Legal sports betting pitched as Calif. budget salve

California

DOVER, DE – JUNE 5: Bettors place wagers at Dover Downs Casino on June 5, 2018 in Dover, Delaware. Delaware is the first state to launch legal sports betting since the Supreme Court decision. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Two California lawmakers on Thursday pitched legalized sports betting as a way to help prop up a state budget devastated by the economic shutdown designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Their proposal reignited a battle between powerful gambling interests. State Sen. Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray are lobbying to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would allow racetracks and casinos run by American Indian tribes to also offer sports wagering, both at their locations and through mobile devices.

The proposal is controversial in part because of competition with card rooms that offer table games like blackjack and poker. 

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