California is America’s most populous state. It has just under 40 million people within its borders and is the source of a vast portion of the U.S economy. With Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and countless other thriving sectors, California has a ton of money. California’s massive economy and colossal population are a big reason why online sports betting arriving in the state would be a huge deal. While nothing is imminent, California could follow the many states that are seeing the benefits of legalized online gaming.
If California were to undergo the process of legalization, who would control sports betting within the state? Numerous major gambling operators would likely begin to tap into the market straight away. Betting giants like DraftKings, Bet365, and Penn Gaming would benefit, but tons of other operators would also be enriched by legalization. Many different online betting sites have considerable international power, and the fight for control of California would undoubtedly be a major one.
For gambling operators to move into California, first, gambling has to be legalized within the state. Online sports gambling is currently legal in 21 states across America, and in many other states, the process is beginning to bring legal online gambling to the citizens. The benefits of legal online sports betting are that it will bring a considerable amount of income to the state.
Suppose online sports betting is allowed by California. In that case, they can tax the companies conducting the business and earn a share of what will likely be billions of dollars of revenue generated. They can also have better oversight of the industry and steer citizens away from shadier forms of gambling, like with loan sharks.
While online legal sports betting in California is far from imminent, specific plans in motion may end up with legalization. On August 31st, 2021, an initiative created and backed by some of the significant gambling industry players was filed. This initiative is called the “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act,” and it would allow for regulated and safe online sports betting. The act would generate hundreds of millions of dollars every year towards homelessness and mental health from a portion of the proceeds of legal betting.
Generating revenue for homelessness and mental health is all the more important in California, where the state has a severe homelessness problem. The initiative is one of two different legal online sports betting initiatives that will be featured on the 2022 mid-term ballot box in California. The other one was created and led by the tribal casinos, who currently control all the legal gambling in California.
The “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act” was backed by gambling giants, including DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. Several other major industry powerhouses supported the initiative, meaning there is a lot of money and power behind it. All the companies involved would figure to benefit massively if online sports betting was legalized in California.
The question is, who would control the sports betting industry? The answer to that isn’t so simple. There are multiple major parties involved. There are the gambling companies like FanDuel, DraftKings, and Bet365 that would all be able to tap into a vast new market. There is the government, who would be the regulator of the industry and be able to tax a lucrative new industry. There are also the California tribes, who would figure to have an essential seat at the table.
The tribes have their own sports betting initiative on the ballot, as mentioned earlier. It would allow for legalized sports betting on tribal lands and legalize dice games and roulette. This would provide a huge source of revenue for the tribes. In the other act, initiated by the leading players of the gambling industry, 85% of extra income would go to homeless and mental health causes, while 15% would go to the tribes. In both cases, if the act passes, the tribes will be major players in the gambling industry.
Legal online sports betting in California is still far away. The 2022 mid-term elections could result in the addition of this major revenue source to the state, but at the end of the day, the decision is in the hands of the voters. Many different parties will play a pivotal role in the industry if these acts pass, and the state of California would likely see the benefits within a short period.