Since the federal ban on sports betting was lifted in May 2018 – when New Jersey took on the Federal Government in a legal battle about and came out victorious – 18 other states have voted to legalize sports betting in their jurisdictions. The change has come swiftly on the surface level: more than a third of the country now has some sort of regulated sports wagering market.
A deeper look,however,will reveal that most American sports fans will struggle should they feel like betting a few dollars on their favourite them. Bettors in California,for instance,are well aware of how limited their options are.
Las Vegas is not that far away – that’s true. Nevada has been the center of legal gamling in the US for decades so Californian bettors are only a few hours away from the action. But with gambling slowly becoming an online affair (just as so many other activities that used to warrant a brick-and-mortar location) fewer punters are keen to make the trip. Why can’t we just bet online? is a question a CA resident might ask him/herself a few hours before the Lakers are about to go on. After all,who has time to drive to vegas just to be able to support their favorite team.
And why can’t they,indeed? Online sports betting is a natural progression from retail betting and those state who have followed in The Garden State’s footsteps have soon started to offer online betting options too. This is where the market is going. Most European countries offer casino games,including betting,to its residents so why can’t we do the same here?
Naturally,there are states like Florida and Texas where online betting is just a wet dream for the avid punters. But California is much more open-minded (or so we are told). Weed,for instance,is easily accessible to the masses so why not betting?
Those who are experts in the field say that the legislative landscape is hard to maneuver. Tribal representatives,who,as in other states,have a big influence in how regulation should be shaped. Due to conflictive interest and COVID 19 outbreaks,Senator Bill Dodd said earlier in the year that “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,” so it does sound like we will have to wait until next year to see if the lobbyist can convince the lawmakers to make sports betting legal in California. We,who enjoy spending our hard earned cash on a few moneylines,will watch this space.