Just when you thought that California sports betting would be delayed for yet another year, it looks like some last-minute efforts are being presented to try and get things rocking soon. For a while, the expectation was that things would be put on pause until 2025, but that’s no longer the case. In some major news for the betting proponents, the California Attorney General filed two sports betting measures for 2024.
This was a needed step for both of these measures to potentially keep taking steps forward as we inch closer to the November ballot. However, it’s important to note that there’s still a lot of work to be done, including the necessary signatures being collected down the road for people to approve of either. With that said, this feels like a positive step, especially after a lot of folks assumed we’d have to wait until 2025 for legal sports betting.
The legalization process has been a long and hard one for California as several different attempts to get things across the board haven’t gone according to plan. Most recently in 2022, California had two different sports betting bills on the November ballot and the expectation was that one of them would be voted in. However, both failed miserably and the state went back to square one. It was a major shocker.
Now, though, there’s a chance that we could see two different measures on the November ballot later this year. If that’s the case, the hope is that one of them will be pushed through by the voters. If history were to repeat itself, then it could push back the efforts by 2-3 years. Right now, it’s up in the air how things will play out, but people are feeling optimistic for the first time in years. We can only hope more good news will be on the way here.
The two California sports betting ballot initiatives are now labeled as "Active" on the California Attorney General's website.
The signature collecting process can now begin, with the initiatives needing more than 870,000 signatures to be placed on the ballot.
It's a tall order
— RLinnehanXL (@RLinnehanXl) January 4, 2024
Football betting continues to be a problem for California this year
A big reason why lawmakers are hopeful of legal wagers coming soon is because football betting continues to be a problem for California this year. With the NCAA and NFL posting memorable seasons thus far and some big games still on the way, illegal activity all over the state has been a nightmare for authorities to try and deal with. In the NCAA alone, College Football Playoff betting was through the roof over the past month, with people racing to check the NCAAF betting odds.
On Monday night, the University of Washington will take on Michigan with the title on the line. People in California have been keeping a close eye on UW because of the rivalry with USC and Cal in the Pac-12. While all three of those teams are leaving the conference after this season, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the passion for the Pac-12 is going anywhere. People will surely be putting money down on the Huskies, but it’s illegal in California.
As for the action in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers have already locked in the No. 1 seed in the NFC despite there being one more game left to be played in the regular season. The 49ers hold strong NFL betting odds to win the Super Bowl and people all over the Bay Area think San Francisco will be able to get the job done. It will be on Brock Purdy, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and others to live up to the hype.
With the postseason arriving too next week, the big bets all over California are only going to be on the rise. This is something that officials are trying to control, but it’s impossible to keep things contained. In the coming weeks, more illegal activity will surely be on the way in California, but the hope is that if a measure is passed on the November ballot, then the state can finally put illegal activity in the past.
Brock Purdy is the first 49ers QB selected to the Pro Bowl since Jeff Garcia in 2002
— NFL (@NFL) January 4, 2024
2024 feels like a make-or-break year for California sports betting
With the way things are looking now, 2024 feels like a make-or-break year for California sports betting. Just a few months ago, all signs were pointing to the state waiting until next year to try and get things back on the docket. This caused plenty of people to be upset with the way the legislation was handling things. However, these two new measures have come in from out of nowhere and people are excited about potentially being able to vote on them. If both are on the ballot, things will be interesting.
California is one of the biggest states in the USA, but they’re also way behind by not having sports betting available for its citizens. With Florida recently re-launching things, it has put a bit of pressure on both California and Texas to follow suit. Come next November, we could see people in California vote things through. If that happens, there’s no doubt in our mind that the betting potential will be incredible for California. The numbers would be historic, there’s no doubt about that one.