In May 2018, the federal ban on sports betting has been removed by the Supreme Court. This meant that states gained the right to legalize sports betting (as well as online casino in Canada) if they wanted to. It seems that California voters might vote on legalizing sports betting this November and join numerous other states that have already legalized some sort of sports betting. 

The Petitions

Eighteen Native American tribes received the approval of the state allowing them to start petitions for a statewide ballot initiative that would legalize sports betting as well as horse races at tribal casinos only. Aside from this, there is a second ballot in consideration that would account a larger proportion of players. 

So far, three gambling-related ballots occurred in California and each has been successful, the legalization of the lottery; and two regarding tribal casinos. 

The sports betting market is currently estimated at approximately $2.5 billion which is why the stakes are high and a lot of companies are anxiously waiting and hoping. Based on the tax rate, the sports betting could provide $250-500 million in revenue each year. 

The Potential

California is a sporting state having the highest number of professional teams in the US has five MLB teams, several NBA teams, as well as strong Colleges such as UCLA. So far, the response from the teams’ officials has been in support of legalized sports betting. Still, the most important is the protection of consumers such as age restrictions, gambling-related issues and similar. It is also expected that online gambling is going to become legal in order to reduce the size of the illegal market. 

The online gambling sector can also be quite profitable. New Jersey had $2.9 billion from online and retail sports betting in their first year and around 80% came from the online sector due to its convenience and ease of use. 

Tribal leaders are against online betting implying that they are only for betting at casinos and horse tracks. The tribal influence is strong and they have good chances of getting approved via ballot. They have already provided $5.5 million to their Coalition for legalizing sports betting. 

Some people believe that sports betting should be legalized at sports centres which seems like a good idea. There are also those who oppose gambling such as the Coalition Against Gambling Expansion that is especially against online gambling. 

It will be interesting to see how things are going to unravel until November. It is quite possible that California might legalize some sort of sports betting during this year. Share your opinion in the comments section and don’t forget to vote.