Coronavirus Hurting Sports Betting Hopes in California

The coronavirus pandemic has shut down sports throughout the United States, and it could also prevent sports betting from being legalized in the state of California. The problem is that California is currently under a shelter-in-place order from the Governor, preventing anyone from living their normal lives.

A group is trying to gather signatures to get a sports betting bill on the ballot in November, and that process is now slowed, and it may come to an end completely.

California Attorney General Xavier Beccera signed off on a proposed bill that would put the issue of sports betting on the ballot in November. The proposal came from a group of over 70 tribal nations in the state of California, but the issue would ultimately be left up to the voters.

California law requires any group that is proposing a ballot initiative to collect a certain number of signatures to have the initiative to show up on the ballot. A total of 623,212 signatures are required to get a normal initiative on the ballot, but this certain proposal will take more names.

To get sports betting approved in the state of California, an amendment would have to be added to the state Constitution. Any new amendment requires 997,139 signatures.

The deadline to gather all of these names is April 21, and it is unclear if the shelter-in-place order will be lifted before that time. If the deadline is missed by the group that is collecting these signatures, then it would have to wait until the next election cycle.

The group recently announced that they are close to one million signatures, which would put the sports betting initiative. This means that the group is close to reaching the appropriate number of signatures, but it’s going to be hard to collect any more names during this time.

The group is hoping to go over the one million signature mark in an effort to protect in case they have duplicate signatures, which would make both signatures invalid.

What Would Sports Betting in California Look Like?

The sports betting bill initiative is a bit confusing because there are two powerful groups fighting for supremacy. Tribal nations are behind this initiative that is being supported by local groups, but state lawmakers are also working on a deal of their own.

Lawmakers have bashed the sports betting initiative proposed by the Tribal Nations because it limits sports betting to be done just at their locations.

One of the biggest sticking points in the bill proposed by state lawmakers is the fact that online sports betting would not be legalized. Other states that have passed a sports betting bill without including online sports betting have struggled to make very much money.

State lawmakers were hoping to pass a bill by the end of March to include their own bill on the November ballot.

If sports betting was to be legalized in the state of California, then it would likely become one of the biggest markets in the industry. California is home to several professional sports teams, and several of them are some of the most storied franchises in all of sports.

California is also close to Las Vegas, which is currently the sports betting capital of the country.

This isn’t the first time that lawmakers in California have tried to legalize sports betting or expand their current gambling industry. These efforts extend back to 1984, and there has been little success with this endeavor.

The coronavirus pandemic has shut the discussion down for the time being.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.