California has tried and failed to pass sports betting legislation and poker gaming options in the past. The reason behind the failure is the fact that there are many stakeholders that want to invest in the gaming options. Despite the many setbacks though, it appears there may be a renewed sports betting effort in 2022.
Three sports betting ballot initiatives are reportedly coming to the table next year. Each option is being pushed by a competing group, so even though potential legislation will be on the table, it might not gain any support due to the competing nature of the plans.
Supporters of the ballot initiatives must see 997,000 signatures from registered voters in the state to get the initiative on the November ballot. It can also be placed on the ballot if 2/3 of the legislature decides to vote in favor of the plan. It is important to note that online poker or casino will NOT be up for inclusion; which means residents will only be able to bet sports in California only.
The 18 Native American tribes in the state are pushing one plan, with the initiative already gaining the appropriate number of signatures. This plan would amend the constitution and allow for land-based sports betting at tribal casinos and racetracks licensed by the state. Online sports betting is not included in this plan.
Another initiative is being pushed by three major cities in California. In this plan, all stakeholders are allowed to take part. Both retail and online services are included in the measure. Professional sports teams, tribal casinos, and card rooms would be eligible for licensing. Revenues would be taxed at 15%.
The final plan is pushing for online betting only. Seven companies that operate online sports betting in the United States are behind this plan. The initiative would allow tribes to partner with an online sports betting company to offer services. Revenues would only be taxed at 10%.
It is unclear currently as to how much support any of the plans have. If it is left up to the voters though, it would be surprising to see at least one of the plans approved, if any make it on the ballot.