Gambling Laws in California
The closest California has come to legalising sports betting is with the daily fantasy sports (DFS). Although this popular online ‘gambling’ option has not been officially recognised in state law, there has been widespread support of a bill in the state assembly which has legitimised this pastime for citizens of the state. With the popularity of the DFS growing significantly, punters are continually trying to find new and innovative ways to bring this activity as close to the legal boundary as possible. But there are always going to be those that resist. With a very ageing assortment of senators, representing the interests of California, it may take a couple more years yet for the implications of sports betting to be truly realised. Also, it would take time for a more liberal approach to be adopted.
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Most Popular Sports in California
It is estimated that Californians represent the highest-grossing sports betting wagers out of any state in the country. Given the AGA estimated that in 2016 Americans have bet over $160 billion, Californian being the most populous state in the country would make up the largest percentile of that portion. With over $18 billion supposedly being placed in illegal bets throughout the states, the government must be realising how much potential tax dollars are being wasted. The sportspeople bet on illegally are varied and can be considered to follow the same popularity patterns as you would expect from the American sports lovers. The three main sports in the Golden State are Basketball, Soccer and Football. With these three sports being perfectly suited for betting, it is not long before Californian sports betting laws will be ratified to suit this increasing demand. Below we have outlined a quick description of the betting situation surrounding each of the leading games for this state.
English Premier League – Elite Level Soccer
Soccer, or football as it is known worldwide, is undoubtedly the world’s most popular and loved sport. Americans love to watch the world’s best league, which is, of course, the English Premier League, who’s talent pool far exceeds the quality on show in the MLS. The same goes for the betting world, too. This is the sport that attracts the greatest volume of bets. It does it in terms of the number of bet orders being made, the number of markets one can bet upon, and the financial values being wagered. In California, LA Galaxy remains the main franchise for fans of the sport. The side has gained a lot of notoriety in the MLS after the signing of some huge European stars, notably Steven Gerrard and Zlatan Ibrahimović.
National Football League – Rams & Chargers
When foreigners think of sport in the United States, football is certainly one of the most iconic and recognisable games of our great nation. The NFL has a global audience and punters across the planet bet billions every year on the outcomes of matches within the NFL. Although it is not such a diverse sport, with over 90% of players being natural-born Americans, there is still a desire and popularity around the world for high profile matches within the division. Californians usually flock to the LA Rams, but the Chargers also attract a large crowd from time to time.
National Hockey League – Kings of the City
Ice Hockey is an incredibly popular sport in the Californian state. The LA Kings have been one of the most successful teams in the Western conference for many decades. They have won several Stanley Cups and proving that Southerners know their way around the ice. The betting statistics suggest that hockey is indeed one of the sports that would be at the forefront of any legalised betting operation given its immense popularity and busy schedule.
National Basketball League – Golden State Superiority
Basketball has long been an integral part of the American culture, and with the best team in the NBA, Golden State Warriors, California is really at the centre of the sport. There are millions of people who watch the NBA throughout this state. If attempts to legalise betting on these sports materialise, there could be some serious market potential for the basketball betting frontier.
History of Sports Betting in California
California has long been a state that has focused on discovering a new frontier, liberal, and accepting of new and exciting initiatives. With this ethos being the cornerstone of all negotiations on sports betting, and the tide of public opinion gradually turning toward legalisation, the story is in its final moments. Look back at the journey thus far in the timeline below.
|1848||The Gold Rush sparked a mass migration westward of prospectors. These men had little money and a need for vices, sports betting and gambling was a popular leisure time activity.|
|1933||A major moment of the sports betting journey in California. Horse racing is legalized, and unlicensed bookmaking is born.|
|1994||Gambling Control Act is introduced to the state, better regulating gambling and betting|
|2000||Proposition 1A is passed, allowing tribal reservations to hold gambling activities and take bets on sporting events|
|Present||Sections of the Californian state government have proposed legalisation and regulation, and the Supreme Court decision is widely supported.|
Legal Online Sports Betting Age in California
California is a very liberal state when it comes to freedom of choice. With the state being one of the first to fully legalise and regulate the sale of marijuana, many are looking for them to pave the way in gambling. With alcohol being 21 across the entire nation, it certainly sets the benchmark for a potential age limit for any likely to be legalised in the betting industry.
Sports Betting Agen/a
Is Online Sports Betting Legal Outside of the State?
There is one difficulty within the state of California surrounding the legalisation of online betting. The tribal casinos that exist within the state have claimed a de jure control and jurisdiction over the gambling laws of the state. Due to the wording in the 2000 ballot, their interests are not tied into legalising sports betting state wide. This would be a huge blow for business on the part of the tribal casinos, and they need to protect their interests. The political influence of this group is rather powerful, and they have leveraged this to block any attempts for statewide legalisation of online betting.
Taxes on Your Winnings: Do You Have to Pay Anything?
There is, of course, the question of tax dollars being wasted the longer these legally grey and illegal betting schemes are allowed to run. If the whole practice were to be wholly written into Californian state law, the accepted rate would have been touted at 5% of customer winnings. This should be paid to the taxman. This is in line with the European laws and would be a reasonable figure for both the operators and punters.
Regulation Changes in California Betting Law
Several members of Congress are plotting to get new laws through on the California sports betting legalization question. But with such a conflict of interest between the very well-established tribal casino owners. At the moment, the fantasy sports bill has set a precedent for further change. However, no solid plans have been set yet. It could take a couple of years before the political climate allows for a situation of online sports betting in California to be legalised. For more fantastic reviews, head over to our sports betting review, and for more on the Golden State, head on over to our California gambling page.