When the decision came down from the Supreme Court that they sided with New Jersey in the Murphy v NCAA case, California Assemblyman Adam Gray is ready to move ahead with the sports betting legalization in California.
In a statement, Gray said
The decision by the Supreme Court affirms that the choice to legalize sports wagering is one for the states to make for themselves. The ball is in our court. The voters of California will now have to make the decision whether or not to authorize sports wagering
Gray has been pushing for sports betting since 2017. Last year, he introduced a Constitutional Amendment known as ACA 18 which will permit sports betting in California and allow the state assembly to pass its own laws regarding the regulation of sports gambling. If ACA 18 passes, California voters will get to vote on the bill in the upcoming November election.
California already has a wide variety of tribal casinos, card rooms and racing tracks. All of these entities would be happy to receive approval to offer their patrons another revenue stream such as sports betting. With the striking down of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) 1992, the passage of ACA 18 has now become a lot easier.
Californians have not been deprived entirely of sports betting as a number of them have headed over to Nevada where sports betting is legal to place their bets. Many of them have also turned to offshore betting sites which are illegal. Gray is confident that once California legalizes sports betting, it will significantly reduce the illegal sports betting market in the state and consumer safety can be ensured.
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California has been experiencing a massive budget crisis and would most certainly appreciate a new stream of revenue. While it looks like a no brainer to legalize sports betting and make everyone happy, it can be hard to bring all the parties to the table.
There are more 100 tribal casinos in the state and negotiations with tribal groups have always been difficult. Currently, only Indian casinos can operate casino-style games in the state and they would most likely not appreciate legal sports betting cutting into their action.
The trouble is that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 does not specify sports betting as part of the three classes of gaming. Hammering out where sports betting falls into the agreement could be a bit of a problem, considering all of the tribes have to be on the same page. Getting a solid agreement is for another day though. Right now, Gray is focused on getting ACA 18 passed and moving another step closer to legalizing sports betting in the state.