California Sports Betting

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California may be full of sports teams, but it certainly isn’t full of sports betting as the Golden State doesn’t allow online sports betting right now. Residents of California that want to enjoy legal sports betting have to head over to other states, such as Nevada

It’s possible that there could be a referendum in November 2022 – and it might not be far-fetched to think legal sports gambling could be a reality in California before too long.

When Will California Legalize Sports Betting?

Right now, the Native American tribes of California have strongly contested new sports betting laws, especially online sports betting as they would have no control over it.

However, at the beginning of 2022, the argument over having a November 2022 referendum regarding legalizing online sports betting became even trickier when card room operators requested the state’s Supreme Court to block the vote, stating that online wagering violates the state constitution. Instead, it would propose to legalize sports betting at select in-person sportsbooks, private racetracks and tribal casinos.

There are reasons for supporters to hope that California sports betting could finally be a reality in 2022. A few of the state’s major cities have pushed for legislation and in August 2021, a third sports wagering proposal was filed.

However, legalized sports betting is not a certainty – so let’s take a look at where we are right now…

California Sports Betting Updates

  • 1st November 2020: A prospective ballot measure surfaced. However, a change in the law would require a referendum – and this failed to reach the ballot due to opposition from Native American tribes and others.
  • 2nd November 2020: A replacement tribal-state sports betting compact was proposed. This would require sports betting to be allowed only on tribal grounds. However, due to the pandemic, this was put on hold and never made the ballot.
  •  9th February 2021: The Kindred Group partnered with the Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, which gives them market access in California when online sports betting is legalized in the state.
  • 31st March 2021:C The possibility of an earlier ballot was discussed if they chose to hold a recall election for the state Governor.
  • 27th May 2021:C The state sports betting initiative received enough votes to make it to a 2022 ballot
  • 29th July 2021: It was rumored that there might be another ballot measure proposed which would allow for mobile sports betting, unlike the proposed land-based tribal referendum.
  • 12th August 2021:A coalition of card rooms, sports leagues, cities and sportsbook operators announced an initiative to allow for retail betting and mobile sportsbetting to appear on the 2022 ballot.
  • 31st August 2021: A third sports betting proposal was tabled.
  • 18th December 2021:CIt was cited that the state might have numerous sports betting ballots in a November 2022 referendum, with sources saying that they could see up to $30 million worth of bets every year.
  • 5th January 2022: Card room operators requested that the state’s Supreme Court block the vote on online betting in California, suggesting that it should only be available at select in-person casinos, private racetracks and sports betting.

California Daily Fantasy Sports

Sports betting might not be quite there yet, however, Daily Fantasy Sports is quite different. DFS is widely available in the state. So, fans of sports can create their own fantasy dream team… and earn points based on how well they perform. The best options available for DFS betting are FanDuel and DraftKings.

What to Expect in California’s Future

Several big bookmakers are waiting in the wings for the legalization of sports betting in California. When it finally happens, we can expect to see names such as BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, Unibet and more – as well as DraftKings and FanDuel opening up their sports betting markets to the people of the state.

Placing A Bet In California

Placing a wager when sports betting is legalised will be quick and easy…

1. Download a Sportsbook

Simply choose your preferred sports betting site, you can either bet via desktop or download the app and bet via mobile.

2. Register a New Online Sports Betting Account

Fill in your details as requested including, name, DOB and contact details.

3. Add Money Into Your Online Sports Betting Account

Look through the list of available banking options and deposit money into your account. You can then claim your welcome bonus as per your terms and conditions.

4. Make Your First Wager

Once this is done, you will be able to place your first wager. Simply look through the different online sports betting odds and markets, enter how much you want to wager and place the bet!

Legal Sportsbooks in California

As we speak, the state has yet to legalize sports betting, so there are no legal sports betting businesses in California. It may well be some time before it is legalized, but we would never recommend using illegal or unregulated offshore betting sites, despite it being unavailable in the Golden State right now.

Sports Betting Revenue in California

One of the biggest arguments for legalizing online sports betting is the revenue it might generate. Industry experts believe that this will simply be too lucrative an opportunity for California to refuse for too much longer. In fact, some estimate there may be up to $20 to $30 billion in wagers every year… meaning that tax from the sports betting industry would be astronomical.

So – what else would legalized sports gambling mean to the state? Well, given the fact that with a population of almost 40 million, it is the most populous in the US, even if not everyone participates in betting in California, many certainly will. Neighboring states such as Nevada, which have already legalized sports betting enjoy millions of dollars in betting revenue. In fact, in November 2020, the state took home almost $62 million in sports betting revenue.

