Why California Voted Against Sports Betting

California has always been a bit of an enigma when it comes to sports betting. The state is definitely pro-sports, with some of the most popular sports being NFL, NBA, and MLB. However, when it comes to wagering on sporting events, the Golden State has always been one of the most cautious of the US states. It wasn’t until November 2016 that California voted to allow sports betting. Proposition 64 allows for the legalisation of sports betting in California, with the federal government having approved the proposition back in October of that year. The measure was approved with 53.7% of the vote.

Proposition 19 Was Its Own Form Of Legalisation

Although it wasn’t directly related to sports betting, Proposition 19 was a massive victory for online sportsbooks in California. The proposition sought to legalise and regulate recreational marijuana in the state. If it had passed, recreational marijuana use and sales would have been fully legal throughout California. As it was, Proposition 19 was rejected by voters with 45.3% of the vote.

The History Of The Measure

The history of the proposition can be traced back to 2010 when California Attorney General Kamala Harris launched an initiative to legalise marijuana for recreational use. The move was widely supported by the public but was fiercely opposed by the state’s major sports leagues, which threatened lawsuits if the measure passed.

However, with the backing of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and other Religious leaders, the initiative gathered steam and was easily re-cast as Proposition 19. The new proposition sought to legalise recreational marijuana in California, raising the minimum age of consumption from 18 to 21 and regulating the drug’s sale and use. It also provided that none of the revenue raised would go to fund public schools, instead allocating the money to drug treatment programmes.

When it came down to vote, the measure passed with near-unanimous support, becoming California’s Proposition 19. It was approved by voters with 83% of the vote.

Why The Rejection From So Many Sportbooks Was A Bit Of A Surprise

With the passage of Proposition 64, there was no immediate rejection of the idea of legalising sports betting in the state. That is, until 2014 when the San Francisco 49ers began playing in the Super Bowl. The following year, the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals also made it to the big game. These teams were based in states where sports betting is already widely accepted, so their appearances in the Super Bowl provoked a swift response from online bookmakers.

Within hours of the Super Bowl LI, BetOnline.ag, a popular online bookmaker, launched and offered $10,000 in free bets to all Texans and Cardinals fans. The company later followed suit with $5,000 in free bets for any 49er fans who had supported Prop 64. These bets were available until the start of the next NFL season, which is why so many sportsbooks had approved of the proposition.

However, despite the fact that Proposition 64 had voted in favour of legalising sports betting in the state, it had done so grudgingly. The measure had been presented to voters as a way of solving the legal problem of cannabis, but many had been unaware of the fact that it also provided for the legalisation of sports betting. With the backing of the Catholic Church, anti-gambling campaigners had campaigned strongly against Proposition 64. The Church had also made it a key part of its campaign against recreational drug use, deeming the practice immoral and threatening to boycott the state if it voted in favour of the measure. For many, the Church’s stance on drugs made it a convenient scapegoat for their opposition to sports betting. The proposition had not been without its opponents, with the California Taxpayers’ Association, the League of Women Voters, and the Campaign to Regulate and Legalise Marijuana all registering strong opposition to the measure.

Cannabis In The News

While the issue of recreational marijuana had not been on the minds of many during the 2016 presidential election, it had certainly been in the news. In fact, the subject had received more media coverage than at any time in the past. It was widely reported that the most popular vote-getter in the history of the United States, billionaire and former reality TV star Donald Trump, had vowed to do whatever it took to ensure that his Apprentice graduates had “all the incentives to succeed”. One of the first policies that Trump laid out in his bid for the White House was to “fully support” states that seek to legalise recreational marijuana. However, despite the overwhelming support that Proposition 64 had garnered, it had been rejected by the state’s residents. Many will be looking for Trump’s administration to provide clear direction in this area, especially since cannabis is among the safest and most versatile mood-altering substances currently available.

It’s not as if California doesn’t like to bet. The state is actually home to some of the most prolific and popular sportsbooks in the industry. There’s also a wide variety of sporting events that the state is passionate about – from the Grand Prix to the college football season. The reason that California has always been hesitant to fully embrace sports betting is because, for the most part, the industry has been dominated by bookmakers based in other states. This made it difficult for residents of the state to feel like they could truly benefit from the betting activity. However, with the advent of online sportsbooks, that all changed. Suddenly, anyone with a reliable connection to the internet can access the sports betting that they love. That is, until now.

How Online Sportsbooks Have Revolutionised The Way That Californians Play

One of the main reasons why online sportsbooks have gained such a large following in California is because they provide a unique opportunity to play in a way that is both safe and convenient. That is, until now. With the passage of Proposition 64, it has become legal for California residents to place wagers on sporting events held in the state. However, until recently, it was still illegal for those same residents to actually participate in sports betting. That is, until now.

The reality is that whilst it is still legal to be present at a sportsbook and place wagers on games, it is not actually legal for Californians to do so. That is because the state is still reeling from the repercussions of the great recession. The economy has slowly started to improve, with a number of high profile companies having relocated their headquarters to the Golden State in the past two years. However, even those who are employed in high-paying jobs can still feel the effects of the economic downturn. That is what makes it vital for residents to take part in legal sports betting.

The fact that it is still not specifically legal for Californians to sports bet does not mean that those who choose to do so do so at their own peril. Although it is still technically against the law, participating in sports betting has become a way of life for many in the state. That is because the industry has developed a fantastic support network, offering everything from pro-tips and advice on how to bet, to a safe and entertaining way of spending time. Thanks to apps like vegasbets.com and bet365, which were the first to offer fully legalized sports betting to California residents, as well as new developments like the iGaming revolution, which added more than 300 new online casinos to the Golden State, it is now possible to place bets on anything, anytime, anywhere, as long as you have a reliable wi-fi connection and an iPhone, Android, or Windows computer/laptop. And with so many tech-savvy sports fans, it is undoubtedly the case that many will choose to indulge in some high-stakes gambling while on the go.

The fact that California voted in favour of legalizing sports betting indicates that the traditional methods of getting a bet to happen, such as calling your bookmaker or visiting a sportsbook, are now outmoded. With apps like vegasbets.com and bet365, placing bets is as easy as pie.