REPORT: 2022 California Voters are in Favor of Legal Sports Betting

Eric Uribe
By , Updated on: Sep 4, 2022 08:00 PM
REPORT: 2022 California Voters are in Favor of Legal Sports Betting

Gambling enthusiasts continue to wait for betting on sports to be legalized in CaliforniaAnd you better believe they're running out of patience. As of mid-March 2022, the USA has legal sports betting in 33 of their 50 states—and that number is only expected to creep up as the year goes on.

Will The Golden State be among the newcomers who join the fold in 2022? Or at least in 2023? If a recent report is to be believed, California voters are in favor of legal sports betting immediately.

Whether this guarantees the state changes their tune is a separate matter. Ditto on the subject of when California might legalize sports betting.

Let's do what we do best and break down the latest California sports betting news.

Poll Shows California Voters Support Legal Sports Betting

Around the beginning of March, the Berkeley Institute of Intergovernmental Studies released a poll that offered insight into what stances California residents would take if and when they are asked to vote on legal sports betting legislation. The returns are encouraging for anyone who wants online sports wagering to arrive in one of the country's biggest markets.

Roughly 45 percent of the almost 4,500 registered voters polled said that they would support sports betting legislation on the state's next ballot. Meanwhile, only 33 percent of those asked said they were still inclined to vote against the implementation of legal sports betting.

Even after baking in margin for error—Berkeley pegged it at around 3 percent in either direction—the pro-sports-betting side entered the spring of 2022 with a major lead over the opposing side. And this no doubt means California is bound to green light sports betting across the state by the end of the year.


Is California Guaranteed to Legalize Sports Betting?

Some people won't want to hear this, but the answer here is no, California is not assured sports-betting legalization in 2022.

For starters, while 45 percent represents the majority party in the poll, a sample size of 5,000 people is hardly telltale in a state that has around 22 million registered voters. There's a chance the actual majority is still opposed legal sports betting.

Beyond that, the poll also revealed that 22 percent of California's remain undecided when it comes to the matter of sports betting. The bill that will be voted on toward the end of 2022 could sway one way or the other when that many people haven't yet taken a side.

All of which is to say, California's pro-betting supporters shouldn't throw confetting just yet. There's a long way to go before they get what they want—and what more than half of the rest of the country already has.

The Case for California to Legalize Sports Betting in 2022

Nobody will be surprised by the logic here: California stands to make hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue if they legalize sports betting. Smaller states like Arizona are already enjoying or projecting yearly profits of $50 million.

Given that California has the largest population in the United States, at around 40 million residents, as well as the most robust professional sports market, most experts believe they could be reeling in more than one-quarter of a billion dollars in annual revenue after online sports betting has been live for a few fiscal quarters.

Conventional wisdom suggests that California would be foolish to pass up this kind of revenue. And in all likelihood, that's correct. After all, it's not like opposing sports betting actually stops it from taking place. California residents can still place wagers with some of the operators included in our reviews of the top online sportsbooksThere are also domestic bookies who operate in-person or via VPN Networks illegally.

Bet on Sports Gambling Coming to California...Soon

Believe it or not, the potential profit isn't the only reason sports betting will probably end up hitting California. If anything, the absence of legal sports wagering in California is an outlier relative to their political leanings.

When you go through the United States and take a look at which regions don't approve gambling measures, you'll notice the list is almost entirely made up of conservative local governments—such as that in Texas, which also hasn't legalized sports betting. That isn't the case for California. The state has some densely populated areas with conservative views, but they for the most part skew liberal.

Knowing this, it only feels like a matter of time before legal sports betting heads further West. But it needs to become a priority first. And right now, it isn't slated to be voted on until the end of 2022. Barring an abrupt change in stance and agenda, that means the soonest California will see legal sports gambling is sometime at the start of 2023—most likely right before the NFL's next Super Bowl  

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one to that takes care of all your sports betting needs:

Meet the author

Eric Uribe

Eric has been passionate about sports since he was 10 years old. He brings over 10 years of sports journalism experience to his expert coverage of sports betting. Hailing from the US, Eric leverages his diverse expertise covering sports at all levels – from high schoo...

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