California Tribes and Sportsbooks Are Hoping to Unite for Legal Betting

Nothing but negativity has surrounded the California sports betting push in recent years. Not long ago, there were two bills on the ballot, with the hope that one of them would pass. However, both failed, with local citizens upset about the split between the tribes and major sportsbooks. However, could things be changing for the better soon? That might be the case, as the California tribes and sportsbooks are hoping to unite for legal betting.

Is this something that will get done? According to a report, tribal leaders and higher-ups for some of the top sportsbooks are trying to roll up their sleeves to get together and meet on the same page. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done there, as it’s clear there’s some animosity on both sides. This shouldn’t be a surprise at all, as the battle for legal sports betting between the two a couple of years back is still being discussed.

As you might recall, the previous sports betting bout came when the two each had different bills on the ballot. Nothing was peaceful here, as the sportsbooks took out advertisements to try and trash the tribes’ plan, while the tribes turned around and did the same. This was something that people in the state found quite frustrating, as they felt like they were in the middle of some major drama. That’s why neither bill passed.

The hope was that by now, California would be able to come up with a different plan, but nothing has been able to get done. The expectation as well was that perhaps things would be in the works for 2025, but that’s not going to happen either. Could something be on the way by 2025? That remains unknown, but it’s a positive sign that the tribes and sportsbooks are trying to make things right. We sure hope things can turn positive, as legal betting is long overdue in California.

Illegal NBA betting has been a problem in recent months

A reason for California to try and get things moving forward is the fact that illegal NBA betting has been a problem in recent months. While the Golden State Warriors, Clippers and Lakers weren’t able to go on impressive runs, that hasn’t taken away from the fact that this has been one of the most exciting postseasons we’ve seen in quite some time. The Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics have been sensational, there’s no question about that.

On Monday night, Boston was able to close things out against the Indiana Pacers, recording a 4-0 series sweep. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have been incredible and now Boston is headed back to the NBA Finals. Leading up to that series, the Celtics hold the No. 1 NBA betting odds to win the title. It won’t be easy for them, but this could be the first time since 2008 that the Celtics capture the Larry O’Brien Trophy. They’re feeling quite confident about things too.

“I’m just happy that we won,” Brown said about Boston taking care of business against the Celtics. “And give credit to Indiana, they played us tough. I know people think that Indiana wasn’t a good team or whatever the case may be, but I thought they were as tough as anybody we played all season. They were physical, they were fast, they put a lot of pressure on us. So shout out to them, and respect to them.”

Regardless of how things go for Boston, it’s troubling for California as a whole that people are still finding ways to put money down throughout the playoffs. Illegal sports betting has been a consistent problem for the state, which is why the need for legal, regulated betting is needed as soon as possible. The tribes and sportsbooks realize they won’t be able to make things happen separately, which is why uniting would be so great to see.

Illegal NFL betting will also continue to be a problem

Another thing to keep in mind here is that illegal NFL betting will also continue to be a problem in California. Just like basketball, NFL betting has been a problem and things could get worse in 2024. That’s because the 49ers, Chargers and Rams are all expected to be big-time talents this season, which only adds to the betting intrigue for a lot of people. Things are already starting to take off.

Once the summer months arrive, though, people will turn their focus to the football season. Camps will begin in late July and then the preseason will get here before you know it. Super Bowl betting is of course quite popular in California, but every single bet that’s made is an illegal one. This was the case this past winter when San Francisco faced off against Kansas City in the big game. The worry should be there that even more illegal Super Bowl bets will be on the way soon.

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Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis Jr. comes from Mississippi where he and his family spend their days discussing college football, baseball and basketball. He's written sports journalism for years after studying journalism at a local university. Over time, Peter has cultivated extensive knowledge covering sports betting legislation across the country. He closely tracks the latest regulatory developments and provides key insights into their impacts. Peter also offers sharp MLB betting analysis, leveraging stats and trends to identify value on matchups.