2017 saw the start of a much-needed conversation regarding sports betting in the USA, and California was certainly part of that discussion. By federal law, betting and gambling on sports is illegal outside of Nevada, but that doesn’t stop US citizens from finding other ways to put some money their favorite teams – though not all of them get away with it! But with the potential of sports betting being legalized within California in the near future, the locals and tourists alike are starting to question just what this could mean for the future of sports betting in the state, and rightly so. Here, we’ve decided to look deeper into the new proposed legislation and what the future could hold. What Is PASPA And What Part Does It Play? PASPA, or the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, was a bill introduced to stop the spread of sports betting within the United States. This bill came about in response not just because of an expansion of sports betting, but also due to the legalization of gambling in general across a range of states. Nevada and New Jersey had initially been the only states to have legalized gambling prior to 1989, but during that year, South Dakota legalized casinos too. What followed was Iowa, Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi, Louisiana and Missouri all legalizing casinos within the three years prior to PASPA being issued. In fact, Indiana was about to follow in their footsteps, but were unable to do so before the bill became law! PASPA came into effect on January 1st 1993, and effectively stopped the legalization of sports betting, though four states were exempt: Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana due to their history of having already had laws relating to legal sports betting. So, in essence, PASPA is the law that has prevented California from legalizing sports gambling previously. However, conversation is starting to surround whether or not PASPA is a thing of the past. As a result of PASPA, sports betting marketplaces have appeared to allow sports fans to bet regardless, though it lacks any safeguards or taxation. The money that the country is missing out on as a result is causing people to start to question whether it’s time for PASPA to simply go – and rightly so. Is California Truly On Track To Legalizing Sports Betting? Talk of California’s legalization of sports betting had been circling from as early as July 2017, after a sport betting amendment was introduced during a state assembly, but with limited action since, this talk seems to have stayed as exactly that. However, it’s no secret that California could certainly do with the money that a sports betting industry could provide. The state has found itself in around and above $22,000,000,000 worth of debt, so there’s no denying that the tax revenue that could be pulled in from a legal and regulated sports betting industry could be money that is very much needed. Assembly member Adam Gray is already well underway to developing the legislation necessary, but there are a number of obstacles that he and the state could face when it comes to legalizing sports betting. The uphill battle for legalized betting hasn’t just taken place in California – in fact, its country wide. In California specifically, however, the biggest obstacle they could face is that gaming providers that are already active in this state are beginning to push back – and they’re pushing back hard. Indian casinos, racetracks, state lottery and poker rooms are just a few of the parties that are very anti-sports betting, namely because such a legislation could affect their currently very healthy revenue streams. What Could Legalized Sports Betting Mean? With more than just California looking to change their legislation surrounding sports betting within their state, it’s arguably only a matter of time before this happens. The question that remains, however, is what this legalization could mean for not the states, but the marketplace as a whole. Some of the biggest challenges and changes that the marketplace could face include:
- Some of the world’s leading technology companies could expand to become bookmaking giants not only in sports betting, but in Native American faming and fantasy sports too.
- Sports betting exchanges that are not unlike stock markets will be created for the more ‘sophisticated’ of bettors. This could also provide sports leagues to profit from sports gambling too.
- Betting on your favorite NFL players or NBA heroes could be more data-driven than ever, with robots and algorithms tracking the players as they play to give better insight into how they are doing. You’ll learn more about an NFL game or potentially even horse races through the real-time data that can be provided through these trackers, potentially making live betting easier but far more competitive.
- Most Sports Betting Will Take Place Online – Mobile apps and websites for placing bets are already widely available across countries where betting is legalized, including in Las Vegas. The consumer market is one that is demanding convenience more than ever before, and these smartphone apps and the increase of access to the internet on mobile are giving bettors exactly that. Being able to place bets on sports such as NFL from your phone through sites such as Ladbrokes, Betfair, William Hill and more gives the convenience of being able to partake in the activity without needing to visit a casino or bookmakers, and it also gives these operators a better chance at bringing in higher profits from a wider range of people.
- Sports Leagues Will Benefit Directly From Betting – More and more pro leagues are starting to favor sports betting, and it’s only a matter of time before this brings in more and more profit. League officials are often seem partnering with gambling firms either through sponsorship, or to create more and more opportunities for a shared profit, and as sports betting is legalized and distributed more widely, this could be seen on a much larger scale.
- Large Tech Companies Could Emerge As Bookmakers – As mentioned before, tech companies have the opportunity to emerge as bookmakers in the future. With the widespread use of online bookmakers and the tech that makes betting so much easier, there’s no denying that the betting industry is incredibly tech heavy. As such, it’s only a matter of time before tech companies jump on the bandwagon to increase their chances of making a profit. With predictive technology becoming more commercial, who knows how this could affect how we bet in the future.