Top sports betting companies are now helping the effort to bring online betting to California. A new effort is being launched today that involves the help of BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings. Known as “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act”, the campaign will push to legalize online sports betting in the state with revenues going towards helping the homeless and mental health needs.
Dana Williamson is the campaign manager of the new initiative, a first of its kind in the United States. A campaign committee is in the works to help further the effort. In speaking with POLITICO, Williamson discussed how the new gaming option would provide a permanent funding source for those in need.
According to Williamson, permanent solutions need permanent funding. Online sports betting is a perfect solution as it would provide continual funding to assist in needs for mental health support as well as homelessness in the state. It is predicted that California would be able to bring in major revenues that would be beneficial in both areas of assistance.
Proponents of the initiative say that the measure is not conflicting with a current sports betting plan that state tribes are pushing. The tribal option is already heading for next year’s ballot. It would provide in-person betting at casinos operated by tribes as well as racetracks. This new option is considered a compliment to the tribal effort.
Will It Work?
California has long been a state that has seen its fair share of issues when it comes to passing online gambling legislation. In the past, efforts have been thwarted due to the tribes, card rooms, and racetracks unable to meet a compromise as to who should be involved and how gaming should function. Unfortunately, the issues have led to the gambling industry falling behind other states when it comes to iGaming.
The Native American tribes of California have donated over $10 million to push the measure for sports betting and card rooms have spent money as well to pass a rival plan that will allow them to be involved. This new initiative throws a third ball in the ring and could lead to even more problems.
Since there could be three proposals going to the ballot in the state, the issue may be taken care of in the state Capitol first. Lawmakers may decide to create legislation that will be a compromise for all potential stakeholders. This way, at least online sports betting has a chance to move forward. However, only time will tell if this will occur.
For now, it will be interesting to see how the new initiative moves forward and how much support it will find along the way.