Tribal opposition leads to the pulling of California sports betting bill

California sports betting bill

Just one day before the Senate Appropriations Committee was set to vote on regulating sports betting in California, State Senator Bill Dodd has pulled the proposal. 

Senate Constitutional Amendment 6 was supposed to be discussed today, but opposition from the state’s tribes ultimately ended up being a decisive factor. 

Tribal casinos would have been allowed to offer the vertical had sports betting become regulated, as would the Sunshine State’s racetracks. 

Because the bill would still need to be voted on by the public, it is now likely to be years before California can offer sports betting. 

Sports betting in Cali pushed to the side for now 

In a statement, Dodd explained his reasoning for pulling the sports betting bill at such short notice. 

“Given the deadlines for getting a measure on the November ballot and the impact of COVID-19 on the public’s ability to weigh in, we were not able to get the bill across the finish line this year. 

“It remains important that we lift this widespread practice out of the shadows to make it safer and to generate money for the people of California. I will continue to be engaged in the issue as we work toward 2022.”

Had the bill been passed today, it would have needed to clear other legislative hurdles by Thursday if it was to be included on the ballot for this November’s election. Had they chosen to, the Secretary of State would have been able to push that deadline back to mid-July. This could have been achieved by giving the green light to a supplemental ballot. 

California sports betting would have been limited, but a start 

Although tribal casinos and racing tracks in the state would have been allowed to offer sports betting, card rooms would not. 

Even though the vertical would have been limited compared to the likes of New Jersey and Nevada, it would have been a starting point. 

The process will likely take longer for sports betting to grow in the state; voters must have a say on issues such as this, and the earliest they can do so is November 2022. Therefore, the earliest that any form of sports betting can arrive in California is 2023. 

According to an article published by Bloomberg, supporters of the Californian sports betting bill believed that the industry could generate $500 million annually. 

Online sports betting would have been taxed at 15%, with gross gaming revenue (GGR) from land-based operations in this vertical being taxed at 10%.