California residents might be able to legally place bets on sports in 2021. For a while, the United States has slowly been making way for each state to accept sports betting.
Leagues such as MLB, NFL, and NBA were all in favor of California to get the ball rolling.
However, they ran into a brick wall of California’s Indian tribes.
You can check out the proposal here: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SCA6
Senator Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray had a bill in place that would benefit sports bettors. The bill also includes sports bets taking place inside tribal casinos and a handful of horse racing tracks such as the Cal Expo.
Both of these would allow wagers to be placed in professional and college sports. The tribes, however, would prohibit bets on events such as college games, especially ones involving teams from California.
Tribal officials are saying that their public opinion surveys have revealed that voters are not entirely comfortable with allowing bets to be placed on California college teams. This is very reasonable, and most people will agree to this.
The opposition lies in the online betting of all of this. Regardless of the backing of major sports teams and a letter signed by all of them, they were still not on board with it. That is why Dodd pulled the deal off the table very quickly.
Their biggest concerns to all of this were that at any given time, you could not regulate who specifically was using that mobile device. For instance, a child or any underage user could be on that device, and it would open the door to underage gambling.
Another side to this negative view for some is that they believe the casino tribes are saying this because they want their customers physically coming into the casino versus playing at home on their phones. Indeed, they make money when customers come in and pour money into slots.
How It Could Benefit California
If the deal was actually made, it would be a huge financial hurdle in a positive manner. California residents already gamble billions of dollars a year on sports with offshore markets or the black market.
Elected officials are in favor of gaining on the tax side of things, as with the economy being hurt, it would greatly benefit the state immediately. It is estimated that it would benefit the treasury $500 million a year in revenue.
States that have legal gambling show that nearly 85 percent of their action happens online. The leagues also want this to happen as well. At this moment, it appears to be a standstill until someone can come up with a way to please everyone.
California seems to be heading in the right direction with its online sports betting market. They are already aware that residents are using a black market or offshore markets to get their bets in.
They want to capitalize on the tax side of things, as any state would want to. They see the opportunity and the benefits and want to market this.
If they can eventually persuade the Indian tribes to go along with this, they will be ready to go. However, that is the only thing left in the way, and those tribes see the negative side of online sports betting.
They have a good reason, and California needs to be able to find a way to ease their concerns if they want this deal to happen any time soon.