Now that Padres fans can once again watch their favorite team in person, here’s another question in need of answer: how soon until Padres fans can place a wager on their favorite team? While many US states have gone ahead and moved to legalize wagering on sports within state lines, when it comes to the legalization of California sports betting, there still hasn’t been any sign of significant movement.
Voters Will Get A Chance To Decide
California’s Native American tribes are the driving force behind a proposition that is expected to be added to the ballot during the November 2022 midterms that would legalize sports betting in Californians at Tribal Casinos and horse racing tracks if approved by voters at the ballot box.
"This is an important step toward giving Californians the opportunity to participate in sports wagering while also establishing safeguards and protections against underage gambling," said Mark Macarro, tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians.
Not everyone in the gambling industry is on board with this plan, however. "This initiative does nothing to advance sports wagering, and instead expands the tribal casinos' tax-free monopoly on gaming and rewards those operators for prioritizing their own wealth over public health and safety," Kyle Kirkland, president of the California Gaming Association, told the Los Angeles Times.
The Native tribes successfully quashed a 2020 bid in the California State Legislature that would have legalized online and mobile sports betting in the state. Several California-based professional sports franchises threw their support behind the bill, although the Padres were not among them. The San Francisco Giants, Oakland A’s, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and Golden State Warriors all backed the bill, as did MLB, the NBA and the PGA Tour.
As the most populated of the 50 states at 39,512,223 and with more pro sports teams than any other state, it’s expected that sports betting in California would be more lucrative than anywhere in the USA.
Betting Is All Around The Padres
At the start of the baseball season, all of the Fox Sports stations, including Fox Sports San Diego, which carries Padres games, switched to Bally Sports. As one of the biggest players in the betting industry, Ballys entered into this partnership with the Sinclair Group, owners of the television stations, in order to further the promotion of sports betting.
"This arrangement represents an opportunity to revolutionize the U.S. sports betting, gaming and media industries," Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally’s Corporation’s Board of Directors, said in a release at the time of the move. "Sinclair, with its broad holdings of stations, channels and RSNs, provides immediate, national brand recognition that will support the development of Bally’s player database for both our traditional casinos as well as our future online offerings.
"We look forward to integrating our first-in-class, omni-channel sports betting and iGaming offerings with Sinclair’s expansive broadcast network to create a more engaging and tailored experience for sports fans, positioning Bally’s to become one of the top U.S. sports betting and iGaming operators."
The day prior to the start of the 2021 MLB season, the Padres entered into a partnership deal with Circa Resort & Casino in downtown Las Vegas. "We are excited to expand our brand to the Las Vegas market and work with such a cutting edge and innovative property," Sergio Del Prado, Padres Senior Vice President, Partnerships said in a statement at the time the deal was revealed.
The casino is the official ninth inning sponsor of Padres games.
"The Padres are one of the most exciting teams in baseball right now," Circa CEO and Owner Derek Stevens said in a statement. "We couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of their season and to bring a piece of the Vegas action to San Diego."