Lively Debate Due on Mobile Sports Betting in California

A ballot will be held on November 8 to decide whether online gambling should be allowed in California. It’s a subject that is going to see a fair amount of lively debate take place.

Online sportsbooks are keen to see legalisation but the tribal operators already running retail sports betting in the state are opposed to this.

Companies such as BetMGM have been backing the call for a ballot to take place. Around 1.1 million valid signatures have been received calling for a vote. That’s passed the 997,000 that is needed.

California is America’s most populous state, so there’s a lot of money to be earned in gambling revenue and subsequent tax payments. The revenue would also help those in the state who are homeless.

That’s because the bill that would legalize online and mobile betting in California also says that 85% of any tax revenue received would go to that cause.

The big obstacle that must be overcome is the view of the tribal gaming groups. The November ballot will also see a vote on their Tribal Sports Wagering Act. That would see sports betting made legal but only at limited venues. That list would include tribal casinos in the state.

It’s not just the tribal groups who are against the main legislation. Public safety, business and social justice leaders are also opposing the legislation.

Tribal chairman Cody Martinez believes that the proposed legislation would see “virtually every cell phone, laptop, tablet and gaming console” be turned into a gambling device. He added that this would increase the risks of both problem and underage gambling in California.

That’s why a “vigorous campaign” will be carried out in the next few months. Martinez is confident that the voters will “see through the deceptive promises being made by these out-of-state gambling corporations.”

Some lively debating is going to be taking place before the vote and millions of dollars being spent on the campaigning. Over $100 million has been raised for those in favour of the legislation, with around $65.5 million raised by those determined to vote against the bill. Surely, that money could be better spent!

The tribal coalition believe they are going to win the vote. They claim that 65% of voters are against the bill. Instead, the tribal coalition believe that on November 8, it will be their legislation that will receive public approval.

Nathan Click is a spokesman for those in favour of the bill becoming law. He believes it is “the only one” that would guarantee there being “hundreds of millions” of dollars being raised each year to help the homeless and those suffering mental health problems. He didn’t mention all the huge profits that the betting companies would be making if mobile online sports betting is legalised.

The bill would see the creation of the Division of Online Sports Betting Control. This would see them regulating the online sports betting industry. Any illegal activities would also be investigated by them.