Is Sports Betting Legal in California?

The state of Arizona was very excited about the Supreme Court ruling on PASPA as a neighboring state that simply loses too much money across the border to Nevada. Well, California isn’t as eager to get the ball rolling, but the expectation is that the most populous state in the United States is going to move forward in the very near future.

Casinos and race tracks are a staple throughout the Golden State, so there is no shortage of places that could house sportsbooks or sports betting terminals. Like most states, it is simply a matter of getting state statutes repealed or to get voters to approve amendments to the state constitutions. California is no different, as a push has been made to get sports betting on the November ballot, but the June 28 deadline is a tough one.

The state legislature cannot act unilaterally because of laws on the books within the state constitution, so voters will have to make the move. With an enormous population, lots of sports teams, and so many entities that will benefit from legalized sports betting, it certainly feels like the only question is the timing in which it all happens. Operators from Nevada are very close by to set up operations and there would be a lot of operators looking to tap into California’s population of over 39 million people.

Now, we simply wait to see when progress starts and how quickly progress is made after the voters decide to amend the state constitution. We haven’t seen many updates since May, so it seems like 2020 is the target date.


Recent News Stories About Betting

Per the San Diego Union Tribune, the timeline for 2018 is tough because a vote could not take place until 2020 if the proposal doesn’t come together by the June 28 deadline.

Over at Daily Racing Form, a discussion about California and the future application of sports betting led to an interesting set of quotes from racing board chairman Chuck Winner, who has the best name ever for his line of work.

Elliott Almond at penned some thoughts on what legalized sports betting would look like in California.



As we know, nothing is a lock in this business, but California is a heavy favorite to approve sports betting in the state. It may take longer than some want, but early next decade, bets should be coming in on the Lakers and USC.


Neighboring States