California Sports Betting Fight Continues
California sports betting still has hurdles to clear before legalization, but it hasn’t been due to a lack of effort from a number of different groups. Another new initiative has emerged in the state as three tribes in the state are hoping to take control.
The Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and the Wilton Rancheria have all banded together to form the Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming. The goal is to try and get voters on board and block a potential attempt from sports betting operators.
Not only are these tribes banding together but they are also committing a combined $100 million to the effort. These tribes are trying to keep online-only operators from offering sports betting in the state, which could cost them millions of dollars.
Native American tribes in California play a huge role in the gaming industry in California and it was their opposition to legislation that kept sports betting from the state in 2020. Voters in California voted back in 2000 to give these Native American tribes the top authority for all gaming.
Operators Also Making a Push
A number of sportsbook operators joined forces a year ago in hopes of bringing legal sports betting to the state of California. DraftKings and FanDuel are a part of that group, but they were also joined by Bally’s, BetMGM, Penn National Gaming and others.
Those operators also pledged $100 million for this fight as they hope to offer online sports betting in California. Operators have been working on collecting signatures in order to get a ballot initiative on the ballot by November.
There is a requirement of nearly 1 million signatures that is needed, and the seven sportsbooks are all working hard to get that limit. These operators have agreed to pay a 10% tax rate for the right to offer online sports betting, but it would be available statewide.
Sportsbook operators decided to take matters into their own hands after legislators in the state were unable to get a bill passed. Leaders of these companies plan to fight back against the Native American tribes and what they believe are false claims.
Voters Could Decide Fate of California Sports Betting
The topic of California sports betting will likely be decided by voters in the state, and there are going to be several options available. Other Native American tribes have also worked on a ballot initiative, and card rooms in the state have done the same.
If the Native American tribes get their ballot measure approved then retail sports betting would be available. All of that betting would have to be done at tribal casinos, and there would be no option for online sports betting.
Card rooms have been left out of the conversation completely and they have also worked on getting signatures. The card rooms simply want to play a role in legal sports betting, and have the ability to set up a sportsbook at their locations.