California Assemblymember files sports betting proposal
California Assemblymember Adam Gray has filed a constitutional amendment to authorise sports wagering in the state, provided it is ratified by citizens in a statewide ballot.
ACA 16 would amend Section 19, Article IV of California’s Constitution of State to give the legislature the power to authorize sports betting regulation. This would clear the way for legislation to be introduced to establish a regulatory framework and tax system for the vertical.
Assembly Governmental Organization Committee chair Gray explained that the amendment was filed in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May last year.
“The US Supreme Court has shouldered the burden of bringing legal clarity to the issue of sports wagering and the rights of states under the Constitution,” he said. “Now it is the responsibility of the Legislature to determine the most prudent way forward.”
He noted that eight states currently allow legal wagering, with more than 35 considering legislative proposals. Sports betting was widely popular despite legal restrictions at federal and state level, with around $150bn bet on sports illegally each year.
“Whether we like it or not, Californians are already betting on sports through illegal and often unscrupulous websites in foreign countries,” Gray continued.
“It is time to shine a light on this multibillion-dollar industry. We need to crack down on illegal and unregulated online gaming and replace it with a safe and responsible option which includes safeguards against compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering, and fraud.