Will Sportsbooks in California Ever Go Online?

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The sports betting industry in California could generate as much as $30 billion per year if the state were to expand its gambling laws. Unfortunately, the Golden State isn’t showing signs of permitting mobile betting in the near future.

Last year, a team of experts held a meeting to discuss the possibility of permitting online sportsbooks in the state. They concluded California would quickly become the biggest market for sports betting if it made the industry legal.

Still, to be clear, the experts remained pessimistic about the benefits of legalizing sports betting. So, what now? What’s the future of online sports betting in the Golden State?

Horse Racing is Legal

Let’s get this clear. Horse race betting is legal in California. It has been legal since 1933 and there are no plans to ban it. If you’re looking for something to wager on in the Golden State, therefore, learn how to bet on horse race betting.

You can use the California sports betting guide at betting.us to learn more about the industry. As a bonus, you’ll also find a map of the places that provide sports betting in California. Additionally, you can also read about casinos and racetracks in the state.

With that in mind, there’s no reason horse racing is treated differently from other sports. In some countries, the sport is favored as more of a skills-based game than other sports. But that’s certainly not the case.

You Can Bet in Neighboring States

Sports betting beyond horse racing is illegal in California. But that doesn’t mean Californians never wager at all. In fact, a significant number of tourist punters that tour Las Vegas every weekend to bet on sports live in California.

Since 2018, when the Supreme Court struck off PASPA, Californians have a wider variety of places to bet besides Nevada. For example, the can tour Oregon although it makes more sense to visit Nevada: many of the state’s major states are closer to Nevada than Oregon.

Nevada is home to some of the world’s biggest casinos and sportsbooks anyway. Nearly all sports are legal in the state, from football and basketball to boxing and eSports. The only illegal form of betting is wager types whose outcomes are known beforehand.

You can Also Bet Via Offshore Sportsbooks

Sports betting is currently illegal in California. But the state’s laws don’t mention online gambling anywhere. While some people interpret that as a sign you can’t bet online, others believe the laws don’t apply to online betting.

Against that backdrop, many legal experts explain that you can bet using offshore betting sites in California. The only thing you can’t do is to start a betting company within the Golden State’s borders.

Are offshore sportsbooks safe? That’s the biggest challenge for Californians looking for a betting site located overseas. The companies are based in countries whose laws don’t work in the US.

If you’re defrauded by an overseas sportsbook, no one can help you. If they mishandle your data, you can’t complain. That said, the majority of overseas betting sites are safe companies. Some of them even have licenses to operate in states that permit betting.

As such, you can bet safely at an offshore casino. But you must take time to find the right company for you. Look for a license from a respected regulator, security features and high-quality odds.

Is there a Future for Online Sports Betting in California?

Presently, there’s not enough support for a bill to legalize sports betting in California. In the latest met held to discuss the topic, the selected committee didn’t even invite tribal representatives—the main stake holders of casinos in the state.

Owing to that backdrop, California’s hope for legalizing sports betting would best be actualized in the next general election. That’s because the state’s laws would only legalize sports betting through ballot voting.

Last November, Maryland, South Dakota and Louisiana gave their citizens a chance to permit sports betting through ballot voting. In all three states, the bill was passed by an overwhelming majority.

Many critics believe Californians would also pass sports betting if given the chance. The state would gain millions of dollars in annual revenue, money that could go towards helping improve the state’s public education system.

What Would a Legal Sports Betting Industry in CA Look Like?

Being home to the country’s largest population, there’s no doubt California has the potential to generate billions of dollars from sports betting. What would be the best way to maximize this potential?

  • Legalizing all Sports

The first thing California should do if it ever legalizes sports betting is to permit all major and minor sports. Some states have been frowning upon eSports—the new sports built on the success of major video games.

New Jersey used to be one of these states. It had banned most forms of eSports. But it later permitted the sport bar betting on high school eSports games. Speaking of schools, California could consider banning betting on high school and local college games.

But it would benefit greatly by allowing betting on non-sports events. Think of political debates, celebrity award shows and the weather. These events could help maximize the state’s earning potential from sports betting.

  • Commercializing the Industry

All the states reaping success from sports betting have commercialized it. New Jersey and Nevada are excellent examples. By comparison, jurisdictions that monopolize the industry have been struggling to generate revenues: think of DC.

For California to maximize its earning potential from sports betting, it must commercialize it. Although a tough battle, it could also expand sports betting beyond native reservations. More competition would mean more money from licensing fees. It would also help steer the industry’s growth faster.

  • Support Mobile Betting

This goes without saying—California can’t optimize revenues from sports betting unless it supports mobile betting. Mobile devices are the future of sports betting. In New Jersey, mobile betting contributes 85% of the state’s $5 billion annual revenue. This would probably happen in CA too—over half of the country use mobile devices every day.

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