California sports betting

  • The tribal gaming industry in California brings in about $9.7 billion in annual revenue for the state.
  • Sports betting through land-based tribal locations will be on the November 2022 ballot.
  • A new initiative called the California Sports Wagering and Consumer Protection Act would like to be placed on the ballot as well but could jeopardize the gaming revenue the tribes bring in.

LOS ANGELESCalifornia was already cleared to have sports betting on the November 2022 ballot after tribes in the state submitted the proper number of signatures in order to do so. However, a new petition is looking for signatures from residents of the Golden State as it seeks to get on that same ballot for the same topic. So, what’s the difference between the two and what would be a problem that’s expected to be seen?

California Sports Betting Initiatives

Regulated sports betting in California would require a constitutional amendment to expand their gaming into sports wagering statewide. Amendments to a state’s constitution are to be made via public vote by residents once government officials pass the proper legislation. In this case, a petition signed by 997,139 is what’s required to get the topic of sports betting on the ballot in November 2022.

The tribes in California will already appear on the ballot for sportsbooks as they turned in the required verified signatures to the state earlier this year. Through their initiative, they will have the monopoly on sports wagering in the Golden State, where the market would be a land-based only industry for at least five years at tribal gaming establishments. Should the commercialized version of sports gaming also get a spot on the ballot, this could cause a major issue with the state and tribes in regards to their gaming industries and the revenue tribes already bring into California every year.

The new petition has until April 2022 to acquire and verify the required number of signatures. Known as “California Sports Wagering and Consumer Protection Act” as it has been for years, there will be a window for public opinion until mid-September before signatures will start being collected. This specific initiative would allow for both brick-and-mortar and mobile sportsbooks statewide. It has been a measure that has yet to be realized for over five years.

Will California Have Sports Betting In 2023?

Regulated sports betting in California looks to be a lock to launch in 2023, no matter which way the state ends up going about it. The tribes already have the subject for voters to choose and with the number of sports betting fans in the area, it’s more than likely the majority vote will be had.

However, in a competitive industry, the “California Sports Wagering and Consumer Protection Act” would be the way to go, although it is expected that tribes would have an issue with this, despite their inclusion. Not only would there be land-based and mobile sports betting under this act for every tribal gaming facility but there would also be licenses for sportsbooks for all 19 professional sports organizations in the state as well.

Arizona is the latest state to include some form of commercial sports betting with their tribal sports betting. With any luck, California will see less pushback to get this new initiative on the ballot after seeing the successes of other states who have incorporated both the tribal and commercial aspects within their sports wagering industries.

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