California Educators Against Mobile Sports Betting

CTA, CFT, ACSA On Same Page

Two top California education groups, the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) reiterated their opposition to Proposition 27 by voting to oppose the online gambling bill per a press release from the No On 27 campaign. The two groups are joining the state’s other teacher’s association, the California Teachers Association (CTA), who voiced their concerns earlier this year. The three organizations collectively represent 447,000 educators all across the state. 

“Proposition 27 would turn virtually every cell phone, laptop and tablet into a gambling device giving youth unprecedented access to gambling at their fingertips,” said Erin M. Simon, President of the ACSA. “Our communities should be focused on protecting children and the danger Proposition 27 poses for youth cannot be understated.”

Proposition 27 would fully legalize online gambling in the state which would allow anyone 21 years of age or older to bet on sports right from their phone. There will be a second bill on the ballot in November, backed by the native tribes of California, to completely ban online sports betting and allow for in-person sports betting at the tribal casinos in the state. Proposition 27 is opposed by the majority of the state’s tribes, who created the No On 27 coalition. However, three of the state’s smaller tribes back the bill. 

Opposing Views on Funding

President of the CTA, E. Toby Boyd spoke on behalf of his organization in May, expressing their disdain for the bill as well. “CTA opposes Prop 27. Online gambling corporations would take 90% of the profits out of state. Not a single penny is directed to our students or our state’s public schools.”

Proposition 27 calls for a 10% tax rate on sports betting revenue produced by commercial operators. Of that, 85% will go to funding homeless and mental health crises in the state, which is how the bill got dubbed the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act. The remaining 15% will go towards economic initiatives for the state’s tribes. 

“Research shows online and mobile sports betting is highly addictive, especially for youth and other vulnerable communities,” said Jeff Freitas, President of CFT who also joined Boyd in announcing his disappointment as it relates to education funding. “Prop 27 will also put California’s students at risk by failing to invest revenue in our state’s education system. This measure is a bad deal for California and for our public schools. We urge voters to reject Prop 27.”

Some State Leaders Agree

Educators are not alone in their fight against Proposition 27 as several politicians from both the Democratic and Republican party voiced their opposition this week as well via a press release sponsored by No On 27, from the Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming campaign. 

Official statements were made by Democratic Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk, and Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher. Concerns range from giving revenues to “out-of-state corporations” to taking away tribes’ ability to serve their communities. 

“California’s tribes have proven to be safe and responsible operators of gaming in California, providing benefits to their communities and to their members. I stand with tribal governments in opposition to Prop. 27 and support their right to operate gaming facilities on their lands,” said Atkins.