Is sports betting as popular in California as it is in other states?

Anyone who lives in the Bay Area knows that California is a place with lots to see, lots to do and lots to stay entertained with. This includes popular choices such as outdoor activities, catching music concerts, dining out with friends or taking in the area’s stunning scenery.

Sports are also huge in this part of California and play a big role in most people’s lives. This includes not only playing sports but also watching the latest games on TV or checking up on the freshest sports news online. One activity that has gained a lot of attention in relation to sports across the US lately is sports betting – but is this as popular in Cali as it is in some other states?

Is sports betting a big hit in California?

The simple truth is that sports betting in California is not as popular as it is in some other US states currently. This is because betting on sports is not yet legal in California, so local residents do not have a fully legal sports betting market to engage with. Although some people in the state may bet at offshore sportsbooks while they wait for state officials to legalize the activity, the current status of sports betting in Cali means it is not as popular as in other states nationwide.

Of course, this may all change in the future and see the Golden State emerge as one of the top US locations for betting on games. This almost happened in 2022, but a proposal for legal sports betting in the state was turned down by voters. With new proposals filed at the end of October 2023, though, we may yet see some movement on this issue.

Would a legal sports betting market in California flourish?

With a thriving Bay Area arts scene and plenty of other things to do, you may wonder if people in California would have time to get involved with legal sports betting. The simple answer is that they would likely make the time, for a number of reasons.
To begin with, many people in California are obsessed with sports, and this makes it a natural home for betting on the latest matches. The number of pro teams in the state would also give sports betting there a real boost and see people flocking to back their favorite side. You also have to take into account the huge tax revenues legal sports betting could bring to the state, which is something officials may find hard to ignore for much longer.

What other states currently seem more popular for betting on sports in the US?

With legal sports betting being a little way off in California yet, this means there are a number of other states where this activity is more popular right now. New York is a case in point and launched its own sports betting market in January 2022. This has really taken off and has seen top sportsbooks promo deals in New York make betting on sports appealing to New Yorkers. People in this state also seem to love the fun that betting on games offers. With sports being almost as big in the Big Apple as they are in Cali, the success of this activity there is no surprise.

When talking about US states where betting on sports is very popular, it is also essential to mention New Jersey. This was actually the state that brought the historic 2018 case around sports betting to the US Supreme Court, and helped give individual states control of this activity within their borders. Betting on sports in NJ is popular because people there love gambling in general and sports in particular. There are a good number of safe, fun to use sportsbooks to register with and a great choice of retail sports betting sites for people who like to gamble in person.

Nevada and Illinois popular with bettors

Nevada is also a big state for betting on sports and another place outside of Cali where this activity is popular. This is not surprising when you think of the links Nevada has with gambling in general and the fact that sports betting has been legal there for some time – even before the 2018 US Supreme Court ruling.

It’s also fair to say that Illinois is another state that currently outstrips California in terms of the popularity of sports betting. Signed into law in summer 2019, the sports betting market here has really taken off and is predicted to hit around $5bn in turnover by the end of 2023. As with other states where betting on events is well-loved, the number of pro teams in Illinois plus the central part that sports play in life there help explain this.

California and sports betting in other states: an overview

When you consider other states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan, which also have legal sports gambling markets and huge monthly sports handle totals, it is clear that California lags a little behind in this area. This is to be expected, though, when you remember that this activity is yet to be legalized in Cali and that people in the state cannot yet officially bet on sports.

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