Only 1 California Sports Betting Ballot Proposal Has Online Bets

Written By Eli Hershkovich on May 26, 2022
California Sports Betting

Although the timeline for California sports betting is still unknown, there’s been some confusion regarding gambling initiatives on the ballot come the November elections.

Below, we’ll detail all of the information so you know which one would legalize online sports betting across the Golden State and which one would not.

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California Sports Betting Push For November Elections

Earlier in May, Legal Sports Report stated that California’s online sports betting proposal included 1.6 million signatures by the necessary deadline. That meant that it would likely be included on the November ballots. If it’s successful, the state is projected to become one of the largest U.S. markets, as Eilers & Krejcik Gaming estimates over $3 billion in annual revenue.

Nevertheless, a tribal-backed initiative, which would limit sports wagering for another five years, made the ballot. It includes a provision that explicitly authorizes lawsuits against card rooms, signaling that California sports betting would only be legal in tribal casinos and racetracks. However, the tribal-backed California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Act would not legalize online sports betting across the state.

All of that is fairly straightforward.

Where more of perplexity comes into play is where another California sports betting initiative will be placed on ballots. The title of it is oddly called, “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act.” Within it, there are numerous points regarding sports betting. The biggest one being it would legalize online sports betting across the state.

“Yes, they are promising money to fight homelessness, and if you look at the fine print, 90% of these dollars go out of state, and then the pennies that remain get chopped up through some other loopholes,” Rob Stutzman, a spokesperson for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming, said. “Essentially, you’re looking at maybe a 3% bump to the amount of money the state currently spends on homelessness.”

That may be true, but bottom line, the latter referendum would make online sports betting in California legal. The other tribal-backed option would only make sports betting legal for tribal casinos and racetracks.

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Eli Hershkovich Avatar
Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

View all posts by Eli Hershkovich