Californian Race and Sports Wagering
The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) regulates horse racing and pari-mutuel betting at licensed California racetracks.
The CHRB was established in 1933 as an independent agency of the State of California. The CHRB watches over authorized California horse races to protect the public from fraudulent operations. The CHRB also acts as a liaison with other states' horse racing boards and helps facilitate offtrack betting with other racetracks.
Wagering options include telephone and online wagering on horse races taking place in California by anyone in any state with any OTB in any state.
In November 2004, Proposition 68, which would have placed 30,000 gaming devices at 16 racetracks in exchange for 25% of their revenue, was rejected by the voters.
In May 2005, legislation was passed that set 1 January 2008 as the date by which any association that operates four weeks of continuous thoroughbred racing in a calendar year must have a polymer synthetic-type racing surface.
In December 2008, the CHRB approved offtrack betting expansion. The expansion included allowing offtrack betting in card rooms, sports bars and other facilities around the state.
In 2012, Senate Bill 1390 passed the California State Senate but stalled in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill would have allowed any licensed gambling establishment to offer sports wagering. The bill reappeared in 2013 and passed through the state Senate once again, but again stalled in the legislature. Even if the bill had passed through both houses and been signed by the governor, federal law still prohibits sports betting in all but four U.S. states.
In April 2013, the CHRB created an Ad Hoc Committee on Racing and Marketing Initiatives to work with the industry on creative ways to enhance the sport in California.
In July 2017, Assembly member Adam Gray introduced a constitutional amendment that would allow the state "to permit sports wagering only if a change in federal law occurs."
With the Supreme Court ruling that abolished PASPA in May 2018, sports betting became a hot topic in California with the state's tribal casinos, racetracks and commercial casinos divided on the issue. Entering the fall of 2018, California had a pending voter referendum that could legalize sports betting.
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