Sports betting’s legalization has already made states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania a ton of money, and California could soon be coming into the wagering market’s gold mine.
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California voters will be able to pick which of the two separate plans they support come November 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. One bill, sponsored by state lawmakers, proposes that bets could be made online, while another bill, supported by more than a dozen Native American tribes, proposes that sports bets only be made at racetracks and tribal casinos.
State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, and Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, will hold a hearing in the California legislature on a proposal to legalize sports betting on Jan. 8.
“Illegal sports betting is widespread, and it’s critical that we bring it out of the shadows to make it safer and generate funds for education,” Dodd said, according to the Sierra Sun Times. “I look forward to hearing from all stakeholders at this key hearing as we analyze and develop the best approach. The Legislature’s job is to stand up for the public interest and ensure California adopts the best possible model.”
The lawmakers’ legislation would need two-thirds of both the Assembly and the Senate to vote in favor to place it on the ballot. The tribes’ ballot initiative is targeted for 2020 for votes to approve as a state constitutional amendment, according to The Wall Street Journal.
California could see extremely high profits from sports betting, similar to what New Jersey and Pennsylvania have already seen during their first few years of legalized sports betting.
New Jersey reported about $3.2 billion in wagers in its first year. New Jersey legalized sports betting on June 14, 2018. Pennsylvania legalized sports betting Nov. 16, 2018, and reported taking in more than $1 billion in wagers in the first year.