Why The First California Sports Betting Hearing Of 2020 Will Not Have Fireworks

Written By Matthew Kredell on January 8, 2020
California sports betting

Were you hoping for the first California sports betting hearing of 2020 to resemble the food-fight scene in Animal House with potentially more mean spirit behind each fling, you’re likely to be disappointed.

The Joint Assembly and Senate Governmental Organization Committees‘ informational hearing won’t feature anyone from California’s Indian gaming tribes, cardrooms or racetracks. It also will not feature online operators who would like to enter the state.

Instead, the hearing, which takes place today at 1:30 p.m. in Sacramento, will focus on an overview of regulated sports betting in America.

The California sports betting hearing is a couple of months later than originally expected. The chairmen previously tried to schedule the hearing for last November at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Agenda for California sports betting hearing

Following opening remarks from committee chairmen Sen. Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray, the hearing will include the following panels:

Overview of Regulated Sports Betting in the United States and What it Could Mean for California

  • Chris Grove, managing director of sports and emerging verticals, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming
  • Daniel Wallach, founder, Wallach Legal, LLC

The Essentials of Sports Betting and Keys to a Successful Sports Betting Market

  • Daniel Shapiro, vice president of strategy and business development, William Hill US
  • Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sportsbook, Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino
  • Marc Nelson, corporate director of race and sportsbook, Atlantis Casino
  • Matt Shelby, public information manager, Oregon Lottery

Transparency and Integrity in Sports Betting and the Bettor Experience

  • Todd Fuhrman, an analyst for Fox Sports and host of Bet the Board Podcast
  • Jake Williams, vice president of legal and regulatory affairs, Sportradar

The Impact of Sports Betting on Professional Sports Leagues

  • Dan Spillane, vice president and assistant general counsel, NBA
  • Bryan Seeley, deputy general counsel for investigations, compliance and security, MLB

Background on California sports betting

Here’s an update on what happened in California relating to sports betting in 2019 and what to expect in 2020.

With this hearing, Sen. Bill Dodd and Rep. Adam Gray begin to explore what they want to include in a constitutional amendment to authorize CA sports betting. They are trying to put it on the ballot in November.

However, the state’s key Indian gaming tribes already have broken off to file their own ballot measure that would limit sports betting to brick-and-mortar tribal casinos and racetracks. This has fueled the war between California tribes and cardrooms.

Dodd told Legal Sports Report he favors a more inclusive sports betting model that would include mobile CA sports betting to maximize revenues and capture the black market for sports betting that already exists in the state.

The public comment period at the conclusion of the hearing provides the opportunity for California’s gaming industry stakeholders to provide their input. Animal House fans might want to keep watching until the end.

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Matthew Kredell

Matthew started his career as a sportswriter at the Los Angeles Daily News, where he covered the NFL, Kobe-Shaq three-peat, Pete Carroll’s USC football teams, USC basketball, pro tennis, Kings hockey and fulfilled his childhood dream of sitting in the Dodgers’ dugout. His reporting on efforts to legalize sports betting began in 2010, when Playboy Magazine flew him to Prague to hang out with Calvin Ayre and show how the NFL was pushing US money overseas by fighting expansion of regulated sports betting across the country. A USC journalism alum, Matt also has written on a variety of topics for Men’s Journal, Los Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and ESPN.com.

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