A new sports betting bill has been presented for consideration in the state of California which could see residents vote on legalizing sports betting should it succeed in qualifying for the 2020 ballot.
For this to happen, the proposal needs to pass through the state legislature with a two-thirds majority vote.
The new legislation (ACA 16) was put forward for consideration by Senator Bill Dodd and Assembly man Adam Gray. ACA 16 is a proposed state constitutional amendment and marks the start of a complex push for sports wagering in California. It will be the subject of a series of joint informational hearings in the senate.
The latest attempt to authorize sports betting in America’s most populous state comes as New Jersey managed to dethrone Nevada as the sports betting capital in the country Since operations began 12 months ago; $3 billion in total wagers were made in NJ, translating to more than $127 million in taxable revenue.
California has a potential to achieve more in terms of revenue, considering its sheer size and the sports culture that’s apparent within its borders. The state could generate an estimated $2.1 billion in annual taxable revenue in a fully developed sports wagering market that allows mobile betting, according to research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.
Tribal Operators Against Sports Betting
While figures show that the implementation of regulated sports betting will bring in significant income for the state of California, there are a lot of legal hurdles that need to be addressed for sports betting to be implemented. One just has to look at the opposition that that the bill to legalize online poker faced from tribal casino operators in the state to realize how difficult it will be to legalize sports betting.
Gray’s latest proposal received a negative response from the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA), with chairman Steve Stallings stating CNIGA’s outright opposition of any expansion of gaming in the state, including sports betting as long as the commercial card rooms in the state continue their illegal practices.
ACA 16 still lacks the relevant details in relation to how a legalized market would operate in California and how the state would take its share. One thing’s certain though: the bill first needs to move past a few obstacles, including tribal opposition, before sports betting sees the light of day in the Golden State.