California Sports Betting: Two Proposals On November 2022 Ballot

Written By Ryan Minion on May 16, 2022
california sports betting

California tried and failed multiple times to pass sports betting legislation in the state. In November, Californians will have another opportunity to legalize sports betting via ballot initiatives.

Below, TheLines will explain each of the California sports betting ballot initiatives.

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Introduction to California Sports Betting Ballot Initiatives

The two sports betting ballot initiatives are “California Online Wagering” and the “California Legalize Sports Betting on American Indian Lands”. These two initiatives differ greatly in how sports betting would be established throughout California if legalization is in-fact passed statewide.

Perhaps the most significant difference between them relates to the two parties lobbying for each measure. One group is made up of several federally recognized Native American tribes across California. The other consists of gaming operators, such as FanDuel, DraftKings, MGM and Caesars.

‘California Online Wagering’ Initiative

If you want legal online/mobile sports betting in California, this is the referendum on the ballot you will want to vote in favor of in November. The ‘California Online Wagering’ initiative outlines a mobile sports gambling proposal and how it would be implemented throughout the state if voters approve it.

It is the biggest competitor to the ‘American Indian Lands’ initiative. Collectively, the gaming operators behind it have poured nearly $200 million into getting it passed.

Many of the American Indian tribes who have been at the heart of the gaming industry in the state of California for generations, are growing more and more concerned about this initiative on the ballot.

‘American Indian Lands’ Initiative

The goal of the ‘American Indian Lands’ initiative is the legalization of sports betting at American Indian gaming casinos and licensed race tracks throughout California.

Ballotpedia, which serves as an encyclopedia for American politics, adequately summarizes the ‘American Indian Land’ initiative petition as one that “allows federally recognized Native American tribes to operate sports wagering on tribal lands, and beginning in 2022, would allow on-site sports wagering at tribal casinos.”

From a fiscal perspective, a “YES” vote would further impose a 10% tax from the profits that would derive from sports betting at these casinos and race tracks. A ‘NO’ vote would prohibit sports betting at American Indian and Tribal gaming casinos throughout the state of California.

In addition, the passing of this initiative would require the distribution of 15% of all relevant revenue to the California Department of Health’, along with another 15% to the Bureau of Gambling Control.

A substantial financial campaign in support of their ballot initiative has been funded thanks to the “Coalition to Authorize Regulated Sports Wagering”. The coalition is made up of number of American Indian Tribes. Ballotpedia estimates the tribes are spending somewhere north of $30.5 million on this initiative ahead of November’s vote.

The two options are clear for California voters – yes or no to in-person sports betting at tribal casinos, and yes or no to online sports betting via operators with nationally-branded sportsbook apps.

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