California sports betting measures fail during midterm elections

Updated December 5, 2022By Vince Kennedy
california betting news december

For California citizens, it appears the wait for legalized gaming will have to take a little longer. Per a report from the Associated Press (AP), the effort to legalize sports betting in California ran headlong into a typical challenge for competing for ballot measures. This was evidenced in the midterm elections when both initiatives were battered in a torrent of negative advertising that doomed both to spectacular failure in the most expensive ballot race in U.S. history according to tot the AP. According to one analyst, “whenever there are dueling ballot measures, and the competitors have an arsenal of dollars … the competitors will go nuclear.” The result for both ballot campaigns was a pasting at the polls. 

Or this report, SBS will be going over what to look for from the latest news in California along with some other thoughts about Golden State gaming. 

Both ballot measures did not pass by a wide margin in California

With about 5.5 million votes counted Thursday, more than 80% of voters rejected an effort by the gaming industry that would have allowed online and phone wagers on sports per the AP. A measure supported by Native American tribes that would have let gamblers place sports bets at tribal casinos and four horse tracks was opposed by 70% of voters according to the same report. However, the result of the midterm election is not a doomsday scenario for sports betting in California. With what could be a multibillion-dollar market in the nation’s most populous state, there’s simply too much at stake for supporters to give up. 

As referenced in the article, more than 30 other states now allow sports betting, but Californians are limited to playing slot machines, poker, and other games at Native American casinos. Moreover, they can also wager at horse tracks, and card rooms, and have access to the state lottery. However, per the article, Becky Harris, a distinguished fellow at the International Gaming Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said legalizing sports gambling is inevitable, but it’s too soon to tell how it will unfold in California

Experts in betting field feel that CA legalization is imminent

After the U.S. Supreme Court allowed sports betting in 2018, states such as West Virginia and New Jersey were quick to legalize it and establish regulatory structure while others took several years per the article. That said, supporters of both measures said they were reevaluating how to bring sports gambling back to the Golden State and wouldn’t discuss whether they would seek a legislative path or appeal directly to voters again. The campaign in support of online wagering reaffirmed its commitment to expanding sports betting in California. 

Whether the disparate groups that fought over the campaign ballot propositions can reach some consensus remains to be seen per the AP report. Harris says if there’s going to be a form of mobile wagering in the state of California, it would have to come to the tribes. Of the roughly $460 million raised for and against both measures, about $170 million was in support of the online sports gambling initiative backed by DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel. However, as the article notes, with blowout spending on television ads during sports events, on social media, and in campaign mailers, voters often sour on campaigns per political advertising experts. How to curtail this backlash effect next time will be a point of emphasis. 

More info and notes about California gaming and betting

Once you are all done getting up to speed regarding the latest gaming news in California, make sure to also look into the slew of resources that SBS offers you. For instance, for even more Golden State betting news, the SBS California sports betting breakdown offers you everything to know about the California sports betting landscape. If you would like to understand more about high-stakes wagering as well, our VIP sports betting sites rundown has your back with a comprehensive guide to the perks of VIP sports wagering. Finally, make sure to peruse the SBS payment methods overview page which goes over all the different ways you can make deposits and withdrawals. 

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About the Author

Vince Kennedy
Vince Kennedy

A soccer fan first and foremost, but someone who has taken his love of the sport and monetized it by writing for some of the most reputable sports sites.

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