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California Dreamin’: CA Tribes At Odds With Domestic Sportsbook Proposals

an image of California and Native Americans in CA

In November of 2022, voters in California were presented with two propositions for legalizing domestic sports betting. Prop 26 was placed on ballots and, if approved, would have ushered in sports betting at tribal casinos and card rooms across the state.

Prop 27 was also placed in front of CA voters in 2022, except it was aimed at enacting domestic sports betting in the Golden State from outside vendors like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM.

Initially, constituents expressed confusion as to why there were two sports betting bills present at the same time. Native American gambling interests in California and outside parties began sending mailouts and bombarding television, radio, and the Internet with advertisements stating their case.

These competing initiatives served to create an overall negative opinion toward sports betting in general, which was evidenced by both propositions failing at the ballot box.

Efforts are once again being made toward legal sports betting in California. This time, two men are taking it upon themselves to head up the endeavor. Reeve Collins and Ryan Tyler Walz have filed two ballot initiatives that would permit tribal sportsbooks in CA.

In order for these initiatives to appear on the ballot, this ambiguous duo will need to collect 875,000 signatures from registered California voters within 180 days of the filing date.

The first proposition would grant California’s tribes the right to offer sports betting to anyone 21 and older in the state. The second proposition would provide regulatory governance to CA sports betting,

What’s strange is that the tribes were not consulted on either proposition. There has been no contact with any California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) officials.

“The sponsors of the two recently filed initiatives did not first reach out to the State’s largest tribal gaming association for consultation and input… Instead, CNIGA and our member tribes were alerted to their existence when they were filed with the Attorney General today… While the sponsors of these initiatives may believe they know what is best for tribes, we encourage them to engage with Indian Country and ask, rather than dictate.”

Excerpts From A Statement Issued By The CNIGA In Response To The Filings

California hosts the largest population of any state in the USA. The potential of sports betting in Los Angeles and San Francisco alone would present revenues that rival other states with legal domestic sportsbooks.

New York and Florida are both fully operational with active sports books, leaving Texas and CA as the most populated holdouts in the country.

Neither of these proposals has much potential to appear on the California ballots, but they could serve to spur on a renewed push from entities that have the financial backing to make some noise.


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