SBC panel agrees California tribes control future legalization efforts

Updated May 24, 2024
Updated May 24, 2024By Chris Boline
california betting news may 2024

The future of California gaming will depend on a group that is very familiar with the gambling and betting landscape in the state: the native tribes, at least according to one recent report. Of course, many readers of this topic are undoubtedly aware of the power and sway the California native tribes wield in the state’s gaming climate. In the article, an expert panel at SBC Summit North America agreed that California tribes will control sports betting legalization moving forward. Moreover, racetracks and card rooms will not be included and national outlets like FanDuel and DraftKings need to regain tribal trust if they hope to be included. 

In this report, SBS will be going over what to look for from the latest gaming updates coming from the Golden State along with even more information regarding California gaming news. 

Tribal leaders looking for national outlets to build trust

As noted in the same article, a panel of experts at SBC Summit North America unanimously agreed that California tribes will control when, and if, the state ever sees legalized sports betting. Some of the tribal representatives also commented on the potential role that national gaming organizations will play in this potential future landscape.

“When we see FanDuel and DraftKings start to rebuild that trust, start to come and mend those wounds that they left, then we may be able to move forward. The way they came in was just ridiculous, that was damaging,” Andrew Alejandre, tribal chairman for the Pasketna Band of Nomlaki, said in the same report. “It will take some work. Building relationships, it takes time with tribes, we’re not just going to trust you.”

State gaming will not be a reality at least for this year

As noted in the same article, FanDuel and DraftKings are both continuing to make amends to California tribes after trying to push Proposition 27, which would have legalized online sports betting in the state. This was through the polls in 2022 and in direct opposition to state tribal wishes. The tribe also attempted to push its own initiative, Proposition 26, which would have legalized retail sports betting at tribal casinos but also failed. Now it appears the future of California sports betting, be it retail or online, will be controlled by the tribes, at least according to Frank Sizemore, vice president of strategic partnerships with FanDuel. 

“We need to prove to the tribes that we can be a good partner, and they ask us to join them in that endeavor,” Sizemore said. FanDuel, though, has no appetite to support a proposition for California sports betting, he said. The sports betting company spent $25 million to support Proposition 27, which was roundly defeated by California voters at the polls in 2022. 

The panel agreed that sports betting has no chance of approval this year. When sports betting is eventually considered, do not be surprised if California tribes look to the Seminole Tribe model for sports betting that is currently used in Florida. This note was attributed to Daniel Little, chief intergovernmental affairs officer for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians at the panel meeting. Additionally, a retail sports betting market supported by online sports betting, with servers located on tribal lands, could be appealing in California, he said in the article. Of course, this depends on how SCOTUS eventually rules on the separate Seminole Tribe situation in Florida. 

Outside parties not invited to California gaming future

As noted in the same report, the tribes will have full gaming exclusivity when sports betting is eventually legalized in the state. As for racetracks and card rooms being cut into the action? No shot, according to Alejandre. Tribal sovereignty is of the utmost importance, he said, and with more than 100 tribes in California, it’s even more important to protect. “We’ll do everything we can to protect our sovereignty. When someone comes in and tries to set up shop, that’s not going to happen,” he said. 

These updates of course come on the heels of tribal leaders discussing the possibility of potentially embracing partnerships with national gaming outlets. Per another report covered in this space, during a panel discussion last month, FanDuel CEO Amy Howe emphasized the importance of tribal partnerships in future efforts to legalize sports betting and online gambling. Moreover, this includes recognizing missteps in the past and the significance of tribal sovereignty. Howe underscored the need for a unified approach with the 100-plus Tribes in California

Joined by tribal leaders including James Siva, Howe candidly discussed the turbulent history between commercial operators and tribal entities. Moreover, the conversation reflected a collective commitment to forging a new path forward built on mutual respect and collaboration

Even more notes and info in regards to California betting

Once you are all dialed in regarding the latest updates and notes coming from the Golden State, make sure to also check out the awesome array of information for you only available at SBS. For even more information on the topic at hand, our California sports betting guide is a fantastic resource for all of the latest updates from the state. On a separate note, for those on the go, the best betting apps rundown is a great guide on how to utilize mobile betting and stay on top of the action. Finally, for those interested in diversifying their deposit and withdrawal options, look no further than the payment methods breakdown which goes over a variety of fantastic routes from cryptocurrencies to traditional banking methods. 

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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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