Sports Betting Struggles To Gain Legislative Momentum Among These Four States

Sports Betting Struggles To Gain Legislative Momentum Among These Four States

After seeing how successful NJ sports betting has become, sports betting has begun to spread across the country. But despite the rise in popularity and sports betting legislation being introduced in many states, it appears three of the largest states might be left behind. Texas, California and Florida sports betting legislation is far from ready and a recent review from The Associated Press reveals it won’t be for quite some time. And South Dakota has struggled to also find common ground to pass sports betting legislation.

The potential for some of the largest sports betting markets in the US remains untapped, leaving not only a quarter of the country’s population out of the industry, but also 27% of all professional sports leagues franchises.

California Sports Betting Facing Opposition From Tribes

The biggest obstacle in front of California sports betting legislation seems to be the California Nations Indian Gaming Association. The Association is run by tribal casino operators and its most major concern is competition. The chairman, Steve Stallings says members of the Association want to protect the industry and their gambling compacts with the state.

Despite the opposition, the United Auburn Indian Community insured its seat at the table by striking a precautionary CL sports betting deal with MGM and GVC to operate the Thunder Valley Casino Resort, northeast of Sacramento.

Howard Dickstein, the Association’s lawyer, said tribes would agree with legislators on CL sports betting only if their casinos will be running the market. This would mean leaving card rooms, racetracks and lottery retailers out of the equation. Even then, tribes are unlikely to take this step as it would mean renegotiating their long-standing gambling agreements with the state.

Voter Approval Needed For Florida Sports Betting

A constitutional amendment that passed in 2018 requires 60% voter approval before moving forward with any gambling expansion in the state. The two key players behind pushing the amendment that will undoubtedly affect the future of FL sports betting were Disney and the Seminole Tribe.

The tribe owns 7 out of 8 Florida casinos and promises it will make legal trouble for State Senate President Bill Galvano, should he decide to legalize FL sports betting without voter approval. With or without a daring move from Galvano, though, Florida sports betting won’t be a priority in the next 2 months.

Texas Sports Betting On Hold Due To Politics

It’s appears that legal Texas sports betting may be an unlikely reality. Texas sports betting faces opposition not only from out-of-state casino interests but the local politicians as well.

Along with lobbyists from the Christian Life Commission, the legislature seems to show no interest in the expansion of gambling for 2019. What’s more, Oklahoma and Louisiana casino owners have consistently supported Texas politicians’ campaigns since 2006, making sure a competitive gambling market doesn’t set up shop across the border.

For TX sports betting to push through, there would have to be a major shift in mindset.

Deadwood Sports Betting In South Dakota Won’t Be Getting To A Vote

The House State Affairs Committee voted against a bill to seek voter approval in legalizing Deadwood sports betting in South Dakota. The Department of Revenue also declared itself in opposition to this SD sports betting measure on account of high regulation costs.

Meanwhile, Deadwood Gaming Association Executive Director Mike Rodman says Deadwood sports betting would help the city compete with other states. Rodman still has hope motivated voters would collect enough signatures to put the SD sports betting bill on the 2020 ballot. The bill would not only allow sports betting in Deadwood, but also at South Dakota tribal casinos.

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About Joe Kata

Joe Kata is currently a Senior Site Manager for MLB Advanced Media, and has done extensive writing for sports, betting, real estate and dating sites over the last 15 years. He's dabbled in equity trading, professional wrestling, corporate law, MMA fighting and online cooking shows, but his two greatest passions are loving his family and informative writing. 

MLB.com, MiLB.com, NHL.com, PWTorch.com

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