Is Sports Betting Currently Legal In Los Angeles?
The legality of sports betting in Los Angeles, California is not as complicated as it might first seem. Simply put, the state does not have any sports betting laws written in the California Code. Like most cities, regulated sports betting in Los Angeles was prohibited by federal law. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) made it illegal for government entities to license or operate sports betting establishments. Only a select few states were exempt from the law for having preexisting sports betting legislation. Nevada was the only state that had legalized commercial sports betting prior to the passage of PASPA, which is why it became the only state in the nation with sportsbooks.
The sports betting market in the U.S. was extremely limited up until 2018, when the Supreme Court made their decision on Murphy vs. NCAA. In what was widely known as the New Jersey sports betting case, the NCAA and four major leagues filed a lawsuit against the state for attempting to legalize sports gambling. New Jersey contested, arguing that the federal ban on sports betting was unconstitutional. On May 14th, 2018, the United States Supreme Court ruled that PASPA violated the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution by encroaching upon the sovereign rights of the states. The law was then overturned, giving each state government the authority to legalize any and all forms of gambling.
Before Los Angeles sportsbooks become a reality, the state will need to establish the regulatory framework for sports betting in California. The only venues with both slots and table games in CA are Indian casinos. The non-tribal gaming establishments in the state include cardrooms and horse racetracks. Lawmakers in California have to determine which gaming interests will be legally authorized to accept sports bets. It will likely take some before all parties are able to come to an agreement, but industry experts predict sports betting in California will be legalized by 2022.