California fell short earlier this year when tribal casinos and lawmakers attempted to put its own sports betting bills on the 2020 ballot. This inevitably pushed sports betting back until at least 2022 to be voted on.
Last week, the Coalition to Authorize Sports Wagering submitted 1.4 million signatures before the December 20 deadline in an attempt to get sports betting on the 2022 November ballot. 997,139 are needed to be verified to put on the next ballot officially.
Tribal casinos attempted to do the same thing earlier this year. The California Nations Indian Gaming Association was getting signatures to submit for the 2020 ballot, and the deadline was July 20. However, the coronavirus pandemic shut California down and really slowed the push for legal sports betting.
So far, everything is going well for the state to vote on sports betting in 2022. California is about to face a multi-billion budget deficit due to COVID-19 and will need more revenue streams to get the state back on track.
California Sports Betting
The state had a huge victory last week with getting enough signatures submitted into the state. Now, California lawmakers will need to review the 1.4 million signatures and verify 997,139 of them if tribal casinos and racetracks want a shot at sports betting being on the 2022 election ballot.
California’s counties will first review the signatures before all of the verified ones are submitted to the California State Legislature. Until March 9, 2021, the counties will have to submit the state’s signatures due to COVID-19.
The signatures have been submitted for three citizen initiatives. Two of them are initiatives, and one is a veto referendum. All three will be on the 2022 ballot if over 997,139 signatures are verified before the deadline.
Tribes are hoping this is the push that finally gets California over the hump. With the signatures being submitted on time, this allows tribal casinos to control California’s sports betting industry.
Will Sports Betting Be On the 2022 Ballot?
As of writing, there is a good shot that California will finally be able to vote to pass sports betting. The state has made multiple attempts over the past few years to get a bill through previous ballots. With the extension the tribal casinos have received to get enough signatures, it looks like this will be the best chance for the Golden State.
California needs to vote to legalize sports betting due to the laws of the state. Passing sports betting is considered a constitutional amendment and needs to be voted as such.
Tribal casinos will be able to decide how they want sports betting to look in California. Most likely, sports betting will go to tribal casinos and racetracks in the state. There is no determination of whether or not mobile sports betting will be legal in California.
This year, when tribes were trying to get a bill on the 2020 ballot, it did not want mobile betting and wanted the casinos to have in-person betting only. However, there may have been changes to the idea of mobile betting with the tribes.
The mobile betting industry has been booming across the state, and California could miss out on a large chunk of revenue if they decide not to pass mobile betting.
However, the state will need to get sports betting on the ballot and pass it before mobile betting can be discussed.