California Sports Betting Proposal: Citizens to Vote on Legalizing Sports Betting in November

The world’s fifth-largest economy could potentially grow much more next year as the state of California today certified that a measure will appear on the midterm ballot to legalize sports betting statewide in November 2022 .

The measure is backed by a coalition of sports betting companies, including DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM. DKNation is a partnership between DraftKings, Inc. and Vox Media.

The summary of the petition as it will appear on the ballot is as follows:

Legalizes online and mobile sports betting, which is currently prohibited, for people 21 and older. Such bets may only be offered by Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and eligible companies that contract with them. Persons placing bets must be in California and not located on Indian lands. Imposes a 10% tax on sports betting revenue and licensing fees. Directs tax and licensing revenue first to regulatory costs, then the remainder to: 85% to homelessness programs; 15% to non-participating tribes. Specifies licensing, regulatory, consumer protection and betting integrity standards for sports betting.

The potential of the size of the market in the Golden State can reach $3 billion, and California’s infamous initiative process that provides for direct democracy will only require a majority of yes votes. Some other states have a higher threshold for the per-vote law, but the largest state in the union only requires 50% + 1 to pass legislation.

Just under a million signatures were needed to reach the ballot, and the coalition delivered over 1.6 million. A somewhat competing measure of Native American tribes, horse racing tracks and local map rooms will also be voted on at the same timebut the domestic sports betting proposal was designed to be non-conflicting so that domestic providers and local partners could offer mobile app-based betting to consumers.

We’ll keep an eye on that, but California would immediately become one of the largest legalized sports betting jurisdictions in the world. If passed, the bill will come into force on January 1, 2023, excluding subsequent battles in court over implementation.

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