Sen. Dodd, Asm. Gray Introduce Sports Betting Legislation
SACRAMENTO – Working collaboratively, Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, and Assemblymember Adam Gray, D-Merced, introduced legislation today that would amend the California constitution to authorize and regulate sports wagering.
“I look forward to working with stakeholders in a collaborative effort to help bring this out of the shadows,” Sen. Dodd said. “By legalizing sports wagering we can avoid some of the problems associated with an underground market such as fraud and tax evasion while investing in problem gambling education.”
“We need to crack down on illegal and unregulated online gaming and replace it with a safe and responsible option which includes safeguards against compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering and fraud,” Assemblymember Gray said. “All other gaming activities in California are subject to regulations that ensure the safety of consumers. Sports wagering should be treated no differently."
The legislation follows last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning the federal ban on sports betting. The decision did not legalize sports wagering nationwide, but permitted the activity to be regulated on a state-by-state basis. Currently, eight states allow legal sports wagering and more than 35 are considering legislation.
Estimates put illegal sports wagering in the United States at $150 billion a year. Revenue generated from legalization could support public education, infrastructure and other needs.
The matching constitutional amendments introduced by Sen. Dodd and Assemblymember Gray would require any legalization effort in California to achieve two-thirds approval in the Legislature before being placed on the ballot for majority approval by voters.
Sen. Dodd and Assemblymember Gray chair their chambers’ respective Governmental Organization committees, which oversee gaming regulation, among other things.
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Yolo, Sonoma, Solano, Sacramento and Contra Costa counties. More information on Senator Bill Dodd can be found at www.senate.ca.gov/dodd.