By Cody Beckett
California is a great state to live in and nowhere demonstrates this more than Santa Barbara. Bringing together warm Californian weather with a friendly local community and plenty of shops, bars and restaurants, this part of The Golden State is a popular location. Santa Barbara is also known for having lots of ways to stay entertained when you are not busy with work or family life!
One form of entertainment is betting on sports, especially with such popular pro teams as the Lakers, Rams, and Dodgers. The sports betting landscape in California might not be clear to many in Southern California and one might even wonder what the current status of legislation is for this activity at the state level.
Sports betting in California – what is the current picture?
The simple truth is that, for now, sports betting in California is not legal. This means it is not allowed within the law to either bet on sports or to operate a sportsbook online within state borders. With sports being so huge within California this is not only disappointing but also somewhat surprising. In addition, it does leave the state lagging behind others, such as New Jersey and New York, who have made sports betting legal.
After the 2018 Supreme Court ruling around wagering on sports put the power in individual state’s hands, many in California expected local politicians to react accordingly. While this has not yet happened, it may only be a matter of time until this changes. Plans for a public referendum on sports betting in California gives residents hope that it could be a fully legal way to stay entertained soon.
Daily Fantasy Sports and horse race betting are legal
Although betting on sports is not yet legal in the state, there are a couple of exceptions to know about. Betting on Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) sites and horse racing sites is actually 100% legal in California. This means you can get your sports betting fix within the law via either of these two routes.
Top sites for DFS include DraftKings and FanDuel, while sites like TwinSpires are popular for betting on the horses. If you like to add more fun to sports by betting on them, horse racing and DFS are two alternative options to consider for now.
Why might California make sports betting legal in the future?
The great thing about California is that it is always changing and giving people something new to enjoy. Although there are no guarantees, many people throughout the state do think this could happen soon. But why might this be?
To begin with, it seems there is real political will for this to occur at last. Local politicians have spoken out in support of legislating for sports betting recently and the planned public referendum is a good sign too. You also have to factor in that the politicians will be fearful of California being left behind by states which do allow sports betting. With tourist numbers being so key to the state, legal betting on sports might be inevitable to keep up with the rest of the US.
The last major reason why sports betting might become legal in California soon, is money. As the state will be able to collect tax revenues from online sportsbooks which operate within its borders, officials will see it as an easy way to raise extra cash to put back into state coffers. This extra money could then be used to fund public works and improve the standard of life in places like Santa Barbara. When you think that New Jersey’s sports betting handle for November 2021 was $100m, it is easy to see the appeal.
California sports betting – watch this space!
When you add in that legalizing sports betting in the state could create jobs and the public pressure to make it legal is growing, it would be no surprise to see California take steps to make this happen soon. There is no doubt that state officials will have seen the amount of money it can raise as a sector and how it could enable them to keep up with other states who do allow it. If the planned public referendum finally happens to give Californians their say, this could be the spark that leads to change. If you live in California and love to bet on sports, the future could be very exciting!