California Secretary of State, Shirley Weberannounced that the online sports betting bill will be on the ballot in November as it is supported by approximately 1.1 million votes. With this, voters in the Golden State will have the opportunity to determine whether this becomes law.
A majority of the money will go towards reducing homelessness
The bill, which aims to legalize online and mobile betting, is called California Legalizes Sports Betting and Earnings for Homelessness Prevention Fund Initiative. As the bill states, 85% of tax money will help reduce homelessness levels in the state.
Major gaming companies such as FanDuel, BetMGM, and DraftKings support this bill, however, tribal operators oppose it. Tribal operators, public safety and social justice officials formed the Coalition to Stop Corporate Online Gambling Proposal and they vowed to defeat the California Legalize Sports Betting and Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Fund initiative.
Cody Martinez (Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation) said that by allowing online gambling, every mobile, tablet, computer and laptop would be turned into a gaming device, leading to an increased risk of problem gambling and underage gambling.
He also added that the coalition will “campaign vigorously” to oppose online gambling and help people see through the “misleading promises” made by gambling operators.
As of March 31, 2022, the initiative to legalize online sports betting and gambling has raised over $100 million and its biggest donors are BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel. Nathan Click, one of the campaign’s spokespersons, said the initiative’s bill is the only one that guarantees hundreds of millions of dollars to address homelessness and mental health.
The initiative faces strong opposition
The initiative to legalize online betting and gambling is coming up against strong opposition. Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Game Safety and Coalition for Safe and Responsible Gambling run opposition campaigns and they have accumulated more than $65 million.
San Manuel Mission Band of Indians, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians are the top three donors to this campaign. james shiva, the president of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, said the measures would not solve homelessness. In fact, the only thing they will contribute to is the expansion of the game.
Tribal operators and social justice leaders aren’t the only parties opposing online gambling in the Golden State. The California Teachers Association (CTA) said it would not support the bill. The union and its 310,000 members believe that legalization will bring no benefit to the state.
One of the reasons California is the primary focus of so many online business operators is that the state has a population of 39.2 million and is therefore the largest potential market. gambling in the United States.