California Eyes iGaming Change

May 6, 2022 CG California

Major change continues to sweep across the US as California could be the next state to welcome some form of iGaming with online sports betting being the target – there are now more states that allow some form of sports betting and gambling than don’t, and California could bring the tally to around 35 if other states currently teetering make the change too. Having gained nearly 1 million signatures, a ballot will appear in November that could signal change for the state that has been backed by FanDuel as well as DraftKings and BetMGM too. Whilst the signatures must still be verified, it is expected to be a formality with enough support bringing the ballot into law.

California will look to take a different approach to iGaming than other states have – the measure is titled the California Legalize Sports Betting and Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Fund Initiative – 85% of the tax proceeds from sports betting will go to reducing homelessness in the state with sports wagering being taxed at 10% under the measure – much like Colorado with efforts being made to enhancing some aspect of support in the state, this has helped to garner a lot more support than just the sports betting bill on its own.

Having been a problem state in the past to get bills passed largely because of existing tribal casino rights in the state, it could still be an issue that arises in the future – this one initiative is just one to pass as two other proposals have also been submitted with another being focused on this with a tribal measure that would also allow for online betting which has yet to receive enough signatures and could be a blocker in the future if support from the tribal rights side can’t be determined.

With plenty of time left until the bills on the ballot will be voted for, there’s plenty of time left for signatures to be gained on the remaining two measures that have been suggested – it may also provide an opportunity for other measures to emerge and gain the support too with a big push being seen for different iGaming changes to come – with states like New York showing just how impactful a big launch can be, California could be expected to follow the same trajectory.

The current focus is still very much on sports betting, however, with online casinos not gaining as much support just yet as is true across most of the US, but online casinos could later be a target to come in to play particularly as users are now expected enhanced mobile options with online casino being one of these.

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