California Sports Betting Bill Doubles the Licensing Fee

By in Gambling Laws on
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As residents are forced to continue waiting on the fate of sports betting in the state of California, it seems that there have been a few dramatic changes with key details in the sports betting bill that’s currently working its way through the proper channels.

These changes, proposed amendments, to bill SCA 6 have been released to the public by Assemblyman Adam Gray and Senator Bill Dodd. While there is plenty to review, the one amendment that has caught the attention of all interested parties is the cost of licensing fees.

A Big Bump in the Licensing Fee

While it was clear from the beginning that there would be amendments made to SCA 6, what surprised many was the significant bump in the licensing fee. The initial cost of the license has more than doubled and now stands at $10 million.

Conversely, authors of the bill have decided to reduce the annual renewal fee to $500,000 dollars, which is not much at all considering how much money gaming entities bring in per year.

The idea behind increasing the fees is to help raise more money for the state, which is very much in demand at the moment.

Currently, California has a deficit of $54 billion, so even that high licensing fee will be a drop in the bucket. These fees are also said to help make up for the loss of revenue due to the phasing in of mobile sports betting.

Bill SCA 6 was in a suspense hearing until Thursday when it was then pulled into the Senate Appropriations Committee. The goal is to have the bill move through the committee by Tuesday, keeping things going at a rapid pace.

Taking a Closer Look at the Amendments

These amendments outlined how sports wagering will be phased in over a three year period. At first, they aim to have sports betting at horse racetracks and tribal casinos starting by September 2021.

The following year, online wagering with in-person registration could move forward, and then finally in September 2023 people could start registering remotely.

The delay in sports betting was meant to allow the state to speak with the various tribal nations and address their concerns on how online wagering would have an effect on their casinos and come to some sort of mutual decision.

More Restrictions for Cardrooms

Not to be left out of the mix are the card rooms. These amendments have placed rather large restrictions on cardrooms, which have not gone unnoticed. Under the proposed bill the cardrooms wouldn’t get sports betting.

There’s also a section on third-party proposition players services (TPPPS) and how the cardrooms use them. Then there is the amendment that states each player at the table would need to fork over a 25-cent rake on each hand they play. The way things stand right now, it is the TPPPS that pays.

With that said, the majority of the tribal casinos and gaming entities are willing to negotiate and make concessions in order to end the heated disputes over table games and the inevitable inclusion of sports betting.

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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