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FanDuel and DraftKings Focused on Mending Relationship With California Tribes

Written by: Michael Savio
Published April 12, 2024
6 min read
FanDuel and DraftKings Focused on Mending Relationship With California Tribes

California failed to pass a sports betting bill again in 2024, but recent news gives proponents hope for the future.

The Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention wrapped up this week, and FanDuel and DraftKings were both in attendance. Representatives from the two sports betting giants attended panels and made strong inroads with the Indian Gaming Association (IGA). 

While no legislation or roadmap was proposed, DraftKings and FanDuel's sponsorship of and attendance at the event is significant. The two sides have been battling to legalize sports betting in the Golden State, and things got ugly. The IGA had accused leaders pushing the legalization of using deceitful tactics, leading to the group pouring millions of dollars into opposing them.

FanDuel and DraftKings supported past sports betting bills, hoping to get California on the fast track to legalization. Their decision to attend this year’s tradeshow signals they are willing to work with the tribes instead of third parties. The IGA showed appreciation for both operators but was more impressed by FanDuel.

“They have a long way to go. This is just the first step. They can show their participation,” conference chair Victor Rocha said of FanDuel and DraftKings sponsoring the tradeshow. “FanDuel is working overtime to support just about every tribal event that’s out there right now. … FanDuel seems to be making all the right moves. DraftKings just seems to be there. I don’t see any contrition yet. It leaves a lot of room. I think FanDuel’s making all the right moves to be in the No. 1 position. But then, they seem to be doing that all over the country, don’t they?”

Sportsbooks Did Not Support 2024 Sports Betting Proposal

The first turn in the relationship between the tribes and operators came earlier this year. A pair of California businessmen took a last-minute initiative, claiming support from the tribes. The proposal was submitted right before the cutoff date, catching many off guard.

However, the IGA claimed they were never notified of the effort, accusing the pair of lying. The strong accusations led sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel to abandon the effort, the first step in mending their frayed relationship with the IGA.

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Michael Savio

477 Articles

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.

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