A proposal to allow online sports betting in California — albeit with licensing fees of up to $100 million — will appear on the state ballot in November.
Flutter chief executive Peter Jackson confirmed the measure – backed by Flutter’s FanDuel brand, as well as DraftKings and BetMGM – was due to appear on the ballot in November, after securing more than the required 997,139 signatures.
“We’re very excited about the California situation,” he said. “Obviously getting to this point hasn’t been easy, but we’re very, very happy to be on the ballot.”
These signatures still need to be verified, although the measure has enough signatures for this to be considered a formality. If it appears on the ballot and is approved by the majority of voters, it will become law.
The measure is titled California Legalize Sports Betting and Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Fund Initiative (2022), as 85% of tax revenue will be used to reduce homelessness. Sports betting will be taxed at 10% as part of the measure.
Online sports betting will be open to “qualified gaming entities” and tribal operators, which can partner with online platform providers. Tribal operators and online platform providers must pay a $10 million fee each, while “qualified gaming entities” must pay $100 million.
A competing proposal – the California Legalize Sports Betting Initiative – has also already garnered enough signatures to pass. This measure was proposed by 18 Native American tribes, but would allow in-person betting at tribal properties and racetracks.
Jackson noted that both measures could go into effect if both are approved by voters, allowing tribal operators to offer retail betting and tribal and commercial operators paying license fees to operate online.
Two other proposals — one of three California cities that host gambling halls and another tribal measure that would also allow online betting — have so far not received enough signatures.