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A referendum For Sports Betting In California?

Ryan Knuppel

One of the political consultants in the state of California reportedly started a campaign that could end up with a referendum about the possible legalization of sports betting. Whether the constitution of California should be altered or not – the voters will decide. According to Los Angeles Times, a person named Russell Lowery took the initial action and filled the necessary paperwork with Xavier Becerra, a California Attorney General, to start the whole process. He filed the papers on Monday and is now eagerly awaiting for possible acceptance of the proposal and a referendum. The soonest that this referendum, which would be named Gaming Fairness and Accountability Act, can be presented before the voters will be November 2020.

Lowery as the Master Plan Man

According to several sources, Lowery is not the only one who came up with this idea. In fact, he is lobbying in front of a sports betting enthusiasts called Californians for Sports Betting. He stated that the biggest reason he wanted to legalize sports betting is to protect customers. Lowery also stated that this was not the only reason, however. Namely, even the state could generate revenue from it.

Russell Lowery is not new to this thing. In fact, he has served some of the high positions, including Chief of Staff for the California Senate Republican Caucus. Furthermore, he was also a lobbyist who stood before Pacific Gas and Energy.

To place his initiative of sports betting in front of the electorate, Lowery will need a total of 600,000 signatures. However, collecting signatures comes with a cost, and the sports betting enthusiasts will need approximately $2.5 million to succeed in his intentions. However, this does not represent a problem for him as he said that he had reached out to important people and organizations such as in-state and out-of-state gaming interests, and various sports leagues. He will try to build a coalition and thus further promote his cause.

The moment for him to take action could not have been more perfect as the US Supreme Court legalized sports betting. Delaware was the first state to benefit from this decision as they immediately took advantage and introduced sports betting to their citizens. Lowery was not always positive about the legalization of sports betting. Namely, he stated that he had followed the legislative dynamics when it comes to this issue and that he had had a pessimistic view on the willingness of the legislature to do something about the pressing issue that was betting on sports.

Will It Happen?

Whether Lowery will succeed in his intentions remains a mystery. If any positive sign from the side of the California officials is shown, this could completely change the way the US perceives sports betting. California is a state a lot richer than Delaware, and the possible results of approving betting may have a huge impact, resulting in higher revenues nor only for the state but also for the sports leagues and sports organizations.

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