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There is an ongoing sport betting battle happening in the San Diego area of California between residents of Solana Beach, a coastal city with about 13,000 residents, and the Del Mar Fairgrounds, a 370-acre event venue that wants to allow sports gambling on its grounds.
The political clash started last September when the 22nd District Agricultural Association (aka 2nd DAA aka Del Mar fair board) voted unanimously to let California voters decide this November whether they want to engage in legal sports betting whenever they are at the fairgrounds.
This would allow them to bet on any pro teams including the MLB’s San Diego Padres, the IFL’s San Diego Strike Force, and the MASL’s San Diego Sockers, assuming that voters give the go-ahead to begin regulating and taxing a legal sports betting market in the Golden State.
The move seems inevitable given how quickly the legal sports betting movement is currently sweeping the United States now with over thirty states with their own regulated market and more soon to come, all benefitting from a new income stream that used to be lost to offshore sportsbooks and illegal bookies.
But to some Californians, the idea of sports betting at Del Mar Fairgrounds is unacceptable.
Solana Beach is a quiet oceanside city whose 13,000 residents enjoy the more than 85 art galleries, import and antique stores, boutiques, and cafes their city features, but they are convinced that adding sports betting to the nearby Del Mar Fairgrounds will ruin their good times.
The reasons for this that they included in a petition they filed for an injunction back in March include increased noise, traffic and litter, the byproduct that they already suffer from living so close to the home of the annual San Diego County Fair and other such events.
Part of the petition reads:
The district’s action will result in the expansion and redevelopment of existing facilities and a significant increase in activities and attendance at the fairgrounds, which will result in significant adverse effects on environmental resources and residents in the surrounding areas.
What it does not mention is the increased revenue that all those “surrounding areas” could soon enjoy.
California is one of the final holdouts when it comes to legalizing sports betting for its residents, so far happy to allow them to place wagers in nearby Nevada or Oregon where that activity has already been made legal for residents there.
Some sports betting industry insiders have projected California generating a $30 billion annual handle, meaning total overall wagers in a year, money that could be taxed anywhere from the 6.75% to 51% those other 30+ states are now charging the sportsbooks who operate there.
Solana Beach would also financially benefit from that new market being set up since the predicted increase in fair-goers could come with more tourist dollars being spent at all the artsy venues that sea town has to offer.
This local battle should rage on until November as all parties fight to have their concerns heard, but chances are the voters will have the final say and after seeing how well sports betting is faring throughout the rest of the U.S., they most likely will want to get in on the action.
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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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