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Sports Betting in California: Everything You Need to Know

Sports betting was legalized in 2018 and this has featured a total of 22 States with an exemption of California.

There have been several hindrances towards California sports betting, such as in betting.us/california/ and all that remains is the awaiting of the November CA sports.


The proposed bill seems to have an interesting twist towards the legalizing of betting on sports in California. Of course it is expected to have pros and cons and the climax of all this is what will outweigh what. The bill will cover tribal casinos, card rooms and racetracks with main controversy lying between card rooms and casinos. Card rooms will not have sports betting but tribal casinos won’t affect them as they have protection from the government.

The controversy arising between the two is that, casinos blame it on card rooms that the games ae not according to rules and laws. Card rooms try to bend the rules so that they have more games. It means that if the proposed bill sails through, card games could possibly bend these rules more without facing legal issues. The issue therefore is where the mobile sportsbook apps will fit at the end. Racetracks have the go ahead of having sportsbooks but no horse betting racing on the go. They will therefore find themselves in either tracks or casinos.

Betting on Sports Timeline in California

Betting on sports in the state started in 2016 when Adam Gray, a Democrat, brought in a sports gambling legislation CAAB1573. The legislation did not even reach informational hearing. The Assemblyman made a come-back in 2017 and this time he came with ACA 18. This legislation by Adam Gray was to make amend on the constitution of the state so that betting on sports could be made legal. The legislation however could not make further progress as it needed the approval of voters in the election year.

In June 2018, there was a petition that was filed by Californians for Sports Betting. The group needed 623,211 with a deadline set for February 2019 so that this could be on a ballot. It had no signature at all and it just collapsed in the early stages. The intention of the petition at the time was to allow cardrooms have sportsbooks. It was not what tribal casinos would favor.

Adam Gray was at it again the same year this petition failed in the early year of 2019. This time the Assembly man came with the bill ACA 16 in June and was backed by Senator Bill Dodd. Senator Bill Dodd introduced the legislation through SCA6. The bills lacked specific information and were to be put on hold until the beginning of 2020.

By November 2019, 18 state’s tribes united together with the sake of filing a petition so that they could have sports betting on the ballot on November the following year. The terms contained in this petition doesn’t fully favor bettors as it dictates that the sportsbooks can also be in tribal casinos. It restricts mobile or online sportsbooks in California. The tribe required to get 997,139 signatures towards the end of April 2020 so that the petition could appear on the ballot paper of 2020.

Come March 2020, the tribes had made a milestone in getting needed signatures with an effort of getting this petion on the ballot. The measures required a two-thirds majority for it to pass in state legislature. State legislature members were against the terms of the tribes and as the events were to unfold, the coronavirus pandemic made the progress to come to a hold. In fact the coronavirus pandemic has caused much harm in all areas. For instance, you need to be on the look-out and watch out for coronavirus scams.

The 8 January 2020 Hearing

In May 2018, PAPSA ruling did not sail through and by then, just few states were for sports betting for the best time. California found itself in these states and a year later there wasn’t any change. Things took a twist in the state late in 2019 and it has since then moved forward to have a hearing for the first time in 2020 in regard to legalizing sports betting.

There has been light at the end of the tunnel for the state when the Senate and Assembly Governmental Organization Committees held a joint meeting on 8 January 2020. The joint meeting was held at the state capital. The agenda of holding the meeting was for industry experts to expose the exact face market of betting on sports.

The state has a wide range of sports teams and the population is quite outstanding. This implies that the market is poised to be an amazing thing in the country and could grow rapidly. With the inclusion of the mobile version, statistics suggests that the market can be worth $2.5 billion every year in California alone.

The January hearing meant that California had made a step forward and was moving in the desired direction. With that aside, it is worth noting that the absence of racetracks, card rooms and tribal casinos during the hearing raises question marks to whether there is a possibility of this not sailing through.

For any gambling bill to pass in California, it requires the two-thirds supermajority threshold. This is because the bills are related to law. Racetracks and card rooms might be on the disadvantaged side if betting on sports is considered and will be in favor of tribal casinos. The 2019 November proposal by coalition of state’s tribe seems to be a better deal if it is to be adopted. The idea could provide legal betting on sports exclusivity in the state.

There has been multiple attempts to legalize gambling in California. The state has however made legal the daily fantasy sports with DFS not being any near of being under online betting. This issue has experienced progress but despite all these attempts, it hasn’t gone up to the expectations. It is quite unclear what will befall this issue taking into account that California is faced with hard politics.

The residence of California are however allowed to play on off-shore casino sites. This is not a good thing with the government as they are losing a lot in terms of revenue. Some states are benefiting a lot from sports betting while California drags itself behind. Online sports gambling is a great source of revenue generation and this has been adopted by several states.

Due to COVID 19 outbreak, it has become difficult for the plans to move forward. In fact, corona has been recently termed as the American dream killer. The lockdown has restricted tribes from collecting more signatures. The legislatures can’t vote on any bill either. Everything has been put in the air at the moment but there is still some hope and all we can do is wait and see.


Author: nohoarts