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Two New Sports Betting Ballot Initiatives Filed in California

Written by: Michael Savio
Published November 1, 2023
6 min read
Two New Sports Betting Ballot Initiatives Filed in California

A newly formed coalition submitted two ballot initiatives around sports betting on Friday. The filing means that California residents will once again weigh in on legalizing sports betting. The newly formed coalition claims to include at least one Native American tribe, with Pala Interactive CEO Reeve Collins’ name appearing on the initiatives. Pala Interactive is an online gaming platform created by the Pala Band of Mission Indians.

The initiatives will give California two different sports betting proposals to consider. The first initiative would allow the state to negotiate with the state’s Native American Tribes to open in-person and online sports betting operations. The second initiative would do the same, but it would block any non-tribal entities from the industry.

While the coalition has insisted they have tribal support, the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA), which represents 52 tribes, has shared that they were not contacted about either of these initiatives. The group has poured millions into fighting sports betting measures in the state and was vocal about their disappointment over the lack of communication on these two new initiatives.

“Decisions driving the future of tribal governments should be made by tribal governments. While the sponsors of these initiatives may believe they know what is best for tribes, we encourage them to engage with Indian Country and ask, rather than dictate,” a statement from CNIGA regarding their disappointment over the new initiatives.

Both initiatives will need to get 874,641 signatures in the next four months to be added to the 2024 November ballot. 

Sports Betting Failing to Gain Traction in California

While proponents of sports betting continue to fight for legalization, it has made minimal traction. CNIGA has poured millions of dollars into campaigns against the legalization of sports betting, looking to protect their thriving casino industry in the state.

California saw two initiatives to legalize sports betting fail last year. One only garnered 33% of votes on a referendum, while the second captured 17%. The latter would have allowed third parties like FanDuel and DraftKings to operate in California, and it had almost no traction.

Given the early response from CNIGA over the new proposals, both likely meet similar fates as the 2023 initiatives.

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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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