After trying and failing several times to bring online poker gaming to their region, lawmakers in California are now setting their sights on sports betting. Senator Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray introduced a measure, ACA 16, a bill that would bring sports betting to the state after the election in 2020.
The bill would create a constitutional amendment that will allow sports betting to be regulated in California. For the bill to make the 2020 ballot for voter approval, it will need to obtain two-thirds of the majority from a vote in both houses.
In the past, lawmakers have failed in efforts to expand the gambling industry of the state. Time and time again, online poker legislation was introduced only to fall short. A big problem with online poker gaming was that stakeholders could not agree as to who should be involved. Card rooms, Tribal groups and racing facilities all were in disagreement.
The same disagreement could keep sports betting from moving forward as well. The California Nationals Indian Gaming Association has already spoke out against the expansion. Steve Stallings, the Chairman of the organization, stated that the tribes will not support any type of expansion in the gambling industry until the government makes commercial card rooms stop offering illegal games.
The tribes feel the commercial card rooms are taking part in illegal practices, which includes hosting prohibited banked games. The tribes have stated that they would be open to sports betting, if they were able to maintain their exclusivity.
It seems that the bill may not have the support needed to move forward in time for the 2020 ballot. If the state were able to get the ball rolling, they would be able to benefit from revenues earned from the new industry.
Research has shown that the state could earn as much as $2.1 billion in tax revenues from a sports betting market that is fully developed.