It is hard to fathom that the three most-populated states in America – California, Texas, and Florida – all do not have legalized sports betting. Of course, Florida had sports betting sites legalized for about a month before a federal court stepped in and shut down the operation, where the case is now in litigation and could last for numerous years.
But when it comes to sports betting in California, this is a state that hasn't even tipped its toe into the water yet with sports betting apps. Sure, the Golden State has a few casinos and racetracks, but those pale in comparison to how popular sports betting could actually be.
California is home to 21 professional sports franchises from the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, and NHL, so you would think the interest would certainly be there from its residents. However, as you will come to find out, that has not been the case.
Why is Sports Betting in California Not Legalized?
There are a few different factors why sports betting is not legalized in California. For one, the tribal gaming leaders within the state are not looking to give up their stronghold on gaming options anytime soon. These Native American tribes have a monopoly on gambling in California.
Currently, the Golden State has cardrooms, Native American casinos, the CA State Lottery, parimutuel wagering on horse racing, and charitable gaming. Legal sports betting would take a big chunk of profits away from any of those entities, and Native American tribes are opposed to any form of gambling that could cut into the profits of their casinos.
Furthermore, California voters voted against two separate proposals to legalize sports betting back in November 2022. 70% of California voters were against Proposition 26, which would have allowed in-person wagering at tribal casinos and four different private horse racing tracks. Whereas 83% of the voters went against Proposition 27, which would have allowed legal online sports betting.
Is California Doing Anything More to Legalize Sports Betting?
The vote on whether or not to legalize sports betting in California will not be on the ballot again until 2024, giving the state time to build a case on why it is a wise idea to legalize the measure for all parties involved.
With Native American tribes, lobbyists, and stakeholders all at odds on the legalization of sports betting in California, the Golden State may require a constitutional amendment to approve legal sports betting when the time comes. This is something that voters would need to vote on at the polls.
A few owners from professional teams in California, and even thoroughbred owners have weighed in with their support for sports betting. The aspect of thoroughbred owners being in favor of legal sports betting is interesting since the idea would be to have sportsbooks opening at racetracks within the Golden State.
Will Sports Betting in California Ever be Legalized?
Despite the current obstacles, the path to legalizing sports betting in California faces significant challenges due to the limited support from less than one in five voters. Any future proposals would require voter approval, leading to a lengthy launch process taking over a year. Therefore, it is unlikely that residents of the Golden State will be able to enjoy the benefits of generous sportsbook promo codes before 2024 at the earliest.
Tribal gaming leaders in California possess significant influence and may present challenges in overcoming this hurdle, making any progress when it comes to legalizing credit card betting sites in the Golden State difficult. A potential resolution between the parties is hoped for, but it remains uncertain whether the Golden State will have access to the top PayPal betting sites to bet on.