Due to the opposition of the tribal groups, a renewed effort to include sports betting on the forthcoming California election ballot was unsuccessful. Once again, California will have to wait two more years before it can try to regulate sports betting.
The Attorney General of California issued summaries earlier this month for two distinct ballot initiatives that aim to establish legalization for both land-based and online sports betting within the state, potentially reshaping the landscape of sports betting sites and the industry as a whole.
Implementing initiatives 23-0031 and 23-0030 A1 would have enabled the state’s tribes to offer mobile wagering in addition to their existing retail locations. With the assistance of Eagle 1 associates Reeve Collins, Kasey Thompson, and Ryan Tyler Walz, the Attorney General authorized both parties to enter into the petition phase.
The tribal groups failed to provide the requisite support for either of the initiatives. The California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) provided Eagle 1 with an open document in December that referred to the nullification of the initiatives. The CNIGA, which is composed of fifty-two federally recognized tribal governments located throughout California, explicitly stated in its letter that neither initiative received endorsement from tribal organizations.
As James Siva, chairman of the CNIGA, states, the tribes’ return is a positive development given that they were previously staunch opponents of the initiative. From his perspective, proponents of the initiatives might have capitalized on the benevolence of the tribes to obscure their illegitimate endeavors involving online gambling and sports in California.