A Confusing Law On Sports Betting In California
By Chris Carson
Let’s define sports betting first. Sports betting, from the word itself ‘bet,’ is an activity wherein people predict the results of a game (on a favorite sport or not) and people place a certain amount of money on the result they think will appear after the game. From horse racing, it now rises to popular sports such as baseball and football, and today people do their sports betting activities online. In sports betting, the popularity of a team or even the actual sports event does not matter in this issue but only the end results after the game. Whoever loses to this have to pay the winner the amount he placed on his lost bet. For moralists, a sport betting is considered gambling, and only very few states have written laws regarding this issue.
Take California, for example. In 2010 the lawmakers of the said state removed misdemeanor and felony damages for people who commit sports betting, but then a fine not exceeding $250 has been added, as stated by the Section 336.9 of the California Penal Code, Chapter 10. Along with Louisiana and Nevada, California does not allow its citizens from doing online sports betting outside their borders, although there is no federal law that makes online sports betting illegal. The wire act from the 1960s is the only federal law that states that gamblers are not allow to place bets using the telephone. Not only is that, sports betting in California is stated as illegal, according to its laws. This mere fact alone is very questionable, since the activity is not allowed but in online people can do so as long as it’s within the state borders. How can the state government explain this thing?
If sports betting in California are legal, then like Nevada, the state income will increase greatly without relying much to the film and media industry (there’s Hollywood in Los Angeles, after all). This same prediction can happen too in the rest of American states, which the income could be stable too without relying too much on its main industries. In a positive outlook, sports betting can be seen as a billion-dollar industry in America. Seeing this opportunity, California lawmakers are trying their best to make sports betting in California legal. In 2010, along with New Jersey, a bill was passed to the Senate to challenge the ban on sports betting. California officials support the claim of New Jersey which states that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 is a discriminatory bill because it only allows four states to practice sports betting legally while the rest of the states cannot. Think about this assumed situation: what is it about Oregon citizens, for example, that gives them the exclusivity to do sports betting that the citizens of New Jersey or California cannot? But while New Jersey and California officials are supporting the legalization of sports betting, they confirmed that they would not join the battle to make sports betting legal in the entire country. No news has yet been released about the outcome of this issue, but as of today it is still clear that sports betting in California is still illegal.
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