no quotes in the Bible condemning gambling, just inferences that outside distractions can be an affront to God."

>> "...some in a rage because they lost money gambling, in Gods house no less."

Life itself is a gamble and I imagine God wouldn't have it any other way.

As Jerry Garcia once sang, "You know it costs a lot to win and even more to lose, so you and I gotta take some time wondering what to choose."

Orcas the Rolling Stones Stones say, "they call it 'Tumbling Dice."


Posted by Melissa Wheat, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 1:04 pm

Melissa Wheat is a registered user.

I once won $2000.00 playing 21 in Vegas and upon our return to Danville, I tithed 10% ($200.00) to our church which the pastor gladly accepted even though I informed him of the source.

That told me that gambling is OK, at least at our church which BTW, also serves liquor (wine) after Sunday services.


Posted by Esther Roberts, a resident of Alamo,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 1:47 pm

Esther Roberts is a registered user.

To justify gambling in the name of God or his churchly endeavors is sheer blasphemy and those who adhere to such practices will never the kingdom of heaven unless they repent.


Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 2:01 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

In the catholic church gambling is a sin when a person spends thousands of dollars gambling, money that the family needs. Catholic church states this is a sin.


Posted by Jennifer Tate, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 2:54 pm

Jennifer Tate is a registered user.

* ...those who adhere to such practices will never [enter] the kingdom of heaven unless they repent."

^ The kingdom of money is very alluring to some folks and repentance can always come later.

* In the catholic church gambling is a sin when a person spends thousands of dollars gambling, money that the family needs. Catholic church states this is a sin.

^ I am assuming that lesser amounts (under two thousand dollars) spent/lost on gambling is acceptable providing other priorities (i.e. food, shelter, clothing, health insurance etc.) are being met?


Posted by Ken Booth, a resident of another community,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 3:31 pm

Ken Booth is a registered user.

On gambling...
"Catholic church states this is a sin."
"...those who adhere to such practices will never [enter] the kingdom of heaven unless they repent."

Concurring with the above BUT all as good Catholics know, repentance absolves one of any sin and there are standardized protocols on how to go about it.

Forgiveness is available for those who seek it as countless sins are firmly entrenched in mankind.

And nothing is going to change.


Posted by Mike Jeffries, a resident of Blackhawk,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 3:47 pm

Mike Jeffries is a registered user.

"Money won is always sweeter than money earned."

- Paul Newman to Tom Cruise in 'The Color of Money'


Posted by Helen Calderon, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 4:09 pm

Helen Calderon is a registered user.

~ Forgiveness is available for those who seek it as countless sins are firmly entrenched in mankind.

Jesus gambled on the worthiness of mankind and lost...no different than playing a progressive slot machine.


Posted by Pete Draper, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 4:30 pm

Pete Draper is a registered user.

@Michael Austin

I gamble (in moderation) to give hope to an otherwise meaningless existence.

Organized religion did not work for me.


Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 4:49 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Religion is organized?

I am aware of confusable factions, sects, cults, etc.
This way>>>
<<<That way

I quoted from one of them!

If man lives his life on earth honestly, works hard, serves his country with honor, pays his taxes, how can heaven be denied, assuming there is heaven?

For Native American Indian people, the American continent was heaven on earth, until the white people arrived, it has been a living hell ever since.


Posted by Jennifer, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 6:58 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

What a friend we have in Jesus. Take it to the Lord in prayer!


Posted by Kevin Jacobs, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Sep 11, 2022 at 6:13 am

Kevin Jacobs is a registered user.

"If man lives his life on earth honestly, works hard, serves his country with honor, pays his taxes, how can heaven be denied, assuming there is heaven?"
Michael Austin 2022

"Heaven is closed and hell is overbooked so I think I'll just stay where I am."
Willie Nelson @ 89


Posted by Giselle McIntyre, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 11, 2022 at 7:00 am

Giselle McIntyre is a registered user.

"Religion is organized?"

@Michael Austin

Organized religion, also known as institutional religion, is religion in which belief systems and rituals are systematically arranged and formally established. Organized religion is typically characterized by an official doctrine (or dogma), a hierarchical or bureaucratic leadership structure, and a codification of rules and practices.


Posted by Tish Jenkins, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 11, 2022 at 7:56 am

Tish Jenkins is a registered user.

"...as good Catholics know, repentance absolves one of any sin and there are standardized protocols on how to go about it."

^ I was raised Catholic but I find the repentance protocols somewhat troubling from the standpoint that it is essentially an ongoing license to sin in three convenient steps.

1. Go to confessional & confess sins
2. Place some money in the coffers
3. Light a candle on the way out
4. Exit free of sin

The only time true repentance and absolvement might kick-in (if at all) is during the administering of one's 'last rites'.

Then again, as in gambling there is no such thing as a 'sure thing.'


Posted by Jeanine Cross, a resident of Blackhawk,
on Sep 11, 2022 at 9:39 am

Jeanine Cross is a registered user.

Goodness...does this mean that if one lives an 'honest' life on Earth as per Michael Austin and somehow makes it to heaven, they will be joined by countless criminals and reprobates who have merely 'repented' for all of their Earthly indiscretions and crimes against others?

If such is the case, a simple apology and acknowledgement towards the end of one's life will apparently suffice.


Posted by Larry Jackson, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 11, 2022 at 11:00 am

Larry Jackson is a registered user.

@Jeanine...an apology can go a long ways towards rectifying matters but the person one is apologizing to rarely forgets the incident...just ask my ex-wife.

"Jesus gambled on the worthiness of mankind and lost..."

^ Jesus died for the sins of man over 2,100 years ago and to date, all of those sins are still alive and well.

Just how far have we really progressed?




Posted by dknute, a resident of Golden Eagle,
on Sep 12, 2022 at 10:25 am

dknute is a registered user.

Get four Presbyterians together, there's usually a fifth!
Probably not at church. Gambling in the House of the Lord? Really? Maybe in the auxiliary unit! Or that warehouse that is used as a disguise.


Posted by dknute, a resident of Golden Eagle,
on Sep 12, 2022 at 10:28 am

dknute is a registered user.

Jeannie Cross. I think the last ones who knew they'd be welcome in heaven with a last minute pardon, died on the cross along side Jesus.
Probably best, not to wait that long to “get right with the Lord". IMHO.


Posted by dknute, a resident of Golden Eagle,
on Sep 12, 2022 at 10:28 am

dknute is a registered user.

Jeannie Cross. I think the last ones who knew they'd be welcome in heaven with a last minute pardon, died on the cross along side Jesus.
Probably best, not to wait that long to “get right with the Lord". IMHO.


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