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Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia Gives Support For Calif. Measure That Would Use Online Sports Gambling To Fund Homeless Services

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia is among of group of California mayors Tuesday who threw their support behind a measure which would use tax revenue from online sports betting to fund homeless services.

The California Sports Wagering and Consumer Protection Act was proposed back in August. According to CBS Sacramento, the measure would use tax revenue from online sports betting to fund shelter and housing options for the homeless. It would also be used to expand mental health and addiction services.

"I'm joining my fellow mayors in endorsing this important initiative because this is an all-hands on deck moment in our fight against homelessness," Garcia said in a joint news release. "To solve California's homelessness crisis over the long-term, we need sustainable sources of funding to house those experiencing homelessness and provide them the medical and mental health services they need. That's what this measure provides."

Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg also gave their support to the measure, which needs about one-million signatures to qualify for the ballot.

One expert told CBS Sacramento the measure could potentially generate up to $3 billion annually in state revenue.

"Anywhere from $1 billion in revenue to the state annually in sports wagering," lobbyist Chris Micheli said. "Up to $3 billion in potential revenue if it's fully online sports wagering."

If approved, online betting could become legal in California beginning in 2023.

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