However, once sports betting in California is up and running, these figures may just be drop in the ocean – and California legislators are well aware of this. As such, the promise of extra revenue may well accelerate legal sports betting in California.

California Sports Betting Compared To Other States

Although California has often boasted that this is a progressive and forward-thinking state, it is firmly behind many others when it comes to making sports betting legal. It is Nevada that leads the way here – the gambling hub of the US… and the world. Indeed, gambling brings in millions in state revenue.

Oregon is another state that is forward-thinking in regards to online sportsbooks and sports betting. Washington, just to the north of Oregon, is also less restrictive than California with regards to gambling.

Now, many residents of the state believe that they need to adapt and change to the evolving world if it wants to keep enjoying its reputation as a free and fair state.

California Betting Highs and Lows

It may not be the best place for sports betting, but California has boasted some successes to date…

California Sports Betting Success

Online sports betting in California is still a no go. Instead of online sportsbooks, gamblers can only enjoy online sweepstakes poker and casino sites. However, it does offer card rooms for poker enthusiasts as well as California Native American tribal casinos for the brick and mortar gambling experiences and retail sports betting. There is also a state lottery and a number of racetracks for those who like betting on the horses.

The state also allows for online pari-mutuel horse racing betting, available through legal and licensed such as TVG.

How Could California Improve?

Obviously, legalizing online sports betting is one area for improvement. Plenty would also welcome the legalization of online poker and online casino. However, this is unlikely to enjoy any real progress in the near future as the historical resistance from the local tribal casinos would indicate.

However, if sports betting were to be legalized, it does start paving the way for more legislation of online gambling.

Efforts To Legalize California Sports Betting

The battle around the November 2022 referendum to legalize California sports betting became trickier in January 2022 when local card room operators requested the state Supreme Court to block the vote on one of many proposals, saying that this would violate the state constitution.

There was a previous attempt at legalization when the state legislature tried to put together a provisional compact between tribal casinos and the state government in 2020. If it had been approved by voter referendum in the 2020 election then this would have made way for retail and online sports wagering via approved operators and possible partnerships with the state tribal casinos.

Unfortunately, this was shut down by 69 of the tribal casinos, who went on to replace it with their own version, which would allow for a 2021 launch of tribal-owned sportsbook locations.

However, because of COVID-19, there were some delays, which meant that the proposed referendum would not be on the November 2020 ballot. Now, because of this, as per state law, the next tribal referendum will be in November 2020. This is now the earliest it can be voted on.

Recently, there have been several attempts made to remove Governor Newsom – and this could delay attempts to legalize sports betting even more. The favorite to replace Newsom would be Larry Elder, and he has been vocal on his opposition to gambling. Having said that, if voters do approve sports betting, then there would be very little that Elder could do. However, it should be expected that he will certainly drum up resistance to the legalization of sports betting. Now, it’s a case of wait and see. If Governor Newsome stays in office, then bettors will need to wait until November to see what happens next!

California Professional Sports Teams

California may not be the best for sports betting, but the same cannot be said for its teams. The Golden State is known for being home to some of the best and most well known professional sports teams in the US and across the globe.

The Top California Pro Sports Teams

In total, the Golden State is home to no less than 19professional sports teams, split between the biggest major professional leagues in the US: so there’s plenty of excitement for NFL fans, NBA fans as well as followers of the NHL, MLB and MLS. The most well-known major league sports teams include the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Clippers, LA Rams and plenty more.

Given this, it is surprising that sports betting hasn’t been legalized before now, given the huge number of sports fans in the state that would probably be happy to get the chance to bet on their favorite NFL teams or NBA teams etc…

California College Sports Teams

California is also home to several decent college sports teams. However, whether you will be able to wager on these, even after the legalization of sports betting in the state isn’t necessarily a given.

It will be a wait and see game before we can understand how the legislation will go and what details will be enforced – as the rules around college sports betting can be very different to pro sports betting. Even afterwards, you may be limited to betting college team wagers on out-of-state events and teams.

Other Sports You Could Bet On In California

If and when legalizing sports betting does happen, you will be able to wager on numerous sports – not just the classic American sports like Football and Basketball etc. The best sportsbooks will also mean you can place bets on lots of different bets like MMA, tennis, cricket, rugby, NASCAR etc.

Another grey area is the rules around eSports bets. Potentially this may also be offered by some of the US sports betting websites.

California Sports Betting FAQs

Can You Sports Bet in California?

Not yet. At the moment sports betting is not legal in California but this is being revisited in November 2022, when there may be more updates surrounding the legislation.

Is DraftKings Legal in California?

Yes, but only for Daily Fantasy Sports betting at the moment. If sports betting becomes legal, then it will open up traditional sports betting to the state.

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