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Sports Betting Likely To Be On The Ballot In California In 2022

Three Ballot Initiatives With Support From Different Political Interests Are Circulating Through The State


With so many competing interests, legalizing any sort of gambling expansion in California was always a difficult task. But during the next election cycle, there’s a decent chance that voters will get a say in whether sports betting comes to the Golden State.

There are three proposed sports betting-related ballot initiatives, according to a report from JD Supra, with each one spearheaded by a competing group. Any one of these possible pieces of legislation could be on the ballot in November 2022 if it receives roughly 997,000 signatures from registered voters or a two-thirds majority vote in the legislature.

The deadline for either one of those two scenarios to happen is April 26, 2022. Given the multiple political divides around the issue, the only realistic way for one of the proposals to get on the ballot would be through a signature-gathering effort.

The initiative backed by the state’s 18 Indian Tribes already has the required number of signatures, all but guaranteeing it a spot on the 2022 ballot. It would amend the constitution to allow for brick-and-mortar sports betting at both tribal casinos and the state-licensed racetracks. Online betting would not be permitted.

It would tax 10% of sports betting revenue at the racetracks to add to the coffers of the Department of Mental Health, Bureau of Gambling Control and the General Fund.

The second initiative was filed by the three major cities. It’s the most inclusive of the three proposals as it essentially allows every gaming entity in the state to offer both online and retail sports betting.

Under this initiative, tribal casinos, card rooms and professional sports franchises to run betting operations. It would tax profits at 15% and operators would be allowed to partner with an online betting company to run the company’s mobile or internet-based sportsbook.

The third proposal would only allow for online betting. Not surprisingly, it was filed by seven companies that run online sportsbooks. Under this one, tribes would be permitted to partner with an online betting provider to run an online sportsbook for the tribe it partnered with. It would tax profits at 10%.

Just like the second initiative, the tax revenue collected from the activity would be put into a new fund that would assist in providing affordable housing and the continued treatment and awareness of mental health problems.