Seven Sportsbooks Back Third Potential Sports Betting Act on ’22 California Ballot

Backers of what would be potentially a third sports betting measure on the 2022 California general election ballot say a survey taken earlier this summer indicates Golden State voters back their plan to legalize the gaming product statewide.

California sports betting
California sports betting
The Golden Gate Bridge at night in San Francisco. If seven sports betting operators are seeking to get an initiative on the 2022 general election ballot that would legalize sports betting across the state and use revenues to support programs for homelessness and mental health. (Image: Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress)

Earlier this week, Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support released poll findings from David Binder Research that indicated 62 percent of likely voters would support the creation of a fund to offer permanent shelters for the unhoused and increase services for those struggling with mental health and addiction issues. Only 25 percent currently oppose.

The funding to solve those issues would come from legalizing sports betting statewide, with both commercial and tribal operators able to participate. It’s backed by seven current or aspiring operators that are willing to each put up $100 million for licenses to operate online in the largest US state.

But before any of that can happen, the group must first get nearly 1 million verified signatures on petition forms and have those documents turned in to county officials – likely by late April – in order to get the measure on the ballot.

Currently, the state attorney general’s office is preparing the petition for the secretary of state. According to Secretary of State Dr. Shirley N. Weber, her office expects to get the paperwork around Nov. 4. Typically, groups circulating petitions for such measures have up to 180 days to collect signatures, but that timeframe can get compressed because of deadlines tied to the November election.

Regardless, proponents are confident they can get the 997,139 validated signatures to make the ballot.

We expect the initiative to win broad support across all geographic and party lines,” organization spokesperson Nathan Click told this week.

As Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office prepares the initiative, it is also going through a customary 30-day review where the public can review the entire measure and submit comments. Comments will be accepted through next Thursday.

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