In the wake of the repeal of PASPA in 2018, sports betting has taken off in the United States, with over 30 states legalizing it in some form and a few more stating their intentions to do so soon. California is nowhere to be found, but not for lack of trying.
With a population of nearly 40 million, the Golden State has a stronger sports heritage than any other state as it boasts 19 professional sports teams. The Los Angeles area alone is home to 10 of them, with legendary teams such as the Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers, and Rams. All of this makes California an ideal environment for sports betting.
Californians have been advocating for legalized sports betting for years but to no avail. The majority of the efforts were blocked by Native American Tribes who have held the casino monopoly in the state for nearly 25 years.
As for the public opinion on the matter, a recent poll conducted by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies and distributed by the L.A. Times shows that Californians are generally supportive of legalized sports betting. In the survey, 45 percent of voters favored amending the Constitution to authorize sports betting. One-third of respondents opposed such an effort, while the remaining 22 percent were undecided.
This indicates that there’s a good chance that California will join the list of states that have legal sports betting in the near future.
As many as four initiatives promoting the legalization of sports betting may appear on the November 8 ballot in California. As of now, only the tribal referendum has qualified for the referendum, while the other three are still collecting signatures. By state law, the proponents have until June 30 to submit or withdraw their measures.