Proponents of a proposed constitutional amendment to regulate sports betting say it’s needed to protect California sports betting enthusiasts from fraud and cheating. Opponents fear it will limit individual freedom and destroy the fun in betting. The proposal is being pushed by an initiative backed by 18 Native American tribal communities. Proponents of the measure warn that the law will make gambling illegal across the state and make Internet gambling harder to find. Although there’s no clear indication as to what the amendment will accomplish, it appears to be headed towards a very tough fight. Let’s look at the proposal and see how it could affect the state of California sports betting.
According to the measure’s supporters, it is needed to prevent unlicensed sports betting from being conducted on state-owned facilities. The proposal would require state-authorized gaming facilities to use state-issued licenses for all transactions. Those facilities could not have “entertainment licenses” given to them by the state, according to the measure. Opponents argue that the language in the amendment also covers out-of-state gambling conducted through third parties, such as tribal casinos in California.
In the past, state-authorized card rooms used to allow sports betting. Now, the only option for a resident in Riverside or San Diego County to place a sports bet is to go to a licensed sports book. Those books are overseen by the World Professional Billiard Association or WPA, which oversees all card rooms. According to the association, card rooms must follow strict guidelines about how they operate, including a ban on wagering on games with a base value of one dollar or more.
Many cities, counties and even states throughout the United States are trying to capitalize on the growing sports betting revenue. In the last decade alone, the amount of money being bet on sporting events has increased by more than two hundred percent. In many areas, this growth has outstripped income and property values. Betting revenues have led to an influx of new business opportunities for local businessmen. The expansion of sportsbooks into cities with a high percentage of residents who enjoy playing poker, craps or baccarat has resulted in significant expansions of betting venues. In some areas, professional sportsbooks have opened up shop as full-service sportsbooks, offering clients not only betting options but also credit cards and exclusive signage opportunities.
While some jurisdictions, like the Golden State, have legalized sports betting, others, like Las Vegas, are still prohibiting the practice. At present, Las Vegas sportsbooks stand out as some of the most highly regulated online sites in the world. Many of them employ the services of top professionals like John Morrison, a well-known expert in the world of probability and statistics. Their policies allow players to wager with virtual certainty, while their stringent regulations keep losses at bay.
For their part, residents in Riverside and San Diego also enjoy the benefits of having easy access to sports betting software. Thanks to the proliferation of offshore betting sites in the country, they have also had easier access to information on how sports betting is conducted in California. In fact, many offshore sites now allow California residents to register with their personal details so that they can gain access to all the information they need.
Sports betting may not be legalized in California, but its current growth spurt and the large number of bettors that frequent online sports betting websites is certainly a good sign. With the new administration promising a continued growth in the gambling industry, it is now hard to imagine where it will go from here. For now, California residents can take comfort in the fact that offshore betting remains illegal in the state, at least for now. However, the likelihood of it becoming legalized anytime soon is remote, especially with the growing popularity of the game in the state.
With both the federal and state governments taking a hands-on approach in regulating online sports betting sites, it seems as if there is little chance that any type of regulation will be imposed on California in the near future. However, changes have been made in regards to the state’s approach to alcohol consumption and binge drinking, which means that a similar policy could be implemented towards sports betting. In the mean time, California sports betting sites continue to grow in numbers every day. If they get ahead of the trend, it is very likely that they will surpass the New York and Nevada combined in terms of their annual revenues.