California Sports Betting Launch in November 2020?

Peter N
January 25, 2020

Recently, an alliance of 18 Native American tribes was given state approval to begin circulating petitions for a statewide ballot initiative to allow California sports betting. This would allow sports betting at tribal casinos and horse racing tracks in the CA. Unfortunately, the initiative doesn’t allow sports betting at rival card clubs or on the internet.

Accordingly, the Golden State voters might consider a ballot measure legalizing sports betting in November. Hence, California could become the USA’s sports betting capital.

California Sports Betting Launch

In May 2018, the Supreme Court overturned PASPA ruling. Since then, 14 US states have allowed legal wagers on athletic contests. The states such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa, West Virginia, and many more made online sports betting legal. Now, the California tool a major step to join the 14 other states.   

Recently, a title and summary for the tribal CA sports betting initiative are issued by Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General. This gives tribes the green light to state collecting signatures to put the measure on the ballot in November 2020.

Mark Macarro, tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, said: “The measure will result in new revenue for mental health programs and vital services like public safety and education.”

California will be the largest betting market in the country. In fact, the legal sports betting market could bring in $2.5 billion in gross revenue in the Golden State. However, the inclusion of mobile sports betting would be necessary to reach that potential. In addition, the market could generate $250m to $500m in tax revenue for the state based on a tax rate of 10% or 20% respectively.

California sports betting initiative

The initiative would amend the constitution to legalize California sports betting only within 65 tribal casinos and 4 horse racing tracks in the state. Furthermore, it would authorize tribal casinos to offer Las Vegas-style roulette and craps games. Most tribes intend to pay the same 10% on sports betting revenue to the state as per the initiate for racetracks.

California has a population of 39.2 million, whereas, 20 million of them are registered to vote. For the initiative, the ballot requires more than 1.2 million signatures. Deadlines are March 3 for a thorough check and April 21 for a random check. Indeed, the required number of signatures must be verified by June 25.

The initiate allows on-site sports betting at only privately-operated horse-racing tracks in 4 specific counties. In fact, Californians of 21 years or older can place sports wagers by the first quarter of 2022.

Online sportsbook contenders for California Sports Betting Launch

Firstly, the initiative will be to pass legislation regulating fixed locations to open sports betting to sports fans in California. Therefore, this open door will act as a clear path to online sports betting operations. Many people utilize mobile devices; therefore, online sports betting should generate more revenue.

Once sports betting laws are changed, online sports betting legalization will follow soon. The top contenders to secure online sports betting approval in CA are as follows:

Professional sports leagues in CA

California is home to powerhouse university teams from UCLA and USC. In fact, the state has four NBA teams and three NFL franchises. Furthermore, there are 5 MLB teams in the Golden State. Lawyers from NBA and MLB have told lawmakers that they are supportive of a constitutional amendment. However, they want to make sure the new system protects the integrity of the games and consumers.

Comparing with other states, California has the highest number of professional sports league teams and franchises. Therefore, it’s important that the state get the constitutional amendment right as this will be the biggest market in the country. In addition, California will be a state that other states look to.

Author Peter N