In the state of California, the latest campaign revolving around legalizing sports betting activities within the state’s borders has so far gained the support of over half a million California residents and this number is constantly growing. The campaign aims to legalize sports betting activities until a November referendum has managed to grow bigger especially in recent times.
According to one report released from one news outlet, the effort regarding this sports betting legalization campaign is actually seeking necessary permissions to place a question on the election ballot. If this is approved, voters at the upcoming election ballot would be asked to approve amendment which once approved will allow California-based tribal casinos as well as racetracks operating in the state to feature on-site sportsbooks.
Gambling in the state of California
At the moment, the state of California is home to several legalized forms of gambling which include tribal casino venues, the State Lottery, cardrooms, charitable gaming and pari-mutuel betting on horse racing. When it comes to licensed cardrooms, the state is home to sixty-six cardrooms that operate within the state’s borders. Another twenty-one cardrooms are also licensed to operate, but they are inactive.
When it comes to non-banked card games including poker, they have been legal in the state of California for decades. Moreover, federally-recognized tribal organizations can operate gambling facilities in the state under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. As estimated in 2019, California is home to sixty-three tribal casinos that are owned and operated by sixty-one federally-recognized tribes. This industry generates around $8 billion in yearly revenues. Then, the California State Lottery provides draw games such as the multi-state Mega Millions and Powerball games alongside scratch cards and other popular options.
The Golden State’s Sports Betting Campaign Organized by Tribal Casino Operators
According to several local news outlets, the driving force behind the latest California’s sports betting legalization campaign by a means of a November referendum is a consortium of eighteen tribal casino operators active in the state. One of the main goals of the campaign is to collect around 1.5 million signatures even though the campaign requires slightly below 1 million valued signatures to be successful.
The same news outlets also revealed that the move to legalize land-based sports betting activities in the state of California is being led by the federally-recognized Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians tribe which owns and operates the Pechanga Resort and Casino venue located in the Riverside County. This venue features over one thousand hotel rooms alongside a 188,000 square feet gaming space. Besides, it is home to several notable restaurants including the iconic Great Oak Steakhouse.
The sports betting legalization campaign in California is also supported by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Barona Band of Mission Indians, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians among many other federally-recognized tribes.
Commenting on the news, a spokesperson for the sports betting campaign Jacob Mejia said that the campaign undertaking started collecting signatures back on the 23rd of January. He also added that the main hope is to reach the campaign’s ultimate target until the 21st of April before a state-mandated deadline.
Mr. Mejia also said that the federally-recognized tribes decided not to add online and mobile sports betting legalization to the initial ballot because surveys conducted before the ballot initiative showed that just around 29% of voters would support these moves.