Legalization of Sports Betting Being Discussed in California

It’s been over a year since the Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting which opened the option for states to legalize it. States around the country have been taking advantage of the new opportunity since the decision was made in 2018. California is the latest to begin talks on legalizing sports betting as state lawmakers held a preliminary hearing in regards to it.

A Man Stands in Front of a Sportsbook

The push for legalized sports betting was made by Senator Bill Dodd with added support from Assemblyman Adam Gray. In the past, Gray has made unsuccessful attempts to try to get an amendment made to the constitution which allows sports betting. That amendment would need to be passed before California can join the other states where sports betting is legal.

Native American Tribes Pushing for Sports Betting

A coalition of Native American tribes is also pushing for sports betting in California to become legalized. On the heels of Assemblyman Gray and Senator Dodd’s filing of the proposed bill, the coalition filed their own paperwork in favor of legalization.

In June of 2018, it looked like the political influence the tribes held would halt the proposed bill immediately. A case was brought against the state of California and Governor Jerry Brown regarding illegal card rooms that the tribes held exclusive rights over. However, several tribes are now supporting the initiative.

The Bill Has Mainstream Support

The Sacramento Kings of the NBA are among some of the top names in professional sports that are in strong support of the California bill being passed. People in the horse racing industry are also big proponents of enabling sports wagering in California. In the past, many sports leagues were in direct opposition to the legalization of sports betting citing that it would undermine the integrity of the games being played.

Now, as more and more states are legalizing sports betting, some sports leagues are in favor of the proposed changed with one caveat. They’ve suggested that “integrity fees” be added to the bill. In other words, they’re suggesting that any wagers become taxed. Still, having names like the Sacramento Kings backing the bill can only help the initiative as it moves forward.

Which States Have Legal Sports Betting?

Nevada is the most well-known gambling state in the U.S. and sports betting has been legal there for decades. Other states with legalized gambling include Oregon, Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.

Several other states have either recently legalized sports betting or are very close to it. This includes Colorado, Maine, Montana, Tennessee, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Illinois, and Washington D.C.

Legalized sports betting is growing but it will still take time and patience before it is seen in every state.