Could Pro League Support Be Hidden Key To CA Sports Betting Push?

Posted on June 3, 2020

The majority of American professional sports leagues lined up this week to support a legislative try for CA sports betting.

Letters from the NFL and a coalition of leagues with California-based teams show strong backing for California sports betting as constructed in a new Senate bill.

The bill advanced through its first committee hearing Tuesday but still faces challenges before potentially going before CA voters this fall. California sports betting would require amending the state constitution.

What leagues said to back CA sports betting

Major League Baseball, the NBA, PGA Tour and the NFL showed their support for the bill in letters and statements. The proposal includes the leagues’ ask of mandating that operators use official league data for in-play wagers.

Greg Campbell called in on behalf of the PGA Tour, MLB and the NBA. A letter further detailed their support:

“We believe the top priority of any effort to legalize sports wagering must be to protect consumers and the integrity of sporting events. Currently, Californians are betting on sports through offshore websites and mobile apps that are unregulated, have no responsibility to protect the integrity of sports contests and pay zero tax revenue.

“The best — indeed, the only — way to reduce this illegal market is to provide an equally convenient alternative that is safe and legal. To ensure that consumers move away from the illegal market that exists today, any legal sports betting framework must include options for Californians to wager online and on mobile devices. We support SCA 6 because it will allow for a mobile sports wagering market.”

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels are on the letterhead as well. A representative of the A’s called in to voice the team’s support at the hearing.

NFL pushing as well

While the NFL continues to express a more reserved position than fellow leagues about sports betting, the league certainly sounds enthused about the Golden State.

NFL Vice President Jonathan Nabavi added:

“The amended versions of SCA 6 and ACA 16 include measures that will help to protect the integrity of sports in a regulated sports betting environment and we look forward to being of assistance to the legislature as it works to move this legislation forward.”

The Los Angeles Football Club, which plays in Major League Soccer, submitted a letter approving of the bill.

Also calling in to support SCA 6 was John Lovell, who represents numerous law enforcement-related organizations in California.

Joint League Letter To California Legislature
NFL Letter to California Legislature
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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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