An influential alliance of Native American tribes is batting for the legalization of sports betting in California’s racetracks and tribal casinos
The coalition, which is being led by the Pechenga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians, has already pushed forward papers that emphasized support coming from 18 different tribes all across the state. This development comes only a few months after a sports betting initiative was proposed for the 2020 ballot by Assemblyman Adam Gray and Senator Bill Dodd.
While the state of California would be a large market for sports betting, a lot of experts believed that the sizable political influence held by the tribes would put a stop to it. However, these tribes appears to now favor its legalization as long as online betting is not allowed.
Pechenga Chairman Mark Macarro said, “Californians should have the choice to participate in sports wagering at highly regulated, safe and experienced gaming locations.”
Attorneys backing the initiative filed the documents at the California attorney general’s office. It asked for a summary and title for this measure so that the petition process can commence.
The tribe is recommending a constitutional amendment for the state. This would permit betting on college and professional sports, as well as a restricted number of amateur sports. No high school betting markets would be given permission and the tribes prefer that sports betting be confined to tribal casinos and fully licensed racetracks.
A considerable number of card rooms situated in the state have been looking to offer sports betting, so they would assuredly be opposing this proposal.
Speaking about this proposal, Kyle Kirkland, who is the president of the California Gaming Association, expressed: “We would be disappointed at any initiative that allowed sports betting but that didn’t include card clubs.”
Members of the association would be asked about this matter before any position on the matter is taken. The disagreement between tribal interests and the card rooms has been, by and large, the roadblock for the introduction of legal online poker in the state over the last decade or so.
A tax rate of 10% has been suggested for gross sports betting revenues. These tax dollars would then be used toward mental health programs, regulatory costs, education, and public safety.
As part of this measure, the tribes are looking at an extension of the current tribal gaming compact to permit tribal casinos to offer roulette and craps. Players would need to be at least 21 years old to participate.
In order for this proposal to make its way onto the November 2020 ballot, it would need to obtain 997,139 signatures from registered voters. As there is a lot of political support and money behind these tribes, expectations are high that these would be attained.