Dueling Plans Vie to Put Sports Betting Before California Voters

Lawmakers’ proposal could allow for mobile betting, but competing plan from Native American tribes would allow wagering only in their casinos

An ad for the Pechanga Resort Casino, owned by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, can be seen under the basket during a Los Angeles Lakers game at the Staples Center.

Photo: Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

香蕉视频苹果下载Californians will debate separate proposals to legalize sports betting next year as supporters of such plans look to break political gridlock and tap what might be the country’s most profitable market.

香蕉视频苹果下载The competing plans—one from state lawmakers and another from a coalition of Native American tribes—differ on how gamblers would make bets, either inside casinos or on mobile phones, and which gambling interests could operate sportsbooks.

California is a coveted market in the expansion of legalized sports wagering across the U.S., thanks to its huge population, broad roster of professional sports teams and prospective gamblers with deep pockets.

The U.S. Supreme Court in May 2018 issued a ruling香蕉视频苹果下载 that allowed all states to implement sports betting within their borders. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing the practice, according to the American Gaming Association, while four states have pending legislation. In 19 other states, including California, sports-betting legislation was introduced this year but went nowhere.

A mature sports-betting market in California that included online betting would generate an estimated $2.2 billion in annual revenue for sportsbook operators, said Chris Grove, a partner and analyst with Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. Leaving mobile out would reduce that potential香蕉视频苹果下载. In New Jersey, where sports betting has generated $237 million in revenue this year through October, more than 80% of bets are placed online and on mobile phones, according to the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Industry observers say any attempt to legalize sports betting in California will contend with potentially overwhelming gridlock among politically powerful stakeholders, similar to failed efforts over the past decade to legalize online poker in the state.

Golden Stakes

A state-by-state look at where sports betting is allowed or being considered.

Live legal single-game

sports betting

Authorized,

香蕉视频苹果下载but not yet

香蕉视频苹果下载operational

Active sports-

betting

香蕉视频苹果下载legislation

香蕉视频苹果下载Dead sports-

香蕉视频苹果下载betting legislation

in 2019

香蕉视频苹果下载No sports-betting

bills in 2019

Wash.

N.H.

Mont.

Maine

Vt.

N.D.

Minn.

Ore.

Wis.

Idaho

Mass.

S.D.

N.Y.

Mich.

Wyo.

Pa.

Iowa

R.I.

Neb.

Nev.

Ohio

Conn.

Ind.

Ill.

Utah

W.Va.

Colo.

N.J.

Va.

Calif.

Kan.

Mo.

Ky.

Del.

N.C.

Md.

Tenn.

Okla.

Ariz.

D.C.

Ark.

S.C.

N.M.

Miss.

Ala.

Ga.

La.

Texas

Alaska

Fla.

Hawaii

香蕉视频苹果下载Live legal

single-game

sports betting

香蕉视频苹果下载Authorized,

香蕉视频苹果下载but not yet

香蕉视频苹果下载operational

Active

sports-betting

香蕉视频苹果下载legislation

Dead

sports-betting

legislation

in 2019

No sports-

betting bills

in 2019

Wash.

N.H.

Maine

Vt.

Mont.

N.D.

Minn.

Ore.

Wis.

Idaho

Mass.

S.D.

N.Y.

Mich.

Wyo.

Pa.

Iowa

R.I.

Neb.

Nev.

Ohio

Ind.

Ill.

Conn.

Utah

W.Va.

Colo.

N.J.

Calif.

Va.

Kan.

Mo.

Ky.

Del.

N.C.

Md.

Tenn.

Okla.

Ariz.

D.C.

Ark.

S.C.

N.M.

Miss.

Ala.

Ga.

La.

Texas

Alaska

Fla.

Hawaii

Live legal

香蕉视频苹果下载single-game

sports betting

Authorized,

but not yet

operational

Active

香蕉视频苹果下载sports-betting

香蕉视频苹果下载legislation

Dead

sports-betting

legislation in 2019

No sports-betting

bills in 2019

Wash.

N.H.

Maine

Mont.

