With the New Year ringing in, a bevy of new laws go into effect throughout the country and one in particular will affect casual sports bettors in the state of California.
One of the 872 new statutes states that participants of sports betting pools, such as NCAA tournament brackets or Super Bowl squares, face a maximum penalty of $250.
Under prior California law, pool bettors could have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, up to $5,000 in fines or one year in jail.
Although still illegal, small-operation betting pools fall under this new law but any pool with a value of more than $2,500 can face greater legal ramifications.
The Sacramento Bee reports that a recruiting firm in Florida, The Spherion, conducted a 2008 survey that discovered 44 percent of office employees in the United States gamble in sports betting pools.
Another California law passed will not benefit guys like Michael Vick. Under the new statute, if you are caught watching a dog fight you can be tossed into jail for a year and face fines of up to $5,000.
In other sports betting news, online sportsbook Bookmaker.com has acquired to additional betting entities.
Bookmaker.com has expanded its operation and now owns Las Palmas and Bet Canadian. Another sports betting online destination, BetCRIS, is already under the Bookmaker.com umbrella of assets.