California is looking for ways to prop up their state budget, and sports betting might be the answer. Two California lawmakers put a proposal together to get sports betting on the November ballot.
However, the proposal is controversial and may face opposition. Only tribal casinos and racetracks would be allowed to offer sports betting, and cardrooms would be allowed to offer designated player games.
The constant battle between tribal casinos and cardrooms will continue, but California lawmakers do have a proposal, which is a good step forward. Right now, California is looking at a $50 billion budget deficit.
California is a big destination for sportsbooks. The state has 16 professional teams in the four major sports.
Sports Betting Proposal
Many proposals have been debated over in California since the state allowed them the opportunity for sports betting. The difficulty is trying to make everyone happy. Tribal Casinos have different rules than racetracks, and both of those have different rules from cardrooms.
First, the proposal states a 10 percent tax on sports betting, and a 15 percent tax on mobile sports betting. The initial licensing fee will cost $5 million with a $1 million annual fee for mobile betting. Also, one percent of revenue must go to fund problem gambling programs.
There are four licensed horse racing tracks in California. They are allowed to have one sport betting license at one satellite wagering facility. However, they will not be allowed to using horse racing in mobile betting.
Next, tribal casinos will be allowed to offer sports betting along with roulette and craps. However, they will not be allowed to go after California cardrooms for possible illegal designated-player games.
Cardrooms will are singled out, and will not be allowed to offer sports wagering. However, the law is helping cardrooms by keeping tribal casinos from filing lawsuits against them. There is a lot of grey area between cardrooms and tribal casinos, so this will be a boost for the cardrooms.
Tribal Casinos vs Cardrooms
There has been a rivalry between the casinos and cardrooms in California. Tribal Casinos are similar to the casinos in Las Vegas. They have slots, roulette, and other games vs the house on their property.
However, Cardrooms are different. Those are for player vs player wagering where people go to play Texas Hold ‘Em. Cardrooms are not allowed to offer players vs the house games.
Now, cardrooms have become more clever about how to offer more games. They now offer “player-banked games” like Pai Gow Poker, No Bust Blackjack, and Blackjack. These games are altered so they fit the regulations cardrooms have to follow in California.
This is why tribal casinos will go after cardrooms. They alter the rules just slightly, so they walk a fine line with the regulations. They leave it up to the government to decide on what is allowed and what isn’t.
What This Means for Sports Betting
With the new California sports betting proposal, the biggest three stakeholders sacrifice a little to receive a benefit.
Tribal casinos will get the prized jewel with sports betting, but they won’t be able to question the legalities of the table games cardrooms are offering. This could cause a delay in getting the bill passed.
Tribal casinos will argue that cardrooms have been breaking the rules before the new proposal. Now, they aren’t allowed to say anything about it. They will get sports betting and will bring in more revenue. They could also lose out on some revenue if cardrooms push the lines more.
The state seems to be in favor of sports betting. This comes down to tribal casinos and cardrooms working out their differences.