10 November 2021

Times are changing in California as technology ushers in the dawn of sports betting

Betting on sports has been a practice enjoyed by people for thousands of years. Early forms of gambling didn’t resemble the industry we know today, with bets placed in accordance with strict laws at land-based casinos or overseas sportsbooks. Records mention wagers placed on the early Olympic Games in ancient Greece. It’s not difficult to imagine people making predictions on events involving humans or animals before that.

In many countries around the world, betting on professional sport is legal, with bookmakers licensed and regulated at government level. The United Kingdom is considered to be the spiritual home of the modern gambling industry. Independent bookmakers like William Hill and Joe Coral accepted bets on horse races and greyhound races at track. These men were pioneers of sports betting, building their businesses and evolving to become William Hill and Coral, two of the biggest names in the sports betting market.

It’s not just residents in Great Britain that can enjoy a gamble on their favourite horse race, Premier League football team or boxing match. The industry is growing and evolving, spreading to new areas of the globe thanks to online betting. Canada and the United States recently lifted their long-running restriction on gambling, creating excitement. California is just one of the US states pushing for betting to be legalised, and it looks like this could happen as early as 2022. Several California sportsbooks are already waiting in the wings to act on these proposed changes to the law.

Bookies are ready to act

The biggest names in the sportsbook gambling sector are prepared to act, bringing betting to Californians at the earliest opportunity. They won’t be coming from a standing start either. The leading bookies from the United Kingdom, the United States and Europe are planning an attack on the Golden State. They have already gained a foothold in neighbouring states that acted quicker than California to legalise betting.

Bookies are prepared for the starter’s gun. They have offices in place, their target audience set out, the promotions and free bets they plan to offer new customers and a list of the sports and competitions that will be popular in the state. This is nothing new to them. They know what works and precisely what bettors want to entice them to register for an online betting account then start wagering on the NFL, NBA, MLB, and other world-famous leagues.

When California legalises sports betting in the state, they won’t be the first to do so. Far from it. We’ve seen many regions move much quicker, including New Jersey, the first to remove that ban on betting. Doing so has resulted in a number of benefits, not least the huge increase in taxes generated from allowing bookies to trade in the area.

Pros far outweigh the cons

The positives far out-weight the negatives, and governors in Cali, New York and other major states are beginning to realise this. They know allowing betting apps to trade in the state and hitting them hard in taxes could help speed up the post-pandemic recovery. The dated laws regarding banning have also become a bit of a joke. They were written to ban people visiting land-based underground betting dens. At the time, there wasn’t an option or even an idea that one day residents could gamble through an overseas sportsbook using their home computer or smartphone, something many have been doing under the radar for years.

With sections of the population taking advantage of online betting and loopholes in the laws, gambling with bookies from the UK and Europe, it means US states were missing out on the taxes while betting was ungoverned in the state. The aim is to change all that, legalising betting, submitting a set of modern rules that bettors and bookies must abide by then ramping up the taxes. The top betting firms are so desperate for access to an untouched market, a new oil well of bettors, that they are happy to pay over the odds for the privilege.

Nothing has been decided yet, and the bill to legalise betting in California will be debated and decided on later in 2022. The early signs are promising for those in support as citizens and betting firms apply pressure to those in charge.

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