LSR: Run-up to California ballots turns “brutal”

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Dustin Gouker and Matt Brown from Legal Sports Report (LSR) discussed the latest developments on California’s sportsbook regulation. 

With two ballot measures set to compete later in November, sportsbook operators are putting everything they’ve got into trying to secure their place in the Califorian market. 

Gouker deemed the current environment as “brutal” for sports betting operators, saying: “This is just the forerunner of what’s going to be a brutal run-up for sports betting in California in terms of a fight between sports betting operators that would like to have unfettered access to the market and tribes, which have owned gambling there for a long time.”

Detailing a surprise development in favour of sportsbooks, the LSR co-host continued: “The latest news is that the US sportsbooks actually announced that three tribes are now backing their measure and that’s pretty much their campaign. 

“This makes sense because if you’re a little tribe who has an out-of-the-way casino, online sports betting might be good for them. It’s not like we’re going to see all of the tribes getting on board, but we’re seeing a bit of fracturing.”

In terms of campaigning efforts by operators ramping up in preparation for November, Gouker added: “It’s July, not even close to November, and we’re seeing new commercials come out all the time in the middle of summer. 

“What you see from sportsbook operators in states where it’s legalised, you’re going to see more than that for commercials in California, trying to either get one of these bills passed or get them defeated. This is the biggest topic in the industry and one that operators really need to get across the finish line with if they’re going to see a lot of growth in 2023.”

Author: Peter Owens