The curvy path to legalizing sports betting in California comes to an untoward end this week as SCA 6 was squashed in the face of tribal opposition. Now, voters cannot have their say on the matter until 2022.
Senator Bill Dodd, who sponsored the bill, said the legislation could not move forward, and the bill is being pulled amid the opposition from the gaming tribes. Bill SCA 6 was meant to allow sports betting to appear on the November ballot. However, it won’t happen now.
It is unlikely that voters could have any say on the matter before 2022, suggesting California will not be able to benefit from a lucrative industry.
A Failed Bid
Following a failed bid to legalize sports betting, Senator Dodd said that though the legislators couldn’t get the bill across the finish line this year, they lifted a widespread practice out of the shadow, making it safer to generate money of Californians.
However, despite the consolatory statement, Senator was more ambitious about the fate of the bill. He had been expecting the bill being released from suspense this week in the Senate Appropriations Committee, and to make it to the finish line.
If passed, the bill would have allowed for legalized sports betting, whether in person or online through gaming casinos tribal racetracks.
Why the Opposition?
From the beginning, there was strong opposition from the majority of tribes within California. They’re particularly against due to the online aspect of the legislation.
Furthermore, they have reservations against the specific language of the bill regarding how the cardrooms would feature games.
The legality of the issues required clarification in the eyes of the tribes, who couldn’t support the bill otherwise. The leading voice of the opposition among them was that the bill lacked tribal input from the beginning. According to them, the result of the bill SCA 6 was the fate it deserved.
Eventually, the outcome of the bill reflected the unbridgeable gap between state lawmakers and tribal leaders. With no time to get the legislative measure approved for the November ballot, both the bill and the optimism attached to legal sports betting in California were sunk.
Is There a Way to Making It Legal?
After failing in the latest bid to legalize sports betting in California, with a squashed SCA 6 bill in the California state capital, many wonder about the future of legal sports betting in the state.
In reality, it cannot happen before 2022. Currently, a coalition of California tribes is asking the court for more time to collect enough signatures that they can piece together their alternative sports betting initiative. The underlying goal is to have this initiative appear on the 2022 ballot.
The tribal coalitions had declared SCA 6 as nothing more than “smoke and mirrors” beside another concealed attempt to circumvent the pacts with tribes.
The bettors will have to wait for some time as tribes expect to get an extension on gathering signatures before getting it to appear on the ballot in 2022.
California’s inability to get through a legislative measure in the face of tribal opposition is a lesson for other states treading on the same path, especially the ones that already have gaming compacts with tribes.