The Sports Betting Alliance (SBA), an organization of the leading gambling operators in California, unequivocally opposes two sports wagering ballots and has decided not to provide financial backing for either initiative.
Both ballots aim to grant the tribes exclusive rights to engage in retail and online sports betting within the state of California. In October 2023, the ballots were officially registered with the state’s Attorney General.
Reeve Collins, Pala Interactive’s co-founder and CEO, is listed as the person to contact for media questions on both ballots. In 2013, the Pala Band of Mission Indians established Pala Interactive. Boyd Gaming bought it out in November 2022.
Sports betting operators have been approached by the ballot’s authors, who are seeking financial support to gather signatures. Nevertheless, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Fanatics Sportsbooks—all members of the SBA—have declared their refusal to provide financial support.
This is in line with the group’s position, and no financing activity will occur, according to Nathan Click, the spokesperson of the SBA. The support of the tribes is crucial for the success of these projects. According to him, the implementation of both ballots will have a detrimental impact on everything related to sports betting. Operators lacking valid licenses will be the sole beneficiaries.
The initial iteration of one ballot, titled The Sports Wagering Regulation and Tribal Gaming Protection Act, provided comprehensive recommendations. Tribes were required to contribute 15% of their adjusted GGR from sports betting to a trust fund for tribal wagering revenue sharing. One potential proposal is for tribes to allocate 10% of the adjusted GGR from sports wagering to the California Homelessness and Mental Health Fund. Furthermore, it would be mandatory for nations to establish vendor partnerships with sports wagering operators.
This was amended in December to gain tribal support. The changes included elements such as prohibiting sports betting until July 1, 2025. Before the modification, it was September 1, 2025. According to the proposals, tribes receiving $1 million yearly would see a 20-fold boost. Contributions to the tribal betting revenue sharing trust fund from sports wagering GGR increased from 15% to 25%. Furthermore, an in-person online gambling certification was required for everyone beyond a 10-mile radius, which would be phased out after two years.
In the case of the other ballot, no specifics were revealed. It was known as the Tribal Gaming Protection Act.
Along with numerous tribes and other operators who have expressed opposition to the measures, the SBA’s declaration will deal ballot supporters an additional setback.
Upon the initial public release of the ballots, Pala Interactive was granted a three-month period to secure the necessary number of signatures (874,641) in support of the ballot. Subsequently, the ballot would be distributed to the electorate for decision-making. The elections are scheduled to take place on November 5, 2024.
These ballots are part of a larger trend toward the eventual legalization of sports betting in California. Nonetheless, California Democrats advised people to vote against the proposals.