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Sportsbook Titans Supporting New California Online Sports Betting Initiative

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Aug 31, 2021 · 9:31 AM PDT

  • DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, Fanatics Betting and Gaming, Bally’s Interactive, WynnBet and Penn National Gaming/Barstool Sportsbook all issue support for new California online sports betting initiative.
  • The “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act” will be filed today with the state attorney general’s office.
  • If approved by voters, the initiative will allow qualified sportsbook operators to partner with California Tribal Nations to operate online sports betting.

Several sports betting giants have issued their support, and nearly $100 million in funds, for a new California online sports betting initiative to legalize online sports betting and help fund strategies to combat homelessness and mental health issues in the state.

The “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act” will be filed today with the state attorney general’s office. Backed by DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, Fanatics Betting and Gaming, Bally’s Interactive, WynnBET and Penn National Gaming/Barstool Sportsbook, the ballot initiative would allow qualified sportsbook operators to partner with California Tribal Nations to operate online sports betting.

California, home to the fifth largest economy in the world, will be one of the largest markets in the country if sports betting is legalized.

 

Approving California Online Sports Betting

Backers are looking for the initiative to be placed on the November 2022 general election ballot. The backing sportsbook operators have dedicated $100 million toward a campaign for the initiative.

“In addition to raising money to tackle California’s homelessness and mental health crises, this initiative will have a special focus on responsible gaming. Our goal is to replace the flourishing, illegal, unregulated sports wagering currently happening in California with a legal online option that has critical safeguards in place to keep minors from betting, requires identity verification and includes best in class consumer protections. We are looking forward to working closely with California Tribal nations throughout this process, and we recognize the important role that they should play in operating online sports wagering in California,” Jason Robins, CEO, DraftKings, said in a statement sent to Sports Betting Dime.

“In addition to raising money to tackle California’s homelessness and mental health crises, this initiative will have a special focus on responsible gaming”

It’s the third ballot initiative to be filed to legalize California sports betting. A California Tribal Nation initiative to legalize in-person sports betting will be decided in the 2022 November general election after procuring the necessary verified signature. A second initiative to legalize both online and in-person sports betting, filed by a consortium of California cities, was recently filed with the state attorney general’s office.

Stay Up to Date With All the Latest California Sports Betting News

The “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act” will not conflict with the pending California Tribal-backed initiative, according to information sent to Sports Betting Dime. It will be complimentary by allowing for online sports betting as well as requiring sportsbook operators to partner up with tribes.

“A state that is home to many of the world’s most innovative technology companies should no longer be stuck with antiquated, unsafe and untaxed sports betting options. The Act ensures a comprehensive licensing process – one that requires extensive vetting of experienced operators – and creates a competitive marketplace, as competition for market share will ensure the best products and experience for consumers. The future of online sports betting is here and active across the country, and there is no reason for the Golden State to be left behind,” the sportsbook operators said in a joint statement.

Supporting California’s Problem Gambler Treatment Program

The initiative would regulate online sports betting for residents 21 years of age or older and will impose fines of up to $100,000 for an operator who knowingly takes bets from minors. Extra funding will also be provided to California’s problem gambler treatment program.

“California is one of the most important sports betting markets in the world, and BetMGM is committed to bringing legal, regulated mobile sports betting to the state. As we’ve seen in states where BetMGM currently operates, regulated sports betting brings in tax revenue that supports important causes – in this case finding solutions for homeless and mental health support. Mobile sports betting also creates jobs and through BetMGM’s partnership with GameSense, we ensure that mobile sports betting is delivered together with industry leading responsible gaming protocols,” BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt said in statement.

“California is one of the most important sports betting markets in the world”

Californians are currently betting billions illegally on sports each year, according to the sportsbook operator’s joint statement, and legal sports betting will bring hundreds of millions annually to the state in tax revenues.

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