New Ballot Initiative Seeks to Legalize In-Person & Mobile Sports Betting in CaliforniaPublished September 20, 2021 by Elana K
Several California cities have joined together to create a new proposal that would legalize sports betting in the state & not limit it to tribal operators. The proposal must get nearly 1 million signatures just to get a spot on the November 2022 ballot.
A new ballot initiative led by multiple Californian cities is proposing to legalize in-person and mobile sports betting in the Golden State. The proposal was sent to the state’s Attorney General's office on Thursday and has been named the California Sports Wagering and Consumer Protection Act.
While the proposal is a step in a positive direction, it still has a long way to go. Sports betting in California is a complicated issue, mainly due to tribal agreements. The new proposal needs 997,139 valid signatures by April 2022 in order for it to be included on November’s ballot.
There is also a tribal proposal slated for the November ballot, which includes 5 years of in-person-only sports betting at tribal operators. The states that are pushing for the California Sports Wagering and Consumer Protection Act are vying for a piece of the large sports betting pie.
Not only do they not want the tribes to have a monopoly, but they realize that there is a lot of illegal sports betting taking place. According to the mayor of Gardena, Tasha Cerda, the estimated market of illegal gambling in California is around $10 billion. Legalizing sports betting would allow states to tap into the revenue while also providing a large measure of consumer protection.
What’s Included in the California Sports Wagering and Consumer Protection Act?
The new proposal requires sports betting operators to partner with a land-based operator, fairly standard in the US sports betting industry. Tribal casinos, card rooms, and race tracks would be able to apply for licenses, as would the state’s 19 professional sports teams.
Licenses would cost $5 million for the first year and $1 million for every following year. The state would tax revenue at a rather high rate of 25%, with up to 1% extra for funding problem gambling programs.
The range of betting options would be broad and include amateur, collegiate, and professional sports. Only bets on high school sports and potential injuries would not be allowed.