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California Won’t Get Legal Sports Betting Until at Least 2023

California Won’t Get Legal Sports Betting Until at Least 2023 article feature image

MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: The California State flag flies outside City Hall, in Los Angeles, California.

Sports betting won’t be heading to California in the near future.

After taking two key steps to legalize sports betting in the Golden State, Sen. Bill Dodd pulled the bill that would have allowed sports betting to launch due to opposition from the state’s tribes.

Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray, the pair who introduced the bill, originally hoped it would make its way onto voter ballots by the November elections.

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To make the cut, the bill would have had to clear the legislature by Thursday. Now, the earliest voters will see the law on their ballots would be Nov. 2022, meaning the state likely won’t have the chance to implement legalized sports betting until 2023, Gray told Bloomberg.

The bill, which would have allowed online and in-person sports betting to launch, reached the Senate Appropriation Committee earlier this month after the California Senate Governmental Organization Committee voted to pass it.

The bill would have needed a two-thirds vote from the legislature before it could have gone in front of voters. Then, the majority of voters would have had to approve it.

Tribes opposed the bill, however, disagreeing with the increased gaming rights California cardrooms would have received if the bill was passed. Tribes had also been working on gathering signatures for their own measure until the coronavirus crisis struck the U.S.

A group of tribes sued the state on June 9, contending the pandemic didn’t give them enough time to collect signatures.

If the bill did pass, California had a strong chance at becoming one of the hottest sports betting markets in the country.

With 15 professional teams across the country’s four major sports leagues and a nation-leading population of almost 40 million people, the state possesses everything it would have needed to make a small dent in its budget deficit that was estimated at $54 billion dollars earlier this month.

With a fully mature market, California could have made up to $502 million in state taxes, according to the Sacramento Bee and estimates found by Eilers and Krejcik Gaming in recent weeks.

Instead, it will be a long wait for California to cash in on the sports betting frenzy.

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