Latest California sports betting effort halted

Proponents are not moving forward with proposed sports betting initiatives since they lack tribal support.

Opposition from California’s Native American tribes has put an end to the latest effort to legalize sports betting in the Golden State. 

Industry publication PlayUSA reported that the backers behind the initiative are halting their campaign. 


The backstory: California voters rejected two competing proposals to legalize sports betting in 2022, known as Proposition 26 and Proposition 27. 

  • Late last year two more proposed initiatives were filed with the Secretary of State’s Office to start collecting signatures – The Tribal Gaming Protection Act and The Sports Wagering Regulation and Tribal Gaming Protection Act. Both initiatives were submitted by the same party. 

The big picture: Kasey Thompson, spokesperson for the initiatives, told PlayUSA that the proposals will not move forward since they lack tribal support. 

  • The initiatives would have provided a path forward for tribes to offer both in-person and online sports betting. 
  • But the lack of support led to the initiatives never even getting off the ground, as proponents reportedly never even set up a ballot measure committee to start collecting signatures. 
  • That lack of support was evident from the start, with the California Nations Indian Gaming Association immediately coming out in opposition, saying at the time that the proponents should ask what the tribes want, rather than dictate. 

What they’re saying: “This initiative was supposed to be for the tribes but is only causing division,” Thompson told PlayUSA. “That was never my intent. I see now the needed unity is not coming, and so I’m standing good to my word and not moving forward. I’m pulling it in full.”

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