Illegal California Sports Betting is Already a Major Concern for the NFL season

In terms of California sports betting updates, there hasn’t been anything positive since the two propositions that were on the November ballot failed. Now, it’s back to the drawing board for the state as a whole, but the expectation is that things could get delayed until at least 2025 or 2025. This is rough news for California sports fans. With that said, illegal California sports betting is already a major concern for the NFL season.

From the moment it was announced that legal sports betting wouldn’t be around for the start of the 2023 season, folks across California have been furious. Each and every year, illegal activity is a growing problem for the state. Now, per a report, authorities are gearing up for even more illegal wagers to come in at a high rate this fall. Last week, the preseason kicked off with the Hall of Fame Game.

Despite the Jets and Browns both sitting their starters, countless bets were placed across the country. This included people in California. Now this weekend, the first official week of the preseason is here, with the San Francisco 49ers, LA Chargers and LA Rams in action. We don’t have to tell you that plenty of people in the state are going to be following every second of those teams’ respective matchups.

With that, they’ll also be checking the NFL betting odds leading up to the opening kick for those games. Then, things are only going to be getting even more interesting leading up to Week 1 of the regular season. In early September, countless betting action is going to be taking place for the start of the new campaign. This is great news for fans across the globe, but bad news for officials in California who are trying to bring a stop to illegal activity.

The 49ers will be among the top teams in California to be wagered on

It goes without saying, but the 49ers will be among the top teams in California to be wagered on. San Francisco holds strong Super Bowl betting odds and plenty of experts think they’ll be able to get the job done. With that said, it’s up in the air who the team’s starting quarterback will be. Former first-round pick Trey Lance isn’t expected to get the nod, but QB Brock Purdy is still working his way back from a serious injury.

As a whole, other stars for this team include George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Nick Bosa and more. In terms of the NFC West, both the Rams and Seahawks will hope to push for a division title and take it away from the 49ers. No one is too worried about the Arizona Cardinals, as Kyler Murray is still working his way back from his torn ACL last campaign. It could be a long year for Arizona.

San Francisco nearly made it to the Super Bowl last year, but a loss to the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game prevented that from happening. All in all, though, it figures to be a great year for the team from the Bay Area and countless folks will be dropping a lot of money on them from start to finish during the regular season. Then, things are only going to climb once the postseason arrives in January.

This is something that lawmakers and officials in California are surely going to keep in mind. As we’ve stated before, the efforts have been strong to prevent bookies from operating in California. However, it’s tough to track off-shore accounts being used by people in California. NFL betting will never not be popular in California and unless things become legal soon, then millions of dollars will keep being transferred in an unregulated fashion.

No college football betting will also hurt California

In addition to the NFL, no college football betting will also hurt California. That’s no legal betting, that is. Illegal activity will remain high, especially with USC, UCLA, Cal and Stanford entering their final year in the Pac-12. In case you missed it, USC and UCLA will be joining the Big Ten after this season. That’s why the action is going to be even more important this fall and winter.

As big and exciting as the NFL is, college football is also massive in California. With USC, star quarterback Caleb Williams is not only the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this year, but he’s also the odds-on favorite to be taken No. 1 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. This is something that people in California are already betting on, which is disappointing as the state isn’t able to take advantage of things.

With no betting being present this season and no betting bills currently in the works right now either, this is all a major headache for football supporters in The Golden State. Only time will tell if things change down the road, but the concern for illegal NFL and NCAA wagers will potentially be at an all-time high in the coming months.


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.