CA sports betting: Yes on Prop 27 campaign cuts majority of TV ads after recent poll

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Thursday, September 22, 2022
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"Yes on Prop. 27" is rolling back on TV ads after a recent poll showed voters may vote "no," which would legalize online sports gaming in California.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's spent millions of dollars in TV ads, now the Proposition 27 campaign is rolling back advertising on television.

The decision comes just after a recent poll showed voters may vote "no" on the proposition, which would legalize online sports gaming statewide.

The "Yes on Prop. 27" campaign does not have ads running on ABC7 for the next three weeks, and has done the same with other outlets.

A campaign spokesperson, who was not available for an interview told ABC7 in a statement, "Clearly, the saturated television market is not benefiting either side, so our campaign is putting those dollars toward additional direct communication with voters in order to pass Prop. 27."

WATCH: California sports betting: What's the difference between Prop 26 and Prop 27?

All of this comes after a poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found last week that a majority of voters would oppose Prop 27.

Though the campaign has not connected their decision to pull ads to that poll, Nolan Higdon, professor of History Communication at CSU East Bay, says it's possible.

"Generally, when someone pulls money out of a campaign, that means that they think they're gonna lose, and they're probably trying to cut their losses," Higdon said.

But Higdon also says that there's merit to the campaign statement that they'll focus on direct communication like social media and mailers.

"Advertising of all sorts is really in a transitional period right now," Higdon said, "Folks are cutting the cable, they're moving away from television, more and more to streaming services, digital platforms and so maybe the campaign is onto something here that their money will prove more lucrative for them politically, if they use it in the digital spaces versus these traditional or legacy spaces."

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"Yes on Prop. 27's" move to pull back TV ads has also caught the attention of its opponents, "No on 27".

They say that their advertising strategy will remain the same.

"While "Yes on 27" may be paring back their spending now, they can easily ramp it up," said "No on 27" spokesperson, Kathy Fairbanks, "They've raised $170 million for Proposition 27. They haven't spent it all yet but it's there if they want to spend it."

Higdon says at the end of the day, no matter where ads are playing or seen, it's the audiences that have the real power.

"If audience members are already, say opposed to just gambling in general, or gambling from home," he said, "It's totally within the realm of possibility that these ads will have no impact no matter how people interact with them."

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