California Tribal leaders pushing pause on upcoming mobile wagering measure

Updated June 30, 2022
Updated June 30, 2022By Chris Boline
california betting news june

Recognized by many gaming observers as perhaps the ultimate prize of the sports gambling world, there is still much to be determined in the gaming legalization race in California. According to Casino.org, almost a month ago tribal leaders in the Golden State came together on shelving a ballot initiative that would ask voters to give them a mobile sports gambling monopoly. Per the report, this measure was introduced back in November and has been temporarily put aside in favor of focusing on defeating a competing initiative. This opposing initiative has been championed by national companies FanDuel and DraftKings and would cut into a huge chunk of the tribes’ projected state gaming revenue. 

In this report, SBS will break down the latest news regarding the proposal postponement and also some notes on California gaming. 

According to the update from Casino.org, with the tribes already having another main measure on the ballot, they opted to align and shift their resources to one clear initiative. This mainline ballot measure would authorize in-person wagering at tribal casinos only in California. In this instance, with the tribes ditching the mobile measure, it will give voters a clearer choice for the future of wagering in the state. According to the report, members of the tribal community feel that support for mobile sports wagering is faltering among California voters. Moreover, the feeling is that the more clear brick-and-mortar initiative is the preferred path to getting a gaming measure approved.

In addition to support perhaps wavering, there are some legal entanglements the tribes could run into down the road if mobile gaming is approved. Per the report, the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) prohibits tribal gaming outside sovereign reservations. There is also some recent legal precedent to this as well. In Florida in 2021, a compact in Florida that would have given the Seminole Tribe a mobile sports betting monopoly in the state was canceled by a federal judge. So while the California tribes’ postponed initiative proposed amending the constitution so statewide wagers don’t fall under IGRA, there are still some hurdles to clear. 

Commercial gaming bitterly opposed by tribes in California

Per the article, many tribal operators have made it their goal to defeat these opposing measures at all costs. With these leaders bitterly opposing the expansion of commercial gambling in the state, many have said they would rather have their own measures fail then let new companies in. While the mainline commercial proposal from these national organizations has yet to officially qualify for the 2022 ballot, it is expected to do so by obtaining the signatures necessary soon. The clash between the tribes and the national organizations will be one of the biggest headliners this upcoming political season in the Golden State. However, the measures still face some tough sledding from California citizens.

According to a poll commissioned by the tribal coalition in April, 53% of 1,094 California voters polled were against the corporate gaming initiative in the state. This number is up from 47% in November of 2021. However, a competing survey put together by the corporate entities found that 59% of voters were in favor of this new ballot measure getting passed. 

A projected $1.4 billion market in its first year, according to analysts from Deutsche Bank, California has the potential to become one of the largest sports betting markets in the world. However, the projected growth hinges on the acceptance of mobile gaming statewide in addition to land-based options. That said, a tribal spokesperson said they would be including a new initiative for mobile wagering on the 2024 ballot. 

For more California gaming information and updates

If you need more information on all that is happening in the Golden State, SBS has you covered with our California sports wagering guide. On this page you can find all kinds of great information pertaining to California betting like fantastic welcome bonus offers, deposit options and fast payout options. On the topic of welcome bonuses, we also have your back with our welcome bonus overview page so you can find all sorts of ways to get the biggest bang for your buck. As a final note, if you are unsure of how you would like to make your wagers, our payment options guide is a great place to find the best method for you.

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About the Author

Chris Boline
Chris Boline

As a devout aficionado of sports, Chris Boline has carved a career within the athletic realm. A skilled scribe, he boasts a decade-long portfolio that encompasses coverage of the NBA G League, the Los Angeles Chargers, football in the Mountain West Conference, and basketball. Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is deeply invested in his community and dedicates his leisure hours to serving on boards, collaborating with community organizations, and cherishing the company of loved ones.

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