California sports betting could soon turn legal as lawmakers have filed a constitutional amendment to allow the segment in the state.
US.- The sports betting segment continues to take over the US and California is moving towards regulation. Lawmakers have filed a constitutional amendment to legalise sports betting in California.
The Chair of the State Assembly Governmental Organization Committee, Adam Gray filed the constitutional amendment in with the Legislature. It would effectively regulate sports betting in California, should a state-wide ballot approves it.
It is the second attempt to regulate sports betting in California as last year a similar amendment failed. However, lawmakers expect ACA 16 to pass the committee stage, unlike its predecessor.
“It is time to shine a light on this multibillion-dollar industry,” Gray said. “We need to crack down on illegal and unregulated online gaming and replace it with a safe and responsible option. It should include safeguards against compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering, and fraud.”
Two-thirds of state lawmakers must approve the amendment before leaving it up to voters. ACA 16 would implement a change to Section 19, Article IV of the state constitution. It would be potentially put on a ballot for a referendum during national and state elections in November 2020.
In March, there were hopes around an initiative to put the segment’s legalisation on the 2020 ballot but there were no signatures gathered as it got stuck in the earlier stages of the issue.
“We never advanced to get a single signature,” Russell Lowery, a consultant for the group Californians for Sports Betting. “It started a conversation in California gaming on what is the right path forward, and those conversations will continue until they figure out the puzzle.”
The push to gather 623k signatures to get the topic on voters’ ballot didn’t even get one as there was major opposition for such a decision not to be taken by lawmakers. According to Lowery, such an approach is wrongful as he said: “The difference between June and today is everyone understands it’s not going to happen legislatively without some sort of pressure from an initiative. In the cardroom and sports betting industry, I think everyone now understands that if it’s going to happen, it’s going to be through an initiative.”