Online California Sports Betting Initiative Officially Qualifies for November Ballot

Online California Sports Betting Initiative Officially Qualifies for November Ballot
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

An online California sports betting initiative backed by heavyweights like FanDuel and DraftKings officially reached the threshold needed to qualify for the November ballot, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

In a statement released Monday night, California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber said the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act reached the 1,096,853 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.

A second sports betting initiative, the California Legalize Sports Betting on American Indian Lands Initiative, had already been certified for the November ballot.

Both the tribal retail sports betting and online sports betting initiatives will next head to the Golden State’s voters, allowing them to make the final decision as to whether California will join the more than 30 states and District of Columbia that have already OK’d sports betting.

“Kurt R. Oneto and John J. Moffatt, the proponents of ALLOWS ONLINE AND MOBILE SPORTS WAGERING INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE (#1911), have filed more than 1,096,853 valid signatures with the counties,” the statement reads. “Therefore, pursuant to Elections Code section 9033, the initiative measure is eligible for the November 8, 2022, General Election ballot and all further signature verification can be terminated. On June 30, 2022, the Secretary of State will certify the initiative as qualified for the November 8, 2022, General Election ballot, unless withdrawn by the proponents prior to certification pursuant to Elections Code section 9604(b).”

What Both Sides Are Saying About Monday’s News

The Indian Lands Initiative would allow tribes and racetracks to offer retail-only sports betting, along with adding additional table games at tribal casinos. The online initiative would legalize mobile sports betting in California with tax proceeds to fund homelessness programs.

If both initiatives are approved by voters, they would work together to govern sports betting in the state, pending legislative action and likely lawsuits.

Representatives from both sides continued their war of words in response to Monday’s news from the Secretary of State’s office.

In the case of the online sports betting initiative, which earmarks much of its tax revenue to homelessness issues, Monday’s decision represents a memorable moment.

"This initiative is a critical step forward. Dedicating revenue to the issue of homelessness is a win-win for our state. It would provide an ongoing funding source of hundreds of millions of dollars each year to fight homelessness and provide mental health services to those most in need," Tamera Kohler, CEO of the Regional Task Force on Homelessness for the San Diego area, said in a statement to BetCalifornia.com.

A representative from the California tribal sports betting initiative said their measure has broader support among the state’s electorate than the online sports betting measure.

“This November ballot has the potential to greatly impact the progress California tribes have made toward self-sufficiency in the last two decades. Time and again, California voters have stood with Indian tribes to support gaming on tribal lands while rejecting initiatives that would hurt tribes,”Vice-Chairwoman Beth Glasco, Barona Band of Mission Indians, said in a statement. “We’re confident that the voters will once again stand with us in allowing sports wagering on tribal lands, and against a massive expansion of online and mobile gambling controlled by out-of-state gambling corporations.”

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Contributors

Christopher Boan
Reporter / Journalist

Christopher Boan is the lead writer at BetCalifornia.com, specializing in sports betting issues in the western United States. He's covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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