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It’s going on four years now that California has been unable to legalize sports betting for its residents, with multiple players fighting for a spot at the Golden State gambling table including its native tribes, its cardrooms, and racetracks along with most outside sportsbook operators.
Last week, another California cardroom joined a class-action lawsuit meant to stop a native-backed sports betting initiative set to appear on the state ballot in November so that voters can decide whether they want some form of legal sports betting market in their state.
As we reported recently, the results of a US Berkeley Poll indicated that 45% of those surveyed were in favor of legal sports betting in California with 33% opposed and 22% undecided, an indication that there is serious interest in legalizing, regulating and taxing that activity.
Right now, if California bettors want to gamble on sports, they must use unregulated offshore sportsbooks, illicit bookies, or travel to a neighboring state where that is already legal, like in Nevada and Oregon and soon, most likely, in Arizona, as well.
The goal of California’s native tribes seems to be to let the state’s voters decide.
The sports betting proposal that has some California cardrooms and racetracks financially concerned would make sports betting legal at tribal casinos and racetracks, a move that would provide direct competition to an existing market and to all of its participants.
The argument against the native-backed proposal is that it involves more than one subject, which is not allowed, a minor technicality that could end its chances of appearing on the state’s November ballot if it is deemed invalid by those in charge of the process.
Fighting against that native initiative is Cal-Pac Rancho Cordova, which runs the Parkwest Casino Cordova in Sacramento and Hollywood Park Casino based in Inglewood, who feels that since the ballot also gives tribes the right to sue local cardrooms, it violates the rule limiting the subjects to one.
This isn’t the only sports betting proposal in the state, however.
At least two more additional sports betting initiatives are in the works in California, each with its own set of potential rules and regulations and tax rates, but none will appear on the ballot unless they receive the required number of signatures in time.
A different group of native tribes, some based in Sacramento County, are backing a proposal that would allow tribes to offer retail and mobile sports betting along with roulette and craps at their California casinos.
Another initiative is being backed by the state’s card rooms, racetracks, and stadiums who are interested in joining the native tribes in creating a legal retail and online sports betting market in California, the most populous state in the country.
It makes financial sense for the U.S.’s biggest state to join in the other over thirty states who have already launched their own successful sports betting markets, so check back for all the latest news and updates as these initiatives make their way to the voters.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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