Two years after the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for states to allow sports betting, political squabbles between rival gambling interests have left California stalemated on the issue, with the latest effort fizzling this week in the state Legislature.
While betting on sports has been legalized in nearly two dozen other states, including New York, New Jersey and Oregon, efforts have bogged down in California, where influential Native American tribes that operate more than 60 casinos have clashed with competing card clubs over how to share the nation’s largest gambling market.
Advisers to Gov. Gavin Newsom have tried to broker a compromise, but this week, state Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) said there was not enough time to finish the complicated negotiations to get a sports betting measure on the November ballot. So he is shelving legislation for the year.
“Given the deadlines for getting a measure on the November ballot and the impact of COVID-19 on the public’s ability to weigh in, we were not able to get the bill across the finish line this year,” Dodd said in a statement. “It remains important that we lift this widespread practice out of the shadows to make it safer and to generate money for the people of California.”