Two California card rooms have filed a lawsuit to block a November ballot question that would allow voters to decide whether or not they want sports betting, roulette, and other forms of gaming to take place at tribal casinos. This is the second time a lawsuit was filed on this matter to prevent gambling in the Sunshine State.
There is Another Lawsuit Trying to Prevent Sports Betting From Happening in California
In just eight months, residents could be going to their local polling facilities to vote on this matter. Hollywood Park and the Cal-Pac Rancho Cordova filed their lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court to challenge the legality of the approved ballot measure to expand the gaming market on tribal lands.
Nine tribes across the state spent a combined total of $12.5 million to get this question on the upcoming ballot. The question qualified for the ballot in May after they collected the one million valid signatures necessary.
The cardrooms want the measure to be thrown out as the suit states that it violates California’s constitution. The suit was initially filed on an emergency basis with the California Supreme Court but never had the opportunity to be heard.
The cardrooms aren’t only worried about the potential of missing out on future revenue but passing the initiative would give tribal casino operators the right to sue cardrooms for alleged violations of the Penal Code that would destroy their business.
Las Vegas-Style Games Are Currently Banned in California
Under the law, tribal casinos throughout the state can offer people to gamble on slots, lottery, and card games. What they cannot offer is Las Vegas-style table games or sports betting.
If voters approve the ballot question, Las Vegas-style table games and retail would be available to the public. Three other initiatives could be on the upcoming ballot if they do get enough support.
One initiative, in particular, is backed by reputable sportsbook operators such as Bally’s, BetMGM, DraftKings, Fanatics Betting & Gaming, FanDuel, Penn National Gaming, and Wynn that would ultimately bring online sports betting to the Sunshine State.
The initiative states that it requires that the sportsbook operators partner with the tribes. Most of the profits that are brought in would go to the tribes and assist the homeless across the state.
Supporters of the initiative believe that they will collect the required number of signatures necessary by the June deadline to have the ballot question featured on the November ballot. The mayors of Long Beach, Fresno, Sacramento, and Oakland have voiced their support for the initiative.
California has the Potential
California has the potential to be the most lucrative sports betting state in the industry. The Sunshine State is home to nearly 40 million people, which is the most populous state in the nation.
The sports betting capital currently belongs to New York, which is the fourth most populous state in the country with about 20 million people, which is half the population when compared to California.
New York easily surpassed the neighboring state, New Jersey, and will continue being the largest market, with California, Texas, and Florida not hosting an established sports betting market.