Failed California Sports Betting Bills Could Haunt the Chances for 2023’s Push

By this point in the year, a lot of people were hoping that some positive news for California sports betting would be on the way. Instead, there hasn’t been much of anything to give people in the state much excitement about the potential for things to get done in the near future. Matter of fact, it’s looking more and more likely that the failed California sports betting bills could haunt the chances for 2023’s push.

According to a recent report, lawmakers and officials not only haven’t worked together to get a new sports betting bill in the works for consideration, but the failures of the past indeed could haunt anything from taking off in the near future. As many of you remember, there were two sports betting bills on the November ballot for California. Just about everyone assumed that one of the two would get passed.

Instead, both of the propositions failed and neither was particularly close. Because of this, it truly felt like it was back to square one for officials in California to get things done. This is a venture that people have been working on for a while. However, just when there’s even an ounce of positivity in terms of getting things legalized, some back-breaking news arrives and it’s just a tough pill to swallow.

With 2023, the hope for a while has been that California would be able to somehow bounce back from what happened last November. The dream for sports fans was that lawmakers would get on the same page and come up with a bill that would be a win-win for everyone involved. The major issue was the division between the tribes and the sportsbooks, with the fight against one another turning ugly. That can’t be the case ever again for California.

California tribes are ready to take the lead for sports betting ventures

One thing is for certain here, though, and it’s that the California tribes are ready to take the lead for sports betting ventures. As we mentioned above, the 2022 battle with the sportsbooks turned out to be an ugly one and it was a major reason why people voted against both propositions. Both the sportsbooks and the tribes purchased advertisements to take shots at one another, putting the voters in a tough spot.

Moving ahead, though, tribal leaders know the importance of sticking together and putting the best plan in place possible. With this, the tribes already have mobile betting options in mind, as they know how big online availability is for a total number and revenue standpoint. We have seen states legalize sports betting, but not move forward with online betting at the start, which has proven to be a mistake.

However, once online betting is locked in, you see just how much of a difference it makes. With Maryland, online betting has been brilliant since it was launched. In the fall months, people didn’t waste a second in checking the NFL betting odds to get in their football wagers. This is something that would surely be exciting in California, as there’s always high interest in the Rams, 49ers and Chargers.

Not only that, but the NCAAF betting odds would be checked through the roof, especially with Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams running the show at USC. All in all, the tribes know the importance of legal sports betting, and they want to prioritize online options as well. If they’re able to get the right bill in the works, then it would surely make the world of a difference. For now, though, it seems like this kind of a plan may not be coming as early as people would have wanted.

What’s next for the California sports betting push?

With all the uncertainty that has come in the past few months, plenty of citizens are wondering what’s next for the California sports betting push? We wish we had some kind of an answer for you, but things are not clear at all right now. The issue here is that plenty of people never assumed the state would be in this position right now. Leading up to the November ballot, people really did think that one of the two propositions would roll through.

Instead, the people of California adamantly said no to both. After all of that hard work and the millions of dollars that were invested for both sides, it was all a rough ending and now it feels like it has set things back even more. Could sports betting be on the way late in 2023? Probably not, but you never know, some sort of a miracle might arrive.

However, the feeling now is that 2024 or 2025 will likely be when sports betting arrives for California. The thought of 2025 being the year where things get done is going to make a lot of people sick to their stomachs. However, unless people can work things out and get on the same page, it wouldn’t be a shock to see ’25 be the year where things go down either.

Chris Boline

Chris Boline is a renowned sports journalist with a lifelong passion for the industry. Originally from Reno, Nevada, he is a key business development figure in college athletics, with over a decade of experience with the NBA G League, Los Angeles Chargers, and Mountain West Conference. Boline holds an MBA from the University of Nevada. He has received MVP and "Best of" honors from the NBA/Sacramento Kings, Nevada Press Association, and more. His work has been showcased statewide and nationally. Boline has established himself as an expert in MLB and legal sports betting developments. When he's not immersed in the world of sports, Chris finds joy in exploring nature's wonders.