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The California state Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved legislation that would legalize sports betting in California if federal law is also amended.

Senate Bill 1390, by Sens. Roderick Wright, D-Inglewood, and Joel Anderson, R-Alpine, would make such betting legal at currently licensed gambling establishments, horse racing tracks or satellite wagering facility. The bill would not make betting legal anywhere that does not already have a license.

Federal law now prohibits these wagers, but Wright said he believes it "will be amended."

"When this law is changed, and we believe it will be, you want California to be in the position to move forward with this," he said.

New Jersey, which has passed a similar law, is suing the federal government to amend its law. Wright said that he was encouraging California to wait to see what happens in that court case, rather than file a lawsuit of its own.

The bill passed 32-2 and now goes to the Assembly.



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