2 Key Measures to Legalize Sports Betting in California Headed for November Ballot


It looks like California residents will have a choice of measures to consider on the November 2022 ballot to potentially legalize sports betting in the Golden State. One measure, backed by a group of California’s Indian tribes, would authorize sports betting only on a retail (i.e., brick-and-mortar) basis at a selection of tribal casinos and racetracks in the state. A second measure, backed by a group of companies that operate online sports wagering in other states, would legalize both retail and online sports wagering, would require any operator of online sports betting to partner with a tribal casino, and would direct 15 percent of proceeds to non-participating tribes and the remaining 85 percent of the tax revenues to support services for the state’s homeless and those with mental health needs.

The coalition of companies promoting the second measure under the banner “Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support” announced on Tuesday that they had collected 1.6 million signatures in support of their initiative, which is more than the just under 1.1 million needed to qualify for the ballot. Those signatures need to be verified by the California Secretary of State before June 30 for the initiative to be officially listed on the ballot. If one or both measures pass in November, legal sports betting in California will likely begin sometime in 2023.

Blank Rome’s national Gaming group practices across the country. Our gaming attorneys in our Los Angeles office have been involved in gaming and racing in California, including support of all aspects of the legal issues surrounding the gaming and sports wagering industry. We have significant experience in representing well-known casino operators, Native American gaming interests, gaming equipment manufacturers, sports betting companies, racing and wagering operators, internet gaming operators, fantasy sports companies, skill gaming operators, vendors, and others that invest in, or provide services to, the gaming or racing industry.

If you have any questions about sports betting or gaming in California or other states, please contact Dennis M.P. EhlingStephen D. SchrierMichael P. Trainor, or a member of Blank Rome’s Gaming group.

© 2022 Blank Rome LLP. All rights reserved. Please contact Blank Rome for permission to reprint. Notice: The purpose of this update is to identify select developments that may be of interest to readers. The information contained herein is abridged and summarized from various sources, the accuracy and completeness of which cannot be assured. This update should not be construed as legal advice or opinion, and is not a substitute for the advice of counsel.