DraftKings CEO Pushing for California to Legalize Sports Betting

As we inch closer and closer to the fall, people all over the western part of the USA are waiting to see if California sports betting will be ready to get done. The hope is that multiple measures will be presented for the November ballot of 2022 for people to vote on. There’s plenty of promise for things to get done, and the DraftKings CEO pushing for California to legalize sports betting will only help things.

As you might have been able to guess, DraftKings are among the major sportsbook players out there who have a huge hand in trying to get this done. DraftKings was part of the group of sportsbooks who put together a massive initiative for sports betting that would contribute a large sum to tackle the issues of both mental health and homelessness in California. This has been an attractive project for many.

Not only would it help bring sports betting to the state, but funds would also be used directly to help those in need. It’d be yet another resource for California to use in its fight against homelessness and mental health struggles for its citizens. It goes without saying, but this is a growing problem and CEO Jason Robins knows that he and the other sportsbooks will be ready to make a big difference here.

“In California, we continue to work with a number of leading online sports betting operators in support of a campaign to bring regulated, safe, and responsible online sports betting to the state,” Robins said. “Legal online sports betting is projected to bring hundreds of millions in tax revenue annually to the state to address two of the state’s most pressing issues: homelessness and mental health.”

DraftKings is all in to try and get sports betting voted in

With all of that said, it’s no surprise that DraftKings is all in to try and get sports betting voted in. California sports betting has been discussed for years now, and there’s even more pressure on lawmakers to get things done with New York sports betting launching recently. We’ve seen it be given the green light in other states too, which only adds to the frustration of California’s future being up in the air.

For Robins and DraftKings, they were indeed part of the group that presented their proposal, which received more than $50 million in donations from other companies. Combined, this is a huge effort and shows just how serious people are in getting things done in the near future. This proposed ballot initiative would give California roughly 85 percent of the tax revenues on sports betting. That’s major.

That money would be used, as part of this proposal, to help those who battle mental health issues and homelessness. As we mentioned above, this is a growing problem all over California and there’s definitely some more help needed. For Robins, he sees this sports betting angle as a way to not only get things made legal in California, but also help out the countless folks who need it. It’s a win-win.

In addition to all of that, think of all the illegal gambling that’s still going on. This proposal would bring legal sports betting, with money actually being regulated and no funds being transferred under the table. That money would then also help out the less fortunate and those who need assistance with their day-to-day battles. Robins will 100 percent continue to be vocal in his push for this to go through soon.

When could California sports betting be made legal?

The $1 million question everyone has on their minds is when could California sports betting be made legal? Well, first the proper initiatives need to make their way to the November 2022 ballot. After that, it will be on the citizens to try and vote one in, then legal sports betting would become official. At this point, if all goes according to plan, we could see a launch for early 2023, potentially even in January.

However, there are so many moving parts that need to be considered here. First, we need to have things voted in. After that, everyone can only hope that things go smoothly and we don’t see what’s happened with Florida sports betting to repeat itself. In case you missed it, Florida made sports betting legal, but a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court flipped the switch and now everything is in limbo.

Florida even had an online mobile app make its way for citizens to take advantage of, only for it to be shut down shortly after. Right now, Florida is hoping that an appeal will help them finally get things over the finish line. Imagine if that were to happen in California as well? 

That would be a nightmare. While there are countless sports fans who want betting to come, there’s also a large opposition trying to get in the way of things. Specifically, California tribes are teaming up to try and prevent sports betting from happening. It’s left things pretty open. We’ll find out soon enough what happens, but this is going to be a long battle for everyone involved.

Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis Jr. comes from Mississippi where he and his family spend their days discussing college football and basketball. He's written sports journalism for years after studying journalism at a local university.