SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Want to bet on sports games online? You may soon be able to in California and help the homeless at the same time if a new measure gets enough support to make it onto next year’s ballot.
It already has the backing of four California mayors, including Sacramento’s Darrell Steinberg.
This measure would use tax revenue from online sports betting to fund permanent shelter and housing for the homeless and expand mental health and addiction services.
It’s one of three sports-betting-related initiatives that have recently been introduced—one of which has already qualified for the ballot in 2022.
Mayor Steinberg announced his support today for the California Sports Wagering and Consumer Protection Act, saying it’s a creative and reliable funding solution to help thousands of people in crisis.
Experts say the measure has the potential to generate $500 million a year or more.
“This would be ongoing revenue undoubtedly with the potential to grow, perhaps not a tremendous amount but certainly grow over time as well,” said Chris Micheli, with Aprea and Micheli.
Online sports betting is already allowed in 23 states.
So far, there hasn’t been any vocal opposition to the initiative, but that could come over the next few months.
More than 1 million signatures are needed to get the measure on the November ballot.
If it gets that far, and voters approve it, betting could happen as early as 2023.