By Skip Charles in Vegas

The whole country has been approving sports betting ever since the Supreme Court legalized it outside of Nevada in May 2018.

But not California!

The most expensive ballot proposition gamble in U.S. history went bust Tuesday as California voters overwhelmingly rejected sports betting, shooting down initiatives by Native American tribes and the wagering industry.

A proposition that would allow online and mobile sports betting was failing by nearly a 3-to-1 margin in early returns and another measure that would allow sports wagering at Native American casinos and horse tracks was trailing by about 30 percentage points.

The two groups raised nearly $600 million in competing efforts to expand gambling and capture a piece of a potential billion-dollar market in the nation’s most populous state. But voters did not want a piece of that action.

Supporters and opponents of the dueling measures flooded voters with a blast of advertisements on propositions that would have legalized sports gambling by allowing it at tribal casinos and horse tracks or through mobile and online wagering.

The money raised and spent more than doubled the record amount deployed in 2020 by Uber, Lyft and other app-based ride-hailing and delivery services to prevent drivers from becoming employees eligible for benefits and job protection.

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