It seems we are in the midst of California’s second gold rush, as gambling operators vie for a chance to become the face of in-state sports betting. In November, residents will be asked whether to welcome such a gambling expansion.
However, voters are expected to have a variety of legalization options to choose from. This is a direct result of the state’s lenient policies regarding ballot initiatives.
Many Proposals, One Goal
Several tribal and commercial organizations have backed different measures to authorize legal sports betting in California. Voters could see up to five proposals at the ballot box this fall.
But the general focus has been on the following two proposals:
- California Legalize Sports Betting on American Indian Lands Initiative: A measure to legalize in-person betting at gambling facilities located on tribal lands. Additionally, the initiative would authorize roulette and dice games at native-owned casinos. In exchange for the opportunity to host sports wagering operations, the tribes will designate 10% of betting revenues for the state.
- #21-0009 California Legalize Sports Betting Initiative: A measure to legalize in-person and online wagering at both commercial and tribal gaming establishments. It also includes provisions for casinos to host blackjack, card games, and tile games. The proposal would also extend mobile sports betting privileges to professional sports team leagues. All licensees would be subject to a 25% revenue tax.
So far, the only measure to accrue California’s required number of signatures is the in-person tribal initiative. And behind it has been a flurry of overwhelming support.
Rallied Support For Legal Betting
On Monday, the Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming released a press statement announcing its solidarity with the state’s tribes as they pursue legalized in-person wagering.
The measure even has support from the President of the California Hawaii State Conference of the NAACP. Rick L. Callender stressed the following:
“Our support of the Tribal Sports Wagering Act is consistent with our long-standing support for disenfranchised communities to become self-sufficient,”
California’s tribes seem eager about the prospect of becoming the next legal sports betting state.
Not only do they feel responsible for upholding the state’s gaming infrastructure. The tribes have also taken it upon themselves to protect residents from out-of-state gambling interests.
Preserving Integrity and Accountability
In the press release Chairman Anthony Roberts of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation writes,
“The in-person, Tribal Sports Wagering Act will allow Indian tribes to build on this legacy as the responsible stewards of gaming in California. On the other hand, the Corporate Online Gambling Proposition was written for the sole benefit of out-of-state online gambling corporations. We’re proud to join with so many respected organizations as we make our case to the voters.”
While digital wagering will always be more efficient and accessible than in-person betting, the tribes have a point. And when compared to the 51% margin of revenue that New York collects on its mobile betting efforts, the suggested 25% in California reads like robbery.
California bettors can still get in on the online action via offshore sportsbook sites. They’re legal to play and accessible from nearly any device. For more information, visit our ribbon at the top of the page and click Betting How-To Guides.
Source: Stand With Tribes