The push for online sports betting in California is hitting a wall. According to Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee, online sports betting legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) is off the table following pushback from Native American tribal casinos. The powerful group is seeking to maintain its hold on gambling in the state and online sports betting is seen as a big threat to tribal casinos.
For obvious business reasons, the legalization of online sports betting would keep people away from the casinos and hurt the bottom line. It’s worth noting that the tribes also mention concerns over the safety of online sports wagering. They believe that betting through phones would be impossible to regulate and could lead to underage gambling.
This news comes less than a month after lawmakers made tweaks to legislation in late May. The hope was that those tweaks would be enough to satisfy major stakeholders, but it clearly wasn’t enough.
What Does This Mean For California Sports Bettors?
“Given the deadlines for getting a measure on the November ballot and the impact of Covid-19 on the public’s ability to weigh in, we were not able to get the bill across the finish line this year,” Dodd said in a prepared statement Monday. “It remains important that we lift this widespread practice out of the shadows to make it safer and to generate money for the people of California. I will continue to be engaged in the issue as we work toward 2022.”
Well, for the time being, online sports betting is on indefinite hold. Dodd mentioned the year 2022 in his statement about pulling the bill and it doesn’t look like California is getting mobile sports betting anytime soon. The tribes seem content to slow down this process for as long as possible. Online sports betting is sweeping across the country and it feels like an inevitability that it will hit California at some point.
But until then, the tribal casinos are going to slow down the process. The push for sports betting in California is not over, but it’s on pause for the moment.
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