California To Vote on Sports Betting in November 2022 Election
Tribal casinos in California have been pushing hard to get a Constitutional amendment on the ballot for voters in California. This specific Constitutional amendment revolves around sports betting in the state. On Thursday, May 27th, that ballot attempt officially qualified for the November 2022 election.
The amendment being proposed for the California State Constitution would allow sports betting at tribal casinos as well as horse race tracks. However, the proposition does seem to exclude card rooms in the state. The proposal also does not allow for online sports wagering, as legislators and tribal casinos still debate and negotiate over that possibility.
California Betting Market
The California betting market could be the single biggest betting market in the United States. Not only does California hold a population of nearly 40 million, but much of California is extremely wealthy. You add on top of that the most professional sports teams out of any state, as well as plenty of big colleges, and you have yourself a recipe for a multi-billion dollar market.
However, in the proposition’s current state, the sports betting market is not reaching even a third of its potential. The online sports betting market is clearly the way of the future, as we have seen in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Online sports betting is how you truly capture the full population by allowing them to wager from the comfort of their own homes.
Comparison to New York
Despite New York being one of the largest and wealthiest states in the Union, it still struggles to break $2 million in sports betting revenue each month. The reason for this is the fact that sports betting is in-person only. You compare this to the much smaller New Jersey, where monthly revenue has reached $50 million to $60 million a month, and you can see why mobile and online sports betting is so important. This needs and should be the priority of all of those supporting sports betting in California.
New York took the path of allowing sports betting and then adding in online sports betting at a later date. Online sports wagering was just included in the latest budget passed by New York. This could be the path that we see in California.
Clearly, the poker and card rooms in California are going to be a major opponent to this bill as they were cut out of the deal for sports betting. There are also plenty of anti-gambling groups that will come out and funnel money into stopping sports betting.
The support for this bill lies in the tribal casinos and race tracks. These groups will throw millions into the fight, as there is a tremendous amount of money in California’s gambling scene due to its market size. The support group could get a massive boost if national sportsbooks like DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel support the initiative. However, without online sports betting being promised, it is unclear how big of a role these sportsbooks will play.
We have also seen in other states, like Georgia and Texas, that professional sports teams have thrown massive amounts of cash at legalizing sports gambling. Again, ideally, those teams want to see online sports betting, so it is unclear if this initiative will be backed by the sports franchises in California.