Assembly Governmental Organization Committee chair Adam Gray has filed a new constitutional amendment which calls for the legalization of sports betting across the state.

Pending the legalization of sports betting across the state, which is set to be determined via a statewide ballot, would pave the way for legislation to be introduced to establish a regulatory framework and tax system for the vertical.

“The US Supreme Court has shouldered the burden of bringing legal clarity to the issue of sports wagering and the rights of states under the Constitution,” he said. “Now it is the responsibility of the Legislature to determine the most prudent way forward.”

The amendment, ACA 16, would seek to alter Section 19, Article IV of California’s Constitution of State. 

Gray explained that the amendment comes alongside the decision to join the eight states that currently offer sports betting, with an additional 35 already considering legislative proposals. Sports betting was widely popular despite legal restrictions at federal and state level, with around $150bn bet on sports illegally each year.

“Whether we like it or not, Californians are already betting on sports through illegal and often unscrupulous websites in foreign countries,” Gray continued.

“It is time to shine a light on this multibillion-dollar industry. We need to crack down on illegal and unregulated online gaming and replace it with a safe and responsible option which includes safeguards against compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering, and fraud.”