Quarantine guidelines are preventing tribes in California from getting signatures needed for sports betting legislation.

  • The state of California could see sports betting legalization on the 2020 ballot in November if enough signatures are received by April 21.
  • The current COVID-19 quarantine guidelines have stopped Tribes in the state from getting the required signatures they need to move their sports betting initiative along.

LOS ANGELES – The Golden State would need an amendment to the Constitution in order to get CA sports betting on the ballot for legalization. But COVID-19 lockdown has stopped the gathering of signatures by the Tribes in the state.

The Tribes need 997,139 signatures of residents to put a Constitutional amendment issue like sports betting on the ballot for public voting in November.

The Native American Tribes are nearly at that number but have had to stop their efforts due to the Coronavirus. They have until April 21 to submit the correct number of signatures to the state.

If they fail to do so because of the quarantine guidelines currently in place for COVID-19, they will have to wait until the next election year before they can try to once again legalize sports betting in California.

“Californians should have the choice to participate in sports wagering at highly regulated, safe and experienced gaming locations,” said Mark Macarro, chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. “We are very proud to see tribes from across California come together for this effort, which represents an incremental but important step toward giving Californians the freedom to participate in this new activity in a responsible manner.”

The latest Coronavirus pandemic has hindered the Tribes’ plans for getting sports betting on the ballot in November. While there has been no definitive number to the number of people they have had sign their petition, they’ve gotten very close to what’s needed.

“We are at nearly 1 million signatures and were on a trajectory to reach our goal well ahead of the deadline before the unprecedented orders around COVID-19,” said Jacob Mejia, spokesman for the initiative effort. “The health and well-being of Californians is foremost. Thus, paid signature-gathering efforts have paused for the time being.”

Social distancing has also been a problem as those that would normally want to sign a petition like that of sports betting would rather not get close to anyone holding a clipboard to do so.

For the time being, no more signatures can be taken. The Tribes have one more month before their efforts this year will have to be shut down and they will need to start over next year.

An amendment to the Constitution for the purposes of gaming is not unheard of in the Golden State. In fact, California has done it before. Two of which were also Tribal Gaming Initiatives such as this one for sports betting.

It only needs to make its way to the ballot and the voters will be able to make the call as they did in 1998 and 2000 for the 70 Tribal locations that offer some form of gaming statewide.

The sports betting market in California could be the biggest one in the nation should it come to pass. The Golden State is home to numerous professional teams within the top of their leagues as well as plenty of residents that enjoy wagering on sporting events.

If it became a legal activity, the state of California could see an estimated $2.5 billion in yearly sports betting revenue.

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