California’s Sportsbetting Legalization Initiative Gains Ground

California’s Sportsbetting Legalization Initiative Gains Ground

The hot topic in the US of this entire spring and, likely, the summer to come, is the ongoing sports betting legalization pursuit in all of the states, since the US Supreme Court outlawed the 1992 PASPA legislation, which effectively untied the hands of each individual state who can now decide their own path regarding this part of the gambling industry. Some of the states have acted very quickly, like Delaware and New Jersey, with a lively debate including numerous experts and authorities weighing in on the outcome and consequences of the Supreme Court’s Act. While that is going on, California still remains one of the states who are taking a more cautious road and are hesitant regarding the current state of sports betting, which is frowned upon by some professional sports leagues and organizations.

On Monday, an initiative in California proposed November 2020 as a tentative month and year for a sports betting legalization ballot to be held. This is led by leading card clubs, online and out-of-state gambling companies and sports leagues.

Russel Lowery, a political consultant running the cause, commented: “I think the biggest reason for this is consumer protection. It’s going on now. Because of the revenue the state could generate from legal activity plus the consumer protections that could be afforded the gambling public, it ought to be regulated.” He also said that he approached the gambling industry and was greeted by a huge interest in a ballot, which is what prompted him to submit the official request to the state attorney general’s office.

When asked about the gambling firms who support the ballot, Lowry added that he cannot give away their identity in public since ballot talks are still in their early stages: “I reached out to in-state gaming interests, out-of state gaming interests and the sports leagues. There was enough interest to try to build a coalition that was more viable.”


“Initiative to legalize sports betting in California proposed for 2020 ballot”, McGreevy Patrick,, June 12, 2018.