California Seeks to Legalize Sports Betting

If California lawmakers pass a controversial gambling bill currently under consideration in Sacramento, Golden State will join New Jersey in a dual effort to overturn a 20-year federal ban on sports gambling.

The measure would legalize sports betting in licensed gaming grounds, such as tribal casinos and racetracks, including in the stadiums of Del Mar and Santa Anita.

“The bill is still alive,” said Paul Donahue, an adviser to Senator Roderick Wright of California, who wrote the bill.

“Wright wrote this bill because he believes Californians should be able to gamble on sports,” Donahue said. “Another reason was to help the horse racing industry, card rooms, tribal casinos, and generate revenue for the state.”

No concern about competition 파워볼게임

Federal law prohibits sports betting in 46 states. Californians who want to bet on sports now must either bet illegally, or travel to Nevada, where they legally run game and sports books.

Visitors to Nevada casinos paid an estimated $2.87 billion for sporting events in 2011. Last year, Nevada’s sports books earned $147 million in total gaming revenue, or 4.9 percent of all payments.

Most analysts say the market will be safe even if California allows sports betting.
David G. Schwartz, director of the Center for Game Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said he doubted customers could skip the Las Vegas experience during the Super Bowl or March Madness – Heavy Sportsbook Event just because they could make a bet in Los Angeles.

Schwartz said Canter Gaming, Station Casino LLC, William Hill U.S. and other companies with large locations in Las Vegas would benefit from California legalization because they could expand their operations in the country.

Nevada is currently one of four states exempted from the 1992 Pro and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The rest of the states are Oregon, Montana and Delaware, and it is legal to operate sports lottery tickets.

Also excluded from the law are jai alai, horse racing, and dog racing. Congress also offered a one-year opportunity until January 1, 1993, to pass a bill that would allow states that have operated casino games for the past decade to allow sports gambling.

New Jersey failed to use the window to legalize sports betting.

Donahue said Wright’s bill “enjoys bipartisan support” in the California Legislature, which is awaiting a hearing from the Congressional Appropriations Committee. On May 29, the bill passed the state Senate by a 32-2 vote.

California Governor Jerry Brown did not say whether he would sign the bill if it passed both houses. A recent field poll found that a majority of registered voters – 58 percent to 35 percent – supported the legalization of sports betting.

Senate Bill 1390, which Wright introduced in February, will allow licensed gambling facilities to provide sports gambling. Wright is the chairman of the government’s organizing committee, which oversees horse racing. Wright’s area is home to Hollywood Park, the main racetrack.

The measure is also expected to help the struggling horse racing industry in the state, which has failed to secure slot machines to boost its revenue. The committee’s analysis of the bill does not mention tax figures, saying only that “the passage of the bill will capture significant economic activity transferred out of state.”

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