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California’s Online Sports Betting Initiative Still Facing Opposition

  • Written By Kevin Parker
  • Edited
  • Reading 3 minutes

An effort to allow online and mobile sports betting in California has been met with considerable opposition from business leaders in the state. The initiative has acquired the requisite number of signatures to become the second sports betting-related proposition that will face a vote in November’s elections.

Major online gambling companies such as DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, and Bally’s Interactive, as well as WynnBET, are behind the initiative. Like a few other states, where there are now multiple sportsbooks open, these online sports betting operators could get a piece of California’s gaming market if everything goes according to plan.

An online sports betting platform would be possible if the proposition was enacted; commercial operators would need to partner up with a gaming tribe to get a license to operate. Other standard gaming laws would apply as well.

Negative Reactions to the Initiative

Many city officials in the state are in favor of the ballot measure. Business people, California Indian tribes, civil rights organizations, and religious leaders, on the other hand, have a considerably more negative reaction to it.

Since the proposal is perceived as an assault on California’s brick-and-mortar tribal casinos, it has received widespread opposition. Most of the state’s online sports wagering proceeds would also likely wind up outside of California and would not be beneficial to the state itself. Gambling addiction is another issue that has risen to the surface recently. To top it all off, there are several restrictions imposed by the ballot proposal on small enterprises. These would prevent them from offering online sports betting services.

Beating the Deadline

The business leaders who have spoken out against the initiative are powerful and represent a significant number of individuals. On the other hand, the government officials and betting operators who are proposing and supporting the proposal are also very powerful. As such, the proposal may be successful.

Before the California Secretary of State qualifies the proposition, counties must verify the number of signatures. This must be accomplished by June 30th, 2022, at the latest. Sports betting in the state might undergo a major shift if these deadline-stricken activities are completed before the November vote.

In the beginning, there were four ballot propositions to allow sports betting in California. But now only one may be put to a vote by the public this year. Surveys on sports betting have shown that public opinion is split on the matter. It is unclear which way people lean right now. For that, we will have to wait till November.

Kevin was raised on sports since a young teen and following a (fortunate) injury pursued new hobbies in table games such as Blackjack and Poker. Since 2009 Kevin has been writing for casino sites for various big names in the industry and CasinoSites.us is but one of his latest passion projects.