The state with the most population is struggling to find money anywhere and everywhere. California lawmakers revealed what a newly amended sports betting bill will entail.
The biggest difference with the amended sports betting bill is the new cost for sports betting licenses. The sports betting bill in the Golden State has been a source of contention between tribal-owned casinos and state lawmakers that are sponsoring the sports betting bills.
The current issues at stake are that the various Indian Tribes in California will continue to have a lock on the gaming industry in the state. Entrepreneurs and investors are crying foul, saying this doesn’t allow fair business practices in the state.
A source said, “Anyone that goes through the vetting process, and qualifies for a sports betting license should be allowed to acquire one, not just those that are American Indians.”
The leading elected officials supporting the sports betting bills are Senator Bill Dodd and Congressman Adam Gray. The two lawmakers have been perfecting a new sports betting bill that will be a compromise of sorts.
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Sports Betting Bills Will Double Price For A License
The sports betting bills by Dodd and Gray have been making their way through the California House and Senate. This is round two for the bills.
They have been restructured in the last three weeks by the two lawmakers because the original bills were dead in the water and didn’t have the support they needed to pass. Now comes word that the cost of the licenses, which was originally $10 million, has doubled to $20 million.
This is a 50% jump, and some are wondering out loud if that is the smartest move. The annual renewal fee for these licenses will be $500,000.
A source with Governor Gavin Newsom’s office told the LA Times, “We are in a financial crisis of epidemic proportions, with a $54 billion shortfall. We have to do everything we can as a state to bring revenue into the state.
“The new fees will bring much-needed upfront money to the state. State-funded programs, for the education system and human services, are in direct jeopardy if more sources of revenue are not brought in soon.”
Sports Betting Bill Pulled From Suspense Hearing Suddenly
The sports betting bill known as SCA 6 was pulled suddenly without notice from a suspense hearing on Thursday. Lawmakers have stood firm that despite a lot of games being played, their bill will pass the Senate and the House and will be on the ballot.
California voters will do the right thing and pass it into law in November. A source with Senator Dodd’s office said, “California voters understand very well what the entire picture is with our financial crisis.
“Every state has suffered due to economic shutdowns due to the virus. We are facing a deficit of $54 billion, and we are trying to avoid massive programs being disrupted because if new revenue is not generated, that threatens all state-funded programs.”
Going A Different Route
Dodd and Gray said that after their bill was pulled on Thursday, their strategy is to go to the Senate Appropriation Committee on Tuesday. The two lawmakers are hopeful that the bill will clear that committee.
If it does, it will go on the November ballot. According to surveys, the bill has overwhelming support from California voters.
Even for those that don’t necessarily engage in legal gaming, they believe having sports betting legalized will be good for the state. The newly structured sports bill also allows for mobile sports betting with various phases to last three years, so it’s a slow process, with time for any glitches that have to be worked out.