Support required before vote
It has been reported that voters in California will be able to pick which of the two seperate sports betting plans they support in the November 2020 ballot.
One of the bills proposes online sports betting being allowed. The other bill, which has received plenty of support from Native American tribes in the state, proposes sports betting to be limited to tribal casinos and racetracks.
A hearing has been scheduled for January 8 to discuss the legalization of sports betting in California. This hearing will be held by Assemblyman Adam Gray and Senator Bill Dodd.
two-thirds of both the Assembly and the Senate must approve the proposal being added to the ballot
Dodd has revealed plans for this hearing, stating: “I look forward to hearing from all stakeholders at this key hearing as we analyze and develop the best approach. The Legislature’s job is to stand up for the public interest and ensure California adopts the best possible model.”
Political battle in California
Many of the tribes that operate gambling facilities in California hold significant political influence. More than a dozen tribes were in favor of allowing sports betting in the state, but only at their own facilities and the state’s five racetracks.
Big changes proposed
There could be even further changes to the gambling landscape in California by the end of 2020. Changes have been proposed for rules concerning ‘player-banked’ games at card rooms in the state. A public workshop on the issue was held by the Bureau of Gambling Control (BGC) on this issue on Wednesday.
However, many card rooms have been offering the likes of blackjack through a loophole. Once the players act as the bank, the card rooms can legally offer these games.
If these new rule changes come into effect, Kyle Kirkland, president of the California Gaming Association, believes that the majority of card room operators will have to likely shut their doors. He believes this would happen due to the bulk of their revenue being generated from games like blackjack.
the majority of card room operators will have to likely shut their doors
Kirkland went on to say that the CGA would plan to legally challenge such changes if they were approved in their current form.
Speaking about the tribe’s sports betting push, he compared the issue to being like a Trojan horse. He said: “The tribes have been actively and purposefully looking to push the card rooms out of business. This is an ongoing effort by tribes to get police powers over card rooms and gaming in California.”
Likelihood of legalization
Card rooms in the state are clearly in favor of allowing mobile sports betting.
They favor this option due to the results similar initiatives have had in other states, most notably in New Jersey, as well as having an open market for sports betting. The card rooms also want to prevent the tribes from getting a stranglehold on the betting sector.
Kirkland believes that tribal opposition will likely prevent mobile sports betting from receiving legislature approval for the moment. Instead, the card rooms may look to put a stop to the tribal sports betting proposal.
With the sports betting market booming around the country, there are many stakeholders in California watching with envy. Sports betting would likely be very popular in California if legalized. The state has the highest population in the country with around 40 million inhabitants.