Last Updated on July 17, 2020
There are a few states that the sports betting world is waiting on with bated breath and California tops the list. The coastal state is the largest state in the country by population and sportsbooks see the potential for massive operations whenever California finally goes live with sports betting. The fact that California has a ton of professional sports teams increases its potential for casinos and sportsbooks.
Although legislation is slow-moving, industry leaders are already gearing up for the opportunity to step into the market in California. It’s not a question of “if” but “when” at this point in time. Even though we are still potentially two or three years away from legalized sports betting in California, that’s not stopping anyone from trying to get a head start on the field.
“The numbers that we’re seeing, what we’ve heard anecdotally from the off-shore [gambling] operators … it’s going to be huge,” said Brian Musburger, founder and chairman of sports betting information site VSiN, via the Los Angeles Times. “Everybody [in the gambling community] has their California plan in place. They’re just holding their breath.”
DFS Lays Groundwork for Sports Betting
One way some companies are moving into the territory ahead of the field is through daily fantasy sports. DFS company Monkey Knife Fight is forming partnership deals with a number of professional teams in California. Laying that groundwork could prove to be vital when sports betting eventually launches in the state. Launched by entrepreneur Bill Asher in 2018, the site has already infiltrated the state through public partnerships with the Chargers, San Diego Padres and, as finalized this week, the AEG-owned Galaxy and Kings (which notably includes an on-ice logo at Staples Center starting next season).
“Let’s say California becomes legal,” Asher said. “If you’ve got 1 million people playing on your fantasy sports site, well, all of a sudden you’re going to get a license and offer them a gambling sports site.”
There are still plenty of questions and hurdles to jump through before sports betting is fully realized in California. Allowing online and mobile sports betting is a key component for many sportsbooks and as we’ve seen in New York, leaving out the online component leaves plenty of potential players out of the loop.
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