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Home Gambling Industry MLB wants to see online sports betting in California

MLB wants to see online sports betting in California

3 min. read

A ballot being cast.

The November ballot in the United States, and California, is not only important for the distribution of power in the US House of Representatives and US House of Senate. The midterms, as they are known, will also come along with a number of issues that are important to individual states which seek the approval of their voters to enact sweeping changes to legislation, which usually means changes to the constitution.

This November, voters in California will have to vote on two options to legalize sports betting, Proposition 26 and Proposition 27. Both propositions want to see sports betting legalized in the Golden State. But it’s the minutiae here that matter. Proposition 26, championed by Native American tribes in the state, insists that sports betting is kept to in-person wagering only and that only tribal operators and racing tracks may accept such wagers.

Proposition 27 aims at a more ambitious "bigger picture" legalization which wants to see California, home to nearly 40m people, offer online sports betting, enabling consumers to connect and bet remotely from anywhere in the state. Proposition 26 is backed by the tribes whereas many private businesses and now sports leagues are rallying behind Proposition 27.

The latest to have done so is Major League Baseball, which revealed plans to back Proposition 27, ESPN reported. Proposition 27 is going to appear as "The California Solutions to Homeless and Mental Health Act" on the ballot in the fall and it’s designed with the idea of both empowering sports bettors, but also offering a solution to a pressing problem – homelessness in California.

The idea, argues the coalition that backs Proposition 27, would be to legalize online sports betting and use a percentage of the contributions to the state budget to tackle the issue. Proposition 27 is backed not just by MLB but by private operators, including DraftKings and FanDuel.

Commenting on this on Friday, MLB said in a statement that Proposition 27 is "the only measure on California’s upcoming ballot that would authorize and regulate online sports betting."

The league felt confident that there are inherent benefits to this move as online sportsbook operators will inform the league of the suspicious betting problems, give the league teeth to fight against match-fixing in some of the most "susceptible" markets, and overall offer safeguards against illegal gambling, ESPN’s staff writer, David Purdum, wrote.

Legalizing online sports betting in California would be a major milestone for the state and the regulated gambling market in the United States. It would also possibly pave the way for iGaming and online casino legalization as well.

The American Gaming Association has urged both the US Congress and the US Department of Justice to assist the trade association and do more in tackling black market operators. Based on the most recent analysis of the offshore gambling market, some $150bn is wagered in non-regulated markets that could be otherwise gambled in the United States.

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16 Aug 2022
3 min. read
Comments (1)
1 month ago

Sports betting can potentially lead to iGaming in California, home of 40 million people. Do you reckon sports betting should be online or in-person only?