Upcoming Match-ups

Second California Sports Betting Ballot Initiative On Track to Qualify for November Ballot

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Mar 8, 2022 · 8:10 AM PST

california online sports betting
An initiative on sports betting becoming legalized in California by 2023 will be voted on late next year.
  • The “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act” is expected to qualify for November ballot
  • A California Tribal Casino initiative has already qualified for the ballot
  • Each sports betting initiative will legalize California sports betting, but to different degrees

Good news for voters with an interest in legalizing California sports betting, as a second initiative is expected to qualify for the November general election ballot.

A spokesperson for the “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act,” a sports betting ballot initiative to legalize California online and retail sports betting, said the referendum is on track to qualify for the November general election ballot.

“According to the Secretary of State’s website, we are the only sports betting campaign currently in circulation to reach the 25% signature threshold. We hit that threshold months ago, and we continue to make steady progress toward our goal. We are very much on track to qualify,” Nathan Click, spokesperson for the campaign, told Sports Betting Dime.

Several Sports Betting Initiatives for November

Backed by DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, Fanatics Betting and Gaming, Bally’s Interactive, WynnBET and Penn National Gaming/Barstool Sportsbook through a $100 million contribution, the campaign is in the process of collecting the remaining necessary verified signatures to place the initiative on the general election ballot.

The initiative needs a total of 997,139 verified voter signatures to appear on the 2022 ballot.

If approved by voters in November, the act would allow qualified sportsbook operators to partner with California Tribal Nations to operate online sports betting in the state.

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins also provided an update on the ballot initiative during his recent DraftKings investor day presentation. He said the campaign has exceeded its signature goal for the last eight weeks.

“We’re feeling like we’re going to get there and we’re very excited about the prospect of being on the ballot this fall,” he said.

If approved, the initiative will allocate 85% of revenue to the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Account, which will help combat homelessness and mental health issues in the state. The additional 15% of revenue will be allocated to the Tribal Economic Development Account, which will provide economic development and assistance to tribes in the state who do not participate in the online sports betting program.

California Tribes Want to Limit Retail Sports Betting

It’s likely to be the second approved sports betting referendum on the November ballot. A California tribal backed initiative, the Tribal Sports Wagering Act, has been approved for the ballot and seeks to legalize retail sports betting at tribal casinos and state racetracks. If approved, it would also legalize dice games and roulette at tribal casinos.

Tribal representatives are firmly opposed to the online sportsbook backed initiative, preferring to keep the future of retail and online sports betting in the hands of California tribes. Three California tribal governments recently announced the formation of a committee to campaign against the FanDuel and DraftKings backed online sports betting measure.

The “Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming” committee announced an initial campaign budget of $100 million to oppose the online sportsbook operator initiative.

Two other sports betting initiatives are also attempting to procure signatures to appear on the November ballot, but neither have exceeded the 25% signature mark. California tribes floated a third initiative to legalize retail sports betting at tribal casinos and allow tribes to offer online sports betting. California Secretary of State Shirley Weber approved the tribes’ petition for circulation in January.

A fourth initiative, backed by several California mayors, would allow state card rooms and tribal casinos to offer both retail and online sports betting. The initiative would also legalize new card and tile games for both types of facilities.

Author Image