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When Will We See Online Sports Betting in California?
The last time California had propositions on the ballot to legalize sports betting was in November 2022, when voters overwhelmingly rejected in-person and online wagering. Lawmakers remain in a battle with anti-gaming lobbyists and local tribes that oppose betting apps in the state.
The earliest sports betting could be legalized in California is in 2024, when residents could vote again to decide if betting sites will be permitted to operate.
Does California Have Online Sports Betting?
Sports betting is illegal in the Golden State, with no indication that voters will legalize it anytime soon.
California has more professional sports franchises than any state in the US. It stands to gain millions in tax revenue that is currently being wagered in surrounding states like Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon.
While online sports betting is still not legalized in California, the state permits online daily fantasy sports sites like ParlayPlay and OwnersBox to operate. These providers offer contests similar to sports betting, especially the DFS contests comparable to parlay betting at traditional online bookmakers.
Time will tell if the list of California betting apps will include online sportsbooks in the near future.
The Latest Legal Updates
California residents had an opportunity to vote on two sports betting propositions in 2022. Prop 26 was an initiative of California tribes to decide if the state would conduct retail sports betting. At the same time, the biggest online sports betting operators backed Prop 27, which would have determined whether online sports betting would be legalized.
The initiative proposed by California Indian tribes would have made sports betting legal at tribal casinos in Los Angeles, Orange, Alameda and San Diego counties and prohibited all online sports betting for five to ten years after tribes launched retail sports betting.
Tribes were set on keeping online betting illegal permanently, which was met with intense opposition as it would have been the most lucrative gaming activity for the state. However, voters rejected Prop 26 by a landslide.
The second initiative was the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act, which would have required all operators to gain a license by partnering with tribal casinos. Seven of the biggest online bookmakers in the country, including DraftKings and FanDuel, spent millions of dollars supporting the measure, but their efforts came up short when voters said no to Prop 27 in November of last year.
Will We See Online Sports Betting in CA in 2024?
The road to legalizing online sports betting in California has been difficult. The state has the largest population in the country and more sports teams than any other, giving it the potential to become the biggest online betting market in the US. However, there is still much uncertainty that California will soon legalize sports betting, primarily because of the state’s system of ballot initiatives and referendums.
Without a drastic change in public opinion, California won’t be offering online sports betting for at least another year. In the meantime, residents will have to enjoy other types of gaming at the over 60 legal tribal casinos, 74 cardrooms, and various horse racetracks throughout the state.
Should online sports betting become legal in the Golden State we will be sure to provide details on the best sportsbook promos available.