Initiative to legalise sports betting in California approved for ballot, but some operators aren't happy

By Gambling Insider

The California Legalize Sports Betting on American Indian Lands Initiative has qualified for the ballot in the Golden State.  This measure would legalise sports betting at American Indian casinos and licensed racetracks in California.

Sports betting is defined as wagering on the results of professional, college or amateur sport and athletic events; the ballot measure also refers to legalising roulette and dice games at amended tribal casinos.To engage in legal betting activities, individuals need to be 21 years of age.

To pass, it requires signatures from 8% of the number of people who voted for the Governor in the last election. If the signatures are obtained (almost one million), the measure would appear as a referendum in the November 2022 ballot.

If it passes, the ballot will render a 10% tax on all profits that come from sports betting. The revenue will be distributed to the California Department of Health, to the Bureau of Gambling Control, and to the General Fund.

Steve Stallings, Chairman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, said: "A strong, well-regulated gaming industry is of utmost importance to California’s tribal governments and the public. This initiative allows sports wagering in a responsible manner and provides for transparency and strict regulation."

Corporations such as Bicycle Casino, Hawaiian Gardens Casino, and Hollywood Park Casino aren’t thrilled about this opportunity because, as Kyle Kirkland, President of the California Gaming Associations says: "This initiative does nothing to advance sports wagering, and instead expands the tribal casinos’ tax-free monopoly on gaming and rewards those operators for prioritising their own wealth over public health and safety."


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