California Sports Betting Taxes

  • Two sports betting bills will likely be on the November ballot in California.
  • Only one would allow online sports betting and allow bets on California colleges and universities.
  • Neither initiative proposed sports a tax rate near that of New York state.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – State-regulated sports betting initiatives are gaining steam throughout California. Two such initiatives are likely to be voted on in November, sporting a 10% tax rate.

Comparing Potential California Sports Betting Revenue To New York

California has the largest population in the United States by roughly 10 million people. Texas and Florida have the second and third highest populations, but neither offers sports betting. That makes New York, the state with the fourth-highest population, the best fit when comparing potential sports betting revenue.

New York has the highest tax rate on sports betting revenue of any state at 51%. Either of the sports betting initiatives in California would be less than a third of that, but with nearly double to the population, it is possible California reaches New York’s annual tax revenue. Launching in January of 2022, New York state has already accumulated more than $250 million in tax revenue.

With the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act largely backed by the largest national sportsbooks out there, it is unlikely that the tax rate would ever be raised to New York levels. If another initiative were to come along with a higher rate it may be possible that California surpasses New York for the highest tax revenue in the United States given the amount of money Americans typically bet on sports.

Comparing The Sports Betting Initiatives In CA

Outside of the taxation differences, the California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act and the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act have a few key differences and similarities.

The California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act

  • Tax rate on the approved racetrack operators: 10%
  • Minimum age: 21 years old
  • Betting on California’s colleges and universities: No
  • Online sports betting: No

The California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act

  • Tax rate on the approved operators: 10%
  • Minimum age: 21 years old
  • Betting on California’s colleges and universities: Yes
  • Online sports betting: Yes

The key difference as far as sports bettors are concerned is that online legal sports betting would only be permitted by the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act. Hidden within that bill is a clause that states the only sports betting operators that would be eligible for a license would be those that operate in either 10 states or five states plus 12 casinos.

With that clause in mind, the act is likely to be attacked by the various Indian tribes of California and any other small sports betting operators that were hoping to launch in California.

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