Anyone following the progress of sports betting across the United States would have a keen eye on California. It doesn’t take much to envision how huge the market would be. California is home to 12 percent of the US population and accounts for nearly 16 percent of the total US economy. Read also: Most popular sport in California
Sportsbook operations have their eye on the progress towards legislation that will legalize sports betting as well. California is not only the largest economy in the US; it’s the fifth largest in the world. Sportsbooks envision billions of bettor dollars on the table.
So do many lawmakers in the Golden State. However, though efforts have been vigilant, California still doesn’t have legal sports betting legislation. Most think it will happen, but when is the question.
First, let’s review what’s taken place over the last 12 months. Then, we’ll try to project which sportsbook apps might have the best odds to launch in California once sports betting becomes legal.
Sports Betting Progress in California
Ever since Nevada legalized sports betting inside their casino operations, literally billions of dollars in revenue have walked out of California into their neighbor state. Lawmakers and residents alike have long envisioned the financial windfall that sports betting could be for the state.
However, the road to open legal sportsbooks in California has been a bumpy one. State legislation that relaxed regulations for tribal casinos and card rooms has turned out to be an enormous problem.
It immediately created contentious negotiations over who would have access to what was obviously going to be billions of dollars in revenue. The bickering created a stalemate. Many felt California would be one of the quickest states to open up sportsbooks. We’re still waiting.
However, hope has blossomed over the last 12 months. The card clubs and tribal casinos are still trying to work through their assertion they should have first dibs. State legislators issued approval for 18 Native American tribes to pursue statewide ballot initiative for November.
There are roughly 50 non-tribal card clubs that are battling for their own right to be part of the sports betting equation. Most hope that a prolonged legal fight between the California Gaming Association, who represents the card clubs and the tribal casinos doesn’t drag out.
This long anticipated offer to see how Californians feel about legal sports betting should be a slam dunk. No envisions the majority of residents to vote down legal sports betting. However, there is some question about how it will materialize when the laws are passed.
Most see a period when only fixed locations are permitted to take bets. California is also holding a hard line at setting the legal age to bet a 21 or older. These issues will be ironed out eventually, as long as residents get the chance to voice their desires.
The debate over who should be granted physical approval to operate physical sportsbooks drags on. One solution to appease California residents is to launch online sportsbooks. However, betting naysayers insist this would be like putting a casino in every California residents pocket.
The debate wages on over online operations. Nevertheless, no one doubts the potential for success for California sports betting. Most projections envision over $2 billion annually in state revenue. The profits funneled back into a state that is hurting financially will be in the millions.
The inevitable will eventually happen. Getting to the finish line for sports bettors in California has been a bumpy road. There does seem to be a growing light at the end of the tunnel. Certain entities will need to compromise.
If not, look for California legislators to avert another misguided mistake and refuse to give specific entities too much control over sports betting operations. With the growing chance that online mobile apps could be forthcoming, here are some with the strongest odds of launching in California.
The Most Likely Apps When California Launches Online Sports Betting
Each sportsbook and sportsbook app will have to navigate a series of steps to be licensed in California. How the state’s final legislation reads in relation to sportsbooks in casinos, especially how they address tribal casino facilities will be important.
The general rule is that to take sports bets online and from mobile devices, the sportsbook app must be connected to a physical sportsbook. That will most likely be the case in California.
Once that affiliation is established, the second hurdle will be the apps history and reputation in states that have already launched online sportsbooks. Here’s a look at six heavy favorites to launch quickly once sports betting is legal in California.
FanDuel Sportsbook Mobile App
FanDuel established a partnership with the Meadowlands Racetrack in 2018 to become one of the first sportsbook apps in New Jersey. It parlayed that relationship to take the Garden State by storm. FanDuel nearly doubled the handle of all the New Jersey sportsbook apps at one point.
FanDuel has one of the most popular sports betting app setups. They’re the leading app in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Expect the FanDuel Sportsbook Mobile App to be ready at the starting line when the gun sounds to launch California online sports betting operations.
The connections to millions of daily fantasy sports users further builds upon a solid reputation. Similar to other sportsbook apps, new users will receive a $500 risk-free-bet welcome bonus.
The FanDuel Sportsbook app has also extended another special offer for registering for a free account. Currently, new sign-ups receive a free $5 bet just for registering. As one of the most successful sportsbook apps currently operating in the legal states, look for FanDuel to be an odds-on favorite to launch in California.
