Ballot to legalize gambling in California set for 2022

Updated June 30, 2022
Updated June 30, 2022By Dean Etheridge
California State

Online sports betting has long been a well-contested battleground in America and nowhere highlights the continuous fight more so than California.

Already in recent years, there have been bills to legalize sports betting rejected, and now – with another bill on the table – there is optimism that betting will finally become legal in the Golden State

Gambling Is Still Illegal in California

For those not familiar with the law, betting is illegal in California. You can bet in casinos on Indian land sites, but by and large, mainstream gambling is illegal.

This particular law seems a touch prehistoric and behind the times.

California is a grown-up State though, and adults who live there would like to have the choice whether they wish to bet or not.

Unlike a lot of other States in the USA, California can only change its betting rules by changing its constitution. And the constitution can only be amended by a state-wide ballot.

State Wide Ballot To Change Constitution On Cards For 2022

Fortunately for Californians wanting change, a ballot is being planned. In this instance, the ballot would be held in November 2022. 

So, as you can see there is a hell of a lot of hurdles that need to be lept over in order to get this issue resolved.  

This time around, there is a lot more optimism. 

Why? You may ask!

According to Ned Resnikoff, a former analyst for the CA legislature, the Mayors of Sacramento, Oakland, Long Beach, and Fresno are all supporting the bill.

They see it as a revenue stream to help the State in other areas. 

But more than a bit of Mayoral support will be required, and there needs to be a real driving force behind the efforts to legalize gambling in California? 

Native Americans Behind Latest Push To Legalize Betting In California

Step forward, the Native American Indian Tribes; and in particular, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. 

The Mission Indians have thrown their substantial backing behind the move, as they seek to get betting at tribal casinos legalized.

They are just one of the 18 tribes who are behind the California Legalize Sports Betting on American Indian Lands Initiative, which has qualified to be on the ballot paper on November 8th, 2022. 

“yes” vote backs this ballot to:- 

The groups behind the bill are collectively known as the Coalition to Authorize Regulated Sports Wagering

Potential Obstacles To The Gambling Bill 

One such opponent of the bill and a potential problem for legalizing betting in California is Larry Elder.

The American conservative is a high-profile figure and opponent of bringing gambling into law. 

As things stand, there is no certainty whether Elder will put up against (current CA Governer) Gavin Newsome in the California Governor Election in 2022 (Newsome is believed to not be against legalizing gambling in CA).

If Elder does, and if he wins, he may attempt to block the move. 

The elections aren’t also until November 2022. So a lot of water will have already flowed under the bridge by then. But as alluded to above, a lot is still required to win this argument also!

Are Sportsbooks Willing To Invest In California?

As well as the Indian sites, there are rumored to be seven sports betting sites looking to invest in California. Figures of $100M have been mentioned, in order to obtain betting licenses.

Given the size of the State and the potential that comes with it, this is little surprise. It sounds like when legalized betting does finally arrive in CA, that Californians won’t be stuck for options.   

Californians also won’t be stuck for options when it comes to local teams to wager on.

Just look at the vast amount of sports franchises in the state, and across several different sports as well!

In Gridiron you have the LA Rams and LA Chargers in Los Angeles alone. While in addition to them, there is the San Francisco 49ers.

In NBA Basketball there are the LA Lakers, the LA Clippers, Golden State Warriors, and the Sacramento Kings.

Baseball sees the Golden State boasting five sides, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, and the San Francisco Giants. 

While in NHL Ice Hockey, CA host three teams – the Anaheim Ducks, LA Kings, and San Jose Sharks.

There is certainly enough sporting activity to justify the best sports betting sites set up in the State.

But ultimately, Californians are fans of sports from across the country, and indeed the globe. They won’t be insular and just bet on their local teams. 

CA Sports Franchises Could Ultimately Cash In On Betting Legalization 

Legalizing betting in the State may also help the franchises in the longer run. Allowing potential California sports betting sites to link up with local franchises, could be lucrative for both.

Just over a year ago in August 2020, the Capital One Arena in Washington permitted William Hill to operate their sportsbook in the complex.

This was the first time a sportsbook was allowed inside a US professional sports venue.

The PPG Arena – in Pittsburg – has since announced a partnership with a sportsbook, and the Chicago Cubs also plan to team up with a sportsbook to open a site near Wrigley Field in 2022.

Elsewhere, in Baseball the Washington Nationals and BetMGM have teamed up on a project. The BetMGM sportsbook betting app is the only app available to fans inside Washington’s Nationals Park.

The sports franchises of California won’t have failed to notice this. 

About the Author

Dean Etheridge
Dean Etheridge

Over the last 10 years, Dean has sharpened his expertise in crafting and revising content for his soccer and cricket betting platforms. Driven by his passion for sports betting and writing, he embarked on a journey of writing about sports wagering. Although Dean's preferred areas of focus are the English Premier League and cricket, his extensive sports knowledge enables him to tackle nearly any sport. Gone are the days of traveling the world to witness events like FIFA World Cups and Ashes cricket, as Dean now prefers the comfort of his own home while enjoying sports.

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