California Pulls Sports Betting Bill After Tribal Opposition


California sports betting’s prospects took a major hit Monday that will lead to a significant delay for bettors hoping to see legal, regulated wagering on pro and college athletics in the Golden State.

Strong opposition from California’s tribal gaming operators led state Sen. Bill Dodd, the bill’s sponsor, to pull the gambling legislation.

In order to get on the November ballot in California, the bill,which would amend the state’s constitution to legalize sports betting, first had to clear the California Legislature by June 25. Now, the Legislature and stakeholders across the state will ostensibly start over.

California’s tribal casinos are opposed to mobile/online betting, which Sen. Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray, working on similar legislation in his chamber, believe is necessary for sports betting to succeed. The casinos are concerned that mobile betting will inhibit the number of patrons coming through the door, and there wasn’t enough time remaining to work out those differences.

“Given the deadline for getting a measure on the November ballot and the impact of COVID-19 on the public’s ability to weigh in, we were not able to get the bill across the finish line this year,” Dodd said in a news release Monday.