The fate of California sports betting will be decided by state voters after an initiative to bring sports betting to the Golden State has qualified for the November 2022 ballot.
According to the California Secretary of State’s office on Thursday, the coalition of federally recognized California Indian tribes had collected enough signatures for a measure to add roulette, dice games, and California sports betting at tribal casinos to qualify for the ballot.
A total of 1,061,282 signatures of registered voters were verified via the California Secretary of State’s office, which is more than the 997,139 valid signatures required for the measure to be eligible for a statewide vote in the 2022 ballot.
Said Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians tribal chairman Mark Macarro:
“This is an important step toward giving Californians the opportunity to participate in sports wagering while also establishing safeguards and protections against underage gambling.”
Largest Prize in U.S. Sports Betting Market
Despite already being late in the sports betting game, California is considered as the largest prize in the United States sports betting market. That’s because it is home to the most number of professional sports teams in the country, including five MLB teams, four NBA franchises, three NFL squads, and three NHL teams.
Legalization of California sports betting is expected to generate $1B in annual gross revenue without online sports betting which isn’t included in the tribal initiative. If expanded to include online wagering, California sports betting is projected to haul in $3B per year.
California Sports Betting
Under the constitutional amendment, California sports betting would be allowed at tribal casinos and state-licensed race tracks for persons aged 21 or older. Betting would be allowed on professional sports games, out-of-state college or amateur sporting events, but betting on high school athletic contests and games involving California college teams are prohibited.
California Sports Betting would be imposed a 10% tax on gross gaming revenue with the money going to public safety, mental health programs, education, and regulatory expenses. The measure would also allow the Native American owned casinos to offer roulette and craps.