According to an announcement by California’s Secretary of State earlier this week, two different questions regarding sports betting in the state of California will be put on the ballots for voters to answer when they head over to the polls in November.
The two questions are each very different. One would legalize mobile sports betting throughout the state, while the other would allow sports betting in tribal casinos only. Either option would allow Californians to finally bet within their home state, it’s just a matter of how they will be able to do so.
The question of mobile sports betting is the most recent to be announced for the November poll. The in-person sports betting option has been up in the air since 2021, when it was approved for the ballot of this year.
Behind the Scenes of California Mobile Wagering
The mobile betting initiative has been put on the November ballot due to the 1.6 million signatures it has received from California residents. Along with these signatures, the measure has also had $100 million contributed to its cause from different sports betting operators.
These operators include FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Fanatics, WynnBET, Bally’s Interactive, and Penn National Gaming. These operators have also agreed to a $100 million licensing fee if the measure is voted into effect, as well as a 10% tax rate on all gaming revenue.
The taxes derived from sports betting would mainly go to the Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support. This group is using mobile wagering as a solution to the homelessness that is seen all over California, and 85% of the taxes would go towards both the homeless population and mental health resources with the rest going to tribes throughout the state.
Question 2 of California Sports Betting
The other measure regarding California sports betting that will be seen on the ballot is retail betting through tribal casinos only. This would prevent all other forms of betting, which means no mobile wagering throughout the entire state.
Many tribes have voiced their disdain for the online sports betting bill. These tribes have argued that this initiative will take most revenue out of the state of California, which is true, as most of the big-name sportsbooks are not based in the state. They also argue that it may lead to increased gambling problems, as bettors will be able to spend their money from anywhere.
Everything on the Table
There is a chance that both measures could be approved through voting in November. If this occurs, they will have to be taken to court, where a judge will pick the measure with the most votes to prevail. This will only occur if the judge finds that the two questions compete with one another, and they most likely do.
Regardless, 2023 seems to be the year for California sports betting to finally begin.