Hearings To Be Held In California About Sports Betting Legalization

California is reportedly going to have its legislators consider the possibility of legalizing sports betting by passing a local constitutional amendment.

LegalSportsReport.com published a report on Friday, claiming that the members of the California State Senate made Nov. 20 a tentative date for the first in the series of hearings about Senate Constitutional Amendment 6. In it, a number of experts in the field of sports betting, as well as important stakeholders in the industry, will testify in front of a body which should ultimately decide whether to hold an official ballot on this.

The body will probably consist of 40 members, who will have to make the final decision after the set of hearings.

The next step in the process of legislation is to send the legislation to the California State Assembly, which consists of 80 members. Moreover, in order to be put before voters, the legislation needs to have both chambers provide supermajority approval.

If the Assembly gives a green light, the proposed constitutional amendment will become a part of the California elections, which are scheduled to take place in November 2020. At that moment, the voters will express their opinion on the matter at hand and say whether they want or do not want sports betting to become legalized in California.

According to LegalSportsReport.com, the main person who came up with the entire concept of the Senate Constitutional Amendment 6 is Bill Dodd, a California State Senator. He worked hand in hand with a member of the California State Assembly, Adam Gray. The amendment simply adds another line to the constitution of California, stating that the state will have the right to authorize and regulate sports wagering.

Not So Easy

Although California may seem like a state where everything could be legalized, it seems that this type of entertainment, in particular, could face considerable opposition. The main opponent to the idea of sports betting legalization is casino operators, who are mostly tribes believing that one such change could make a serious negative impact on their revenue.

The tribes that operate casinos in California have made a couple of gaming compacts that gave them an exclusive right to some of the games such as craps, roulette, and blackjack. However, if the Senate Constitutional Amendment 6 is approved, that could lead to a series of very difficult legal battles between the state of California and casino operating tribes.

Nevertheless, Dodd, the 63-year-old creator of Amendment 6, believes that there’s no need for drama. He believes that if public opinion is such that sports betting could be legalized, that the state and the tribes could reach an “amicable agreement,” avoiding all the unnecessary and costly legal battles along the way.

California may be topping various lists in the US, as it is the wealthiest state in the country. However, it is still nowhere to be found when it comes to sports betting, and this is something that its officials decided to discuss and, if all goes well, put in front of the voters.

If the voters decide to say yes to the idea of legalized sports betting, California will join 16 other states in having legalized sports betting. That includes Nevada and New Jersey, which are leading when it comes to the overall revenue and number of people interested in taking part in this activity.

Therefore, in the next couple of months, we should be able to get a clearer picture of California’s standpoint on sports wagering and follow the legislative procedure of the Amendment.


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.