California Sports Betting Continues to Garner Lukewarm Voter Interest

Time is running out for sports betting proponents in California.

Last updated on: November 28, 2023, 12:37h.

Currently, there is little momentum around the introduction of sports betting proposals for California’s 2024 election. Voter polling shows that interest in regulated sports betting in the state remains low, signaling potential challenges for betting initiatives in the near future.

A Welcome to California sign on Interstate 10. Polling data indicates voters there still aren’t enthusiastic about sports betting. (Image: Spiritofamerica/Adobe Stock Images)

Results from a recent poll conducted by FM3 Research, a California-based polling firm, reveal that only 13% of California voters strongly support bringing regulated sports betting to the state. In addition, just 17% somewhat support the initiative. Total support for sports betting in California has only increased 2% in the past year, signaling a lack of widespread interest.

Tribal Gaming Leaders Oppose Betting Efforts

Recent sports betting proposals filed in California have encountered resistance from Tribal gaming leaders, who were not consulted prior to the submission of the measures, drawing ire from some Tribal casino entities. These proposals are likely to face significant hurdles since modifications to gaming regulations in California typically require Tribal involvement and approval. Up to 18 California Tribes with gaming interests in the state have voted against the pair of sports betting plans, and an additional 21 Tribes have signed a letter in opposition to the proposals, confirming strong resistance from the Tribal community.

Challenges and Opposition Persist

Preliminary deadlines for public opinion and amendments for the recent sports betting acts in California have arrived, but significant opposition remains from Tribal leaders. Current concerns center around the potential impact on Tribal sovereignty, with discussions around a timeline for the introduction of mobile betting in the state extending as far as 2026 at the earliest. As a result, prospects for successful sports betting initiatives in California appear increasingly challenging.

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