Sports Betting In California Could Change The Face Of The State’s Gaming System
Sports betting is now legal in California. But just like any other home divided country, California is also a home divided when it came to legalized sports betting. Right now, America’s largest state has not yet formulated a timeline for the implementation of legalized sports betting.
Despite this, some prominent members from California’s legislature and political establishment have been vocal about the idea of laying down the sports betting initiative in the near future. Assembly Speaker Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles) believes, “It makes sense” for the state to regulate sports betting because it could be “hastily implemented”. Assemblywoman Barbara Lee (D-California) believes that if the initiative is approved by the voters, “it will make gambling more accessible and affordable for people from all walks of life”. Both Assemblywoman Goldberg and Lee believe that once approved by the voters, the regulation of gambling will not only be welcomed but also be encouraged. According to reports, there are presently groups in California pushing for the implementation of gambling legislation. However, no specific plans for introducing an initiative for sports betting have yet been revealed by the proponents of the idea so far.
In a recent survey by Public Policy Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, it was found out that there are now some 6 Native American tribes in the state who are looking forward to starting their own casinos. The tribes believe that if they get into the business of sports betting, it will boost their membership and revenue. Moreover, the sports betting could serve as a means for earning income through gaming fees and ticket sales among other income generating schemes. Some of the proposed plans by the groups for these tribes include the setting up of sports betting websites in the state. But there are some reservations on the part of the groups about opening casinos.
One of the reasons is the amount of money they need to invest for opening the casino. Another is that the amount of people who will be interested in betting on sports online is very minimal considering the number of people already doing this online in California. This poses as a significant hurdle for the project. So far the offshore betting operators in California have the upper hand on the competition, since there are many Americans who are crazy about betting online. The main reason for the success of the online gambling sites is that they have access to several thousand strong customer base from out of the country.
As per a recent article by the Associated Press, the proposal for sports betting in California would have to be through the initiative process of the voters. However, there are certain elements which are deemed as pre-qualifying conditions for the initiative to pass. For instance, the project would need to gather signatures from 70% of the registered voters. Once the signatures have been collected, the proposition could then be presented to the voters for approval. If it were to fail to meet the required approval rating, it would then have to undergo a second round of voting at the voters’ assembly.
One of the reasons why the proposal may face a delay is because the State of California is yet to make up their mind on how they will regulate sports betting. Some people are saying that if the local regulation is not able to do a good job then it will become necessary for the federal government to step in and take over the regulation. The likelihood of this happening is very slim, especially with the President of the United States in office since he has shown a keen interest in the topic. For this reason alone, it is probably safe to assume that the federal sports betting legislation for the states will not be passed anytime soon.