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California took another step towards legalizing sports betting over the weekend as over one million petitions went out for two new proposals. The petitions will ask California citizens to support the two new sports betting initiatives proposed at the end of 2023. Each initiative will need 874,641 signatures in order to be put to a vote in November.
While both proposals are moving forward, they are doing so without support from the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA). The group of federally recognized tribes has been staunchly opposed to the legalization of sports betting, and they have spent millions of dollars to prevent proposals like these from ever becoming law. CNIGA has been successful in doing so, with each proposal being overwhelmingly rejected.
The two proposals being considered would give CNIGA tribes control over the new industry, but that has not stopped them from opposing both measures. CNIGA leaders have accused the people behind the proposals of lying about having support from the tribes. The tribes say they were unaware of these new proposals until they were submitted, which sparked a strong rebuke.
“The disingenuous nature of these initiatives should be a red flag to every tribal government as well as every voter in California,” CNIGA Chairman James Siva said of the proposals. “The proponent of the measures are attempting to divide and conquer tribes by pushing an initiative that attempts to legitimize illicit off-shore operators and putting our governments at risk.”
The petitions are expected to cost proponents over $25 million.
While these new initiatives will likely go to a vote, both are expected to fail. CNIGA’s strong opposition and accusations of dishonesty have soured public support, which sports betting proponents didn’t have enough of to begin with. That means the soonest the Golden State could legalize the industry is 2025.
The failure of both proposals will likely lead to a change in strategy. Expect to see a new group take over future proposals and mend a frayed relationship with the CNIGA tribes. The tribes’ complaints over the current proposals are more focused on dishonesty than the proposals themselves, meaning a new group of proponents and an improved relationship with CNIGA could make sports betting a real possibility in 2025.
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.More info on Michael Savio
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