Vt.

N.D.

Minn.

Ore.

Wis.

Idaho

Mass.

S.D.

N.Y.

Mich.

Wyo.

Pa.

Iowa

R.I.

Neb.

Nev.

Ohio

Conn.

Ind.

Ill.

Utah

Colo.

W.Va.

N.J.

Va.

Calif.

Kan.

Mo.

Ky.

Del.

N.C.

Md.

Tenn.

Okla.

Ariz.

D.C.

Ark.

S.C.

N.M.

Miss.

Ala.

Ga.

La.

Texas

Alaska

Fla.

Hawaii

香蕉视频苹果下载Live legal

single-game

香蕉视频苹果下载sports betting

香蕉视频苹果下载Active sports-

betting

legislation

No sports-betting

香蕉视频苹果下载bills in 2019

香蕉视频苹果下载Authorized,

but not yet

operational

Dead sports-

betting

legislation

in 2019

R.I.

Del.

Conn.

Md.

N.J.

D.C.

Note: Legal landscape as of Nov. 25, 2019

香蕉视频苹果下载Source: American Gaming Association

“California is such a singular opportunity that it basically draws interest from every possible corner, and the result [is] getting anything done becomes an incredible challenge,” Mr. Grove said.

香蕉视频苹果下载Two California state lawmakers have introduced legislation to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would authorize sports betting, though further details have yet to be worked out. Democratic state Sen. Bill Dodd, a co-author of the legislation, said mobile and online betting should be part of the debate. A legislative hearing is expected to be held in January. Two-thirds of both the Assembly and the Senate would have to vote in favor to place the issue on the ballot.

The ballot initiative supported by 18 Native American tribes would allow betting on live sports only at racetracks and tribal casinos, and not online, through mobile phones or at commercial casinos known as card rooms in California. The initiative is targeted for the November 2020 ballot for voters to approve as a state constitutional amendment.

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The coalition, which includes the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, submitted the 10-page initiative to the state attorney general’s office for review. To qualify under California’s ballot initiative process, supporters would have to collect nearly a million signatures and spend likely tens of millions of dollars to support a public campaign for the November vote.

香蕉视频苹果下载“Tribal leaders believe that this measure represents a viable path toward voter approval of sports betting,” said Jacob Mejia, vice president of public affairs for the Pechanga tribe and spokesman for the sports-betting coalition.

Tribal leaders haven’t ruled out mobile sports betting in the future, Mr. Mejia said, but their research on voter attitudes indicates mobile betting wouldn’t get approved next year.

Last month’s WBA title fight between Rene Alvarado and Andrew Cancio took place in Indio, Calif., at Fantasy Springs Casino, owned by the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians.

Photo: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy/Getty Images

香蕉视频苹果下载The tribes’ ballot initiative would allow tribes to expand their casino offerings to include Las Vegas-style roulette and craps, games that are currently banned. It also would set up a system for tribes to unilaterally pursue illegal gambling operators in court when state officials decline to take action.

California’s tribal gaming revenue was $8.4 billion in 2016, the most recent figures available, according to Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report written by economist Alan Meister.

Card rooms offer games like poker or blackjack on the condition that gamblers play against each other, rather than in games financially backed by the casino through a dealer. Card rooms make money from fees to play. Tribal casino operators say card rooms have been allowed to operate those games illegally, in violation of tribes’ compacts with the state.

香蕉视频苹果下载The California Gaming Association, the trade group representing card rooms, says the tribes’ ballot initiative amounts to a self-interested attack on competitors. It would allow the tribes to sue establishments suspected of illegal operations if the state attorney general’s office declines to pursue a case.

The Indian casinos “went around what the legislature was trying to do, in terms of putting together something that’s more inclusive and would really have a benefit for California,” said Kyle Kirkland, the trade group’s president and owner of Club One Casino in Fresno.

From the Archives

As U.S. states move to legalize sports betting, the Journal takes a look at the world's largest market for the industry—the U.K.—to see how real-time gambling works during a World Cup soccer match. (Originally published July 13, 2018)

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