Power & unity of tribal gaming groups showcased in crushing Prop 27

Updated July 17, 2023
Updated July 17, 2023By Chris Boline
california betting news july 2023

In terms of collective and unified strength, no other group might have a better showcase right now than tribal gaming in California. According to one recent article spotlight, tribal gaming is “having a moment.” As the report notes, while this is about business, it is also about economic independence and fending off perceived existential threats, not all of which involve their ability to derive wealth from gambling. The power of 110 federally recognized tribes in California was demonstrated when a coalition of Native American gambling companies funded a campaign to obliterate Prop 27, which would have allowed national operators to offer mobile and online sports betting in the Golden State. “I don’t think it’s a moment, I think it’s about time,” Sheila Morago, executive director of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association said earlier this month. 

In this article, SBS will be going over what to look for from the latest gaming news coming out of California and also some more notes about Golden State wagering

Morago notes how tribes executed effectively during voting

As referenced in the same report, Morago lauded the effectiveness of the tribe’s united front in squashing the prop bills. “In California, I think it was such a great job. (The Anti-27 tribes) did the polling, they knew what they wanted, they knew exactly what the people in California wanted. Also, they were underestimated, I think, by companies coming in, especially from states that they don’t live in, assuming that they know how things work.” Morago also commented on how the tribes have spent years developing relationships across the state with state legislators and with the California Governor’s Office which helped buoy support for the tribes. 

However, as one report notes, the tribes were among the few that got some kind of settlement or monetary gain out of the props fight. For instance, not all tribal entities opposed Prop 27, and the level of support for Prop 26, which would have allowed retail sports betting in tribal lands, received tepid financial and lobbying support from Native American groups. However, the $110 million, of about $180 million, spent and the political capital leveraged by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, made native groups the one clear winner in this battle. Moreover, the campaign in California and also nationally centers around “economic freedom” according to Morago. 

Tribes explain the economic impact on native groups

According to the same article, Morago said that this win and fight is about much more than new cars or purchases for casino owners. “This is actually money for higher education, for healthcare, for infrastructure, and not just for the tribal communities, but their surrounding communities as well. It’s about making sure that our kids have money to go to school.” For the San Manuels, the win provided a firewall against the next evolution of gambling expansion, the first ask before the second ask by the national commercial gambling industry, they believe. It was also the precursor to the maneuver that could have a dire impact on tribal communities in California, according to some San Manuel sources. In this case, it would lead to a push for online casinos, but the tribes have seen this before. 

Other notes & thoughts about California wagering

After you are all squared away regarding the latest updates coming from the Golden State, make sure to tap into the wide variety of awesome resources that SBS has put together for you. Of course, for more info on the topic at hand, our California sports betting guide has you covered with a wide variety of information and the latest Golden State gaming news. On another note, for those looking to make the most of their existing bets, the SBS best bonus betting sites rundown is a must-read page. On this page, you can find tips for getting the most out of welcome promotions and also a catalog of different bonus offers. Finally, if you are uncertain about which payment options are the best for you, then check out the SBS payment methods breakdown where you can find more information on options from crypto to traditional outlets. 

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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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