California is Picking Up Speed in Efforts to Legalize Sports Betting

It seems the state of California is picking up steam where legalized sports betting is concerned as two lawmakers make a serious push towards an amendment on the November ballot.

State Senator Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray are both working hard to push through the legislation that would help pave the way for legalized sports betting in California. Their argument and effort lies in the revenue that it would generate.

A Means of Injecting the State With Cash

While there are many arguments that lawmakers are using across the country to legalize sports betting, California seems to be using the issue of finances.

It’s no secret that states have been hit hard lately, and as Dodd and Gray argue, the revenue generated by legalized sports betting could certainly help. They explain it as a way to prop up the state’s budget that has basically been decimated this year.

The goal is to have a constitutional amendment added to the November election ballot giving voters a chance to have their say where horse tracks are concerned.

In fact the racetracks would be run much like the Vegas casinos with the American Indian tribes then offering up sports betting online and in-person at their various locations in the state.

Not Exactly Smooth Sailing

And while there is certainly a group that is supportive of the amendment there are also those that are firmly against the move. There is some serious competition that exists between card rooms and gambling interests. The card rooms are for those looking to play the classic casino card games.

For those who operate the card rooms, there is a fear that the new laws would create issues with the player-dealer style games that they are used to offering. They see it as a threat to their businesses. The tribal casinos acknowledge that right now they have the monopoly on card games since they are the only ones allowed to operate them.

However, once legalized sports betting is allowed, this could open the door to other establishments opening and offering card games. That competition is not something they want to deal with, fearing it would be a “massive expansion of games” by their rival establishments.

Then there is the argument made by Association Chairman James Siva that by the time those casinos and sports betting are legalized, the economy will have stabilized and that tax revenue will no longer be necessary.

In terms of the tax that is proposed, the state would go ahead and place a 10% tax on gross revenue for any gambling done onsite, and then a 15% tax on gambling done through online wagering and mobile betting. It is estimated that the revenue could total $200 million in the first year alone.

What makes California especially attractive for those in favor of legalized sports betting is the fact it has such a massive number of professional teams – 16 to be exact. And, those teams span across a wide range of sports giving a little something for everyone.

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site.

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