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How legal sports betting could work in California




Proposition bets for Super Bowl LI are displayed at the Race & Sports SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino on Jan. 26 in Las Vegas, Nev. — one of four states where sports betting is legal.
Proposition bets for Super Bowl LI are displayed at the Race & Sports SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino on Jan. 26 in Las Vegas, Nev. — one of four states where sports betting is legal.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law that stopped states from legalizing sports gambling.

Now, it's up to states to decide whether to legalize and regulate betting on sports. Some are considering it, and California is one of them.

State Assemblyman Adam Gray of Merced hopes to put the question to voters on the November ballot. Gray says his measure isn't about whether or not sports betting is morally right or wrong; it's about whether Californians want to give those already gambling on games a legal avenue.

Sports wagering is something that is here, that has many Americans participating in it on a regular basis including many Californians, so I think it ought to be a safe, regulated, taxed industry instead of letting billions of dollars continue to enter the black market.

The important thing to remember at this point, the assemblyman says, is that this will eventually be a question for voters. Whether on the ballot this November or in the future, this isn't a change Congress will make without voter approval.

If  sports gambling were legalized, the details of how it could look haven't been worked out, but it would likely look very similar to betting on games that happens in Las Vegas, Gray says.

California could also look oversees for a model. In European countries like England, sports betting is essentially ubiquitous, Take Two contributor Brian Kamenetzky says.

Even the queen has been known to place a wager now and again, and so the options available to gamblers are almost endless. You can put money on a game before it starts, you can put it on while it's being planned. If you're a soccer fan you can bet on who will score the next goal, whether it will come on a penalty kick... In England, at least, it's pretty much you do it anywhere you want.

Americans might not have such open regulations but we will likely see some legalized gambling in the future Kamenetzky said.

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