Sen. Dodd: Proposal to Legalize Sports Wagering On Hold

Monday, June 22, 2020

SACRAMENTO – Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, said today he is removing from consideration the legislation he proposed with Assemblymember Adam Gray, D-Merced, to legalize sports betting in California. Senate Constitutional Amendment 6 had been scheduled for hearing in the Appropriations committee Tuesday.

“Given the deadlines for getting a measure on the November ballot and the impact of Covid-19 on the public’s ability to weigh in, we were not able to get the bill across the finish line this year,” Sen. Dodd said. “It remains important that we lift this widespread practice out of the shadows to make it safer and to generate money for the people of California. I will continue to be engaged in the issue as we work toward 2022.”

The legislation was introduced in response to a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned the federal ban on sports betting. The decision did not automatically legalize sports wagering nationwide, but permitted the activity to be regulated on a state-by-state basis. Nearly two-dozen states have legalized sports wagering, and a majority of the remaining states are considering legislation.

Sen. Dodd’s bill would have put the question of legalizing and regulating sports wagering to the voters on the November 2020 General Election ballot. Sen. Dodd and Assemblymember Gray chair their chambers’ respective Governmental Organization committees, which oversee gaming regulation, among other things.

In California, legalization was expected to generate up to $700 million a year in tax revenue to help minimize cuts threatened by the expected budget deficit.


Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at