Lawmakers: Sports betting on table again

Legalize betting at race tracks, casinos

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -  

Placing a legal bet on your favorite sports team in California is on the table yet again this legislative session.

Today, a bill to legalize sports betting at California race tracks, casinos and other gaming establishments was reintroduced. 

Last year, the measure passed the senate but stalled in the assembly.

The bill would allow owners of horse racing tracks, card clubs and casinos to offer customers sports wagers on professional and some college teams. 

The legislation would not allow bets on specific California colleges. 

The bill's supporters argue many Californians take part in underground bets involving huge sports events. 

If approved, the measure would help keep a percentage of the revenue generated  from sports betting  in the golden state.

There's already a huge sports book business in California. The only change that this would make is that the California taxpayers would get some benefit from the business that's already taking place."

In the past, the   police chief's association apposed legalizing sports betting in California.   That group and other opponents say it would only create more gambling addictions and increase crime.

"There will be those that say that it will cause family disruptions and all the other catastrophes, and they too will be wrong. Cause it's already   going on,” said State senator Roderick Wright.  “

Most offices have a pool at the super bowl or other kinds of games.  And clearly if you go to Vegas and you look at the sports book, the predominant figures there are California people who drive across the border to bet."

It could be a tough climb for California's sports betting bill. That's because there is already a federal prohibition on sports betting in all but 4 states. Those states which allow sports wagers are Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. 

That federal law will have to be challenged.

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