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California Effort to Allow Sports Betting Cleared to Collect Signatures as Foes Emerge

Guests line up to place bets as they attend a viewing party for the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino on March 15, 2018. (Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Guests line up to place bets as they attend a viewing party for the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino on March 15, 2018. (Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

A proponent of an initiative to allow sports betting in California received the state’s approval to begin collecting signatures to put the measure on the 2020 ballot, but some key players in the gambling industry distanced themselves from the idea Friday.

The state attorney general approved the title and summary for a possible ballot measure that would amend the state constitution to allow wagering on basketball, baseball, football and other sports contests, officials said Friday.

The proposition is being driven by Russell Lowery, a political consultant who has not disclosed who else is behind the measure but has said in-state and out-of-state gaming firms have expressed interest. Lowery would have to collect the signatures of 585,407 registered voters by February 2019 to qualify the measure for the November 2020 ballot.

Some Native American tribes that operate casinos are open to allowing sports betting but are opposed to the ballot measure, which could increase the types of gambling allowed at non-tribal card clubs and provide more competition to brick-and-mortar tribal casinos.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.