Deadline extension given for California
Deadline extension given: As California continues to slowly inch closer to legalizing sports betting within their state, the counties of Los Angeles and San Diego have been granted an extension to help verify over 500,000 signatures.
A petition with at least 997,139 signatures is required by state law in order to get the legalization of tribal sports betting debate on the 2022 ballot. There were over 1.4 million signatures collected, however each signature must be validated before it can be counted.
As of April 29th, almost 450,000 signatures had already been verified, the recent extension gives the two counties until May 26th to verify the remaining names.
The original date for signature verification was April 22nd but registrars in LA and San Diego have been granted more time due to verifying signatures for a recall petition against Gov. Gavin Newsom.
How does this playout
Assuming that the required amount of signatures are verified in time, the sports betting topic would then be put on the 2022 ballot for a public vote. The sports betting issue must be put on the November 2022 ballot as per the constitutional amendment California requires for all gaming expansions within the state.
If the public regulates the proposed sports betting plan through the vote, retail sportsbooks would then be allowed to open at private horse racing tracks in four different counties. It is possible that retail sportsbooks in the four counties could be open almost immediately after a successful vote.
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Retail sportsbooks at tribal casinos all across the state would then become legal after the necessary revisions are made to the tribal gaming laws currently in place. It is expected the sportsbooks would begin opening their doors sometime in 2023.
Legalized sports betting is not a new topic for the state of California. In 2016 and 2017 there were two sports betting proposals rejected by the California legislature. There was also an unsuccessful effort by a group called Californians for Sports Betting who attempted to push initiatives through that would allow operators of all types to offer sports betting and not just the tribal monopolies currently in place.
In 2020 another push was made to legalize gambling within the state, however the pushback from the local tribes were successful in ending that initiative.
Some estimates have suggested that if and when California is able to legalize sports gambling that it could generate as much as $30 billion in placed wagers annually.