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What if competing CA sports gambling initiatives both pass this November?

Californians will see two competing measures on the ballot this November that could legalize the multi-billion dollar industry of sports gambling.

A 'yes' vote on Proposition 26, called the Tribal Sports Wagering Act, would allow sports betting at tribal casinos and licensed race tracks.

Profits would be taxed at 10 percent, and revenue generated would go toward enforcement of sports betting (15%), programs for problem gambling and mental health (15%), and the state's general fund (70%).

"People...will have to show ID," said Kathy Fairbanks, a spokesperson for Yes on Prop 26. "Someone will match their ID with the face and we can ensure that people who are gambling are all of legal age."

A 'yes' vote on Proposition 27 would legalize sports betting online.

Revenue generated would be taxed at 10 percent and would go toward housing for homelessness and mental health support (85%) and funding for non-gaming Indian tribes (15%).

Three California tribes have endorsed the corporate online gaming measure, which is sponsored in part by out-of-state sports betting corporations Draft Kings and FanDuel.

Dozens of other tribes have endorsed the in-person tribal measure.

So what if both initiatives pass?

"The simple answer is whoever gets the most votes wins," said Ian Imrich, a SoCal attorney whose firm focuses on gaming and entertainment.

Imrich said the real question if both measures pass is whether they conflict with each other.

Nathan Click, a spokesperson for the online betting initiative, said they don't conflict.

"It works very simply," Click said. "Theirs is in-person, ours is online. There's nothing in the two measures that conflicts with each other."

That means if both measures pass but the online initiative gets more votes, sports betting would become legal both online and at casinos.

But if the tribal initiative gets more votes, it may not be as clear cut.

News Channel 3 asked the tribal measure's spokesperson if the two measures are in conflict with one another.

"I can't answer your question directly. I wish I could. I can't," Fairbanks said.

Experts say if that's the case, tribes could sue and argue the measures do conflict with each other.

"In that scenario, with the tribal gaming initiative having more votes, I think they would go to court and seek an injunction or other procedural and legal remedies to say, 'Only the tribal membership pass because it conflicts,'" Imrich said.

Sound confusing? Policy experts say voters lacking understanding can lessen the likelihood of measures like these becoming law.

"If they're going to be confused, they're going to take a pass and they're going to vote no," said Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California.

Baldassare said only one in three California ballot initiatives historically have passed.

"The default is to vote no," he said.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on both sides of these campaigns. This is a breakdown of fundraising:

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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