Last week California state lawmakers held a hearing on sports betting. The hearing was held with commentary from industry experts overseen by state senators and assembly makers. California State Sen. Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray hope the feedback will help them to put together a bill for legalization in November. Will California sports betting legalization be possible in 2020? Let’s find out.
Many states in the US are currently trying to find a way to legalize sports betting. In fact, nine states already legalized sports betting in 2019, making it 20 states with legal sports betting. However, California gambling laws ban sports betting in the state. Well, this might change in 2020.
Why Betting stays illegal in California?
There are many gambling options in California. Well, there are 69 total Native American Casinos, 100 card rooms and 5 Racetracks in the state. However, when it comes to sports betting, the Golden State falls short. Currently, California has no sports betting bills on file. But why didn’t the situation change for a while?
The reason why California sports betting legalization isn’t moving forward is the result of the position of the state’s tribes. So, they used their political power to fail any sports betting legislation over the years.
Gambling in California is mostly controlled by casino-operating tribes that have contracts with the state. So, this is why they didn’t want the expansion of gambling that includes sports betting. The tribes didn’t want to see any more competition from the state’s card rooms and racetracks. Well, they seem to be satisfied with everything staying the way it is in California in terms of gaming.
And what about online gambling in California? Well, it is a gray area. The current state laws do not clearly say whether gambling online is illegal or not. Thus, you can find many online sportsbooks like Intertops available for Californians.
Will California sports betting legalization be possible in 2020?
In order to legalize sports betting in California, any bill put forward needs to have two-thirds approval from both the General Assembly and the state Senate. Then the bill would be added to the November ballot, where it should get another majority vote.
The US gamblers bet a total of $1.86 billion in November 2019, creating an annual growth rate of 88 percent. So, it is no question why more and more states want to legalize sports betting.
Lawmakers hope that by California sports betting legalization, the state will see a fall in its current problems with its underground betting market. Americans illegally bet $150 billion every year. Legalization could also solve problems with fraud and tax avoidance.
In addition to this, despite the fact that tribal nations have been one of the biggest opponents of legalizing sports betting, they are starting to come around. They also have started to see the potential income from legalized sports betting.
And now, there are 20 tribes in California that have formed a coalition to try to legalize sports betting in the state. The coalition has already started gathering up signatures in an effort to get something on the ballot in November.
However, not everyone in California is on board with the plan of the tribal coalition. So the California sports betting legalization process promises to be hard.
Don’t forget to check on online gambling news in the US to stay updated on the topic.