California gets a sports gambling bill
Chances of the bill surviving aren’t that great
California tribes have made it clear – they want to continue to control virtually all types of gambling in the state. This is why it’s surprising that, just like last year, a sports gambling bill has appeared. It most likely doesn’t have a strong chance of surviving all the way through the legislative obstacle course but, if it did, it would have the potential to change the sports gambling landscape in the US.
The bill was introduced after a private signature-gathering exercise supporting a sports gambling referendum failed. It would require that two-thirds of California’s legislative body pull together and give its approval to see a ballot entry on the elections to be held in November of next year.
Senator Bill Dodd is one of the sponsors of the bill. He is also the chairman of the Senate Governmental Organization. He sees sports gambling as a way to try to bring to an end the illicit market and add much-needed funds to California’s wallet. Dodd explains, “I look forward to working with stakeholders in a collaborative effort to help bring this out of the shadows. By legalizing sports wagering we can avoid some of the problems associated with an underground market such as fraud and tax evasion while investing in problem gambling education.”
California tribes have routinely gone after gambling operators that have encroached on their territory. Their dedicated efforts have sent a constant reminder to lawmakers regarding who’s in charge of the decision-making process for the state’s gaming industry (hint: it’s not the lawmakers), which has resulted in many of California’s legislators refusing to discuss anything related to gambling. However, the tides are changing and, perhaps, a new California is in the process of emerging.