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Gambling panelist says California could profit from sports betting

July 11, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • Then-Lakers forward Earl Clark saves the ball as Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry defends during a game in Los Angeles in March. A California gambling commissioner says the state could reap hundreds of millions of dollars annually if betting on sports were legalized.
Then-Lakers forward Earl Clark saves the ball as Toronto Raptors'… (Reed Saxon / Associated…)

An appointee of Gov. Jerry Brown to the California Gambling Control Commission says the state could reap hundreds of millions of dollars annually if betting on sports were legalized.

“There is the opportunity to raise money for the state,” Richard J. Schuetz told the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday. “More importantly, it would remove a criminal element.”

Although legislation has been introduced creating a format for legalized sports betting in California, Schuetz noted that Congress would first have to change federal law to legalize that form of gambling in California.

A legislative analysis of the bill by Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) said the state might bring in $16 million from a 7.5% tax on gross revenue from legal sports betting operations.

But Schuetz, former president and chief executive of the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, noted that Nevada took in $111 million last year from sports betting operations.

California’s take could be $300 million to $500 million, he speculated.

The Senate panel recommended that his appointment to the gambling commission be confirmed by the full Senate after he pledged to continue reviewing the implications of legalizing sports betting in California.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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