DraftKings Sportsbook Mobile App
DraftKings rocketed out of the gate when sports betting became legal in 2018. They have been one of the early launches in most states that have authorized online sportsbooks. The DraftKings Sportsbook Mobile App is operating in seven states.
In fact, the DraftKings app is the only way to place an online sports bet in New Hampshire. While it’s highly unlikely that California will offer a similar level exclusiveness when it launches mobile sports betting, DraftKings will be a probable contender.
DraftKings combines a couple of new account welcome bonus offers. There is a $500 matching deposit bonus offer, plus the standard $500 risk-free first bet. The deposit bonus is a 20 percent match up to $500.
The risk-free bet covers any bet up to $500 that meets certain odds requirements. New sports bettor accounts should also look for special promotions when DraftKings launches in California such as their free $25 bet offer.
BetMGM Sportsbook Mobile App
BetMGM is MGM Resorts International’s evolution of the original PlayMGM casino app. MGM launched their first sportsbook app as version 1.0. PlayMGM. This was a good app, but it didn’t offer the data capabilities to handle sports better operations.
MGM Resorts International formed a partnership with ROAR Digital to improve their sportsbook app. It has proved a huge success. BetMGM has sportsbook app operations in West Virginia, New Jersey, Mississippi, Nevada and Indiana.
Earlier this month, they also added Colorado to their list. One reason BetMGM continues to open when states legalize sports betting is the level of diversity. They offer betting options on all major sports.
There are also odds for sports that look to open back up sooner than others. The BetMGM sportsbook app has odds for auto racing, golf and professional tennis. These may be some of the earliest sports to return to full competition.
The BetMGM sportsbook app offers new users an excellent welcome bonus. Once you register for a free BetMGM account in California, and make a minimum $25 deposit, your first bet will be risk-free on the house.
William Hill Sportsbook Mobile App
William Hill launched their mobile sportsbook app in New Jersey on the same day FanDuel launches theirs. While William Hill’s app has reached the same level of success, it has been anything but a failure.
They are currently gaining momentum as one of the most popular sportsbook apps across the United States. William Hill brings over 85 years of sports betting experience to the table. This is a huge benefit looking at the massive potential waiting in California.
The partnership William Hill has with Hollywood Casino in Philadelphia could prove valuable heading into other states. They also maintain a strong connection to many brick-and-mortar sportsbook in states such as Iowa.
When California sports bettors sign up for a new William Hill account they can expect offers like a free $25 first bet, plus a healthy matching deposit bonus. Currently, the William Hill Sportsbook App offers a 100 percent match up to $150 for first time deposits.
PointsBet Sportsbook Mobile App
California is a unique state in many respects, and so too is the PointsBet sportsbook app. The first thing that stands out is the various betting platforms that are offered by PointsBet. They offer an exciting in-game opportunity to bet on rapidly changing odds.
PointsBet is an Australian-based betting operation. They have a tentative agreement to launch a sportsbook app in partnership with Tioga Downs in New York. There are currently discussions for a deal in Colorado as well. California will obviously be a target for PointsBet once legislation is approved.
They also offer one of the more appealing new account welcome packages. New registrations at PointsBet receive a free $25 first bet. In addition, new accounts can get a pair of $500 risk-free first bet options.
PointsBet also has regular promotions for all accounts. Frequently there are parlay promotions that pay even if one leg fails. There are also special promotions that offer odds boosts for certain games.
FoxBet Sportsbook Mobile App
Our last sportsbook apps with strong odds of being launched when California passes sports betting legislation is FoxBet. FoxBet became a series contender for sports betting handle when they linked a partnership with the popular Stars Group.
Stars Group is the parent company of PokerStars. The combination is creating a strong presence for FoxBet in the sports betting industry. They have one of the most user-friendly platforms and the strong support of the Fox Corporation presence in professional sports.
They are currently live in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with additional states on the horizon. Colorado issued a temporary sports betting license to FoxBet. It is currently at a physical location, but an app is clearly in the future.
FoxBet is also welcoming new users with open arms. Some promotional offers have included a double welcome bonus with a $500 risk-free first bet, plus another matching deposit bonus up to $500. It’s a nice way to put $1,000 into your bankroll. Colorado’s FoxBet launch included a $20 free bet