Illegal MLB Betting is Flying in California as Expected

Yup, we all had a feeling this would be coming. With the start of the Major League Baseball season arriving, California sports betting fans have understandably been checking the odds for their favorite teams. However, the main issue here is that things remain illegal in California and there’s a strong chance nothing will change until 2025, which would be daunting news. With that, illegal MLB betting is flying in California as expected, which is awful for the state as a whole.

Per a report, illegal activity indeed has been high, as the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants have all been in action and some of those clubs are off to impressive starts. With the Angels in particular, they hold strong World Series betting odds and their numbers aren’t expected to drop much the rest of the way. They’ll be a team to follow closely.

What’s worse here is that when it comes to illegal betting, there are even people on social media, including Twitter, who are bragging about making bets on teams. They are doing this to remind lawmakers and officials that even though they’re sitting on their hands and feet in trying to get something across the line, this isn’t going to stop people from finding multiple ways to get their bets in.

As things stand, people are either placing their bets through bookies, or off-shore accounts. With millions of dollars being wagered in unregulated fashion each month, there are countless criminals getting away with their illegal activity. If that money that’s being bet on the MLB season was regulated, it could result in a tremendous amount of revenue for the state. Yet, nothing is being done to help the efforts, with no new sports betting bills in sight.

California betting may not come until 2025

As we mentioned above, California betting may not come until 2025 and that fact alone has people furious. Do we really think the illegal activity is going to get better over time? Yes, multiple sports betting rings have been shut down in recent years and authorities are making it a priority to clean things up. However, all of that hard work isn’t stopping people from getting their bets in.

If anything, a delay to 2025 is only going to inspire more bookies to open up shop. This is something that California politicians must realize. Last fall, it looked like things were ready to take the next step, as two sports betting propositions were present on the November ballot for people to vote on. However, the tribes and major sportsbooks were pinned against one another, turning people off of both options.

Because of this, the local citizens in California decided to vote no against both. This set back the sports betting efforts years, which indeed could result in nothing happening until 2025. There’s an outside chance that a new bill could be presented later this year for something to get done in early 2024, but there isn’t a lot of optimism around that idea. Instead, it feels like officials have punted on things as a whole.

What needs to happen is for everyone involved to try and get on the same page and come up with a sports betting plan that will appease the public. If another half effort arrives, then it’s only going to lead to more headaches and a lack of support for the project overall. We saw how poor things went last fall – no one wants to see that happen again. At the same time, history keeps rewriting itself in this chase for legal sports betting.

NBA playoffs betting is quite high right now as well

To make matters worse as a whole here, NBA playoffs betting is quite high right now as well. As you might have been able to guess, hoops supporters are all over the postseason action right now, especially with the Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers in action. Because of LeBron James, the Lakers are always going to have a huge amount of attention on them.

Meanwhile for the Warriors, they hold strong NBA Finals betting odds and they’re hoping to repeat as the champions. With Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green all playing strong together, they have a great chance to get that done. However, the Kings have surprised a ton of people with how well they’re playing – they could end up knocking the Warriors out of Finals contention. That would easily be one of the biggest upsets in recent seasons. Fans are betting on it to happen.

Between the NBA playoffs and the MLB season getting started, the betting activity in California is quite high right now. As we’ve said multiple times, though, it’s all illegal and shouldn’t be happening in the first place. Time and time again we get updates on high betting numbers in California, but it just adds to the growing concern for illegal wagers. Governor Gavin Newsom and Co. need to step up and work to reduce all of this illegal action as soon as possible.


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.