California tribes oppose Proposition 27 in a Thursday press conference. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Pushback on future plans
A California initiative to legalize digital sports betting, known as Proposition 27, has once again come under fire from local tribes.
tribes would lose their sovereignty and freedom to operate if the measure is passed
A lobby group called Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming held an online presser Thursday condemning the plan. Cahuilla Band of Indians chairman Daniel Salgado led the comments, stating that the tribes would lose their sovereignty and freedom of action if the measure is passed.
The most populous state in the United States would become a goldmine for online betting if legalized, but with each step toward new legislation, the battle between the tribes and the state is intensifying.
The problem with Theorem 27
Salgado’s biggest problem with Proposition 27 is that it deprives the tribes of their ability to control their future in the game industry.
“From our tribe’s perspective, it hits a few notes — tribal sovereignty and self-determination,” he said. “There are just over 60 tribes offering gaming facilities, so those who don’t participate cannot be a part of this. When you look at limited gaming strains like ours, we’re forced to make a decision.”
“On the other hand, from the operator’s perspective, they’ve made the criteria so restrictive that it’s probably only going to be a dozen.”
Salgado’s tribe offers ‘limited gaming’ which is a smaller and more intimate environment. This is in stark contrast to the Vegas-style mega and Vegas-style casinos run by the larger tribes, such as the Pechanga or Yaamava’.
California must also balance the tribes’ requests with the prospect of a massive economic stimulus
However, California must also balance the tribes’ requests with the prospect of a massive economic stimulus. According to an ESPN article earlier this year citing gambling industry investor Chris Grove, a fully developed gambling market could bring in $3 billion in annual revenue.
A measure that would introduce mobile sports betting in California also made it to the vote in November after a coalition of sportsbooks raised more than 1.6 million signatures in support of the case.
California Tribes Not Entirely United
Thursday’s press conference revealed an unfortunate truth from the tribes, namely that they are not united in opinion; the tribes presented two main groups, both of which are against Propositon 27, although they work independently.
Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming is primarily supported by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, owner of the massive Yaamava’ casino, and the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians and the Pala Casino Spa Resort. The group consists of about 40 in-state tribal organizations.
Stop the Corporate Online Gambling Prop, a second tribal group, is supported by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
officials at the press conference did not answer questions as to why they were working separately
Officials at the press conference did not answer questions as to why they were working separately from each other. Instead, they said the respective groups are focused on achieving their main goal, stopping Prop. 27.
Also, not every tribe supports the anti-corporate gaming groups; three of California’s smaller tribes have signed up to support gaming giants like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and others.
Proposition 27 is not the only gambling initiative to be voted on in November. Proposition 26, which allows for personal gambling in tribal casinos and racetracks, is heavily supported by the Pechanga.
“We want to make sure we have primary responsibility for regulating the [gaming] environment,” says Salgado. “We want to make sure we shape that and create a safe environment.”
Another group known as Taxpayers Against Special Interest Monopolies redoubled its opposition to Prop. 26 a day before the press conference. This group, backed by certain cities in the state, claims the plan would hurt cities financially.
This post California Tribes Publicly Oppose Digital Deployment Measure
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