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  • The Indian tribes of California will be accepting signatures to get legal tribal sports betting on the 2022 ballot in the state after being granted an extension to do so.
  • Tribes want a legal sports betting market in California as long as they are the sole operators for such businesses and betting odds in the Golden State.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.The Indian tribes of California were collecting signatures for some time for their legal sports betting initiative before they were forced to stop due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

However, they have now received an extension by the California Superior Court and the deadline for signatures is set for October 12 rather than July 20.

This will be put toward sports betting making it onto the November 2022 ballot.

Originally, tribes received almost all of the 997,139 signatures that are required for a constitutional amendment in California from collections that occurred from January through March when the state shut down.

This made making the November 2020 ballot an impossibility as that deadline was June 25.

The Extension Gives California Hope For Legal tribal Sports Betting

Tribes in the Golden State want a legal sports betting industry for themselves and are opposed to any and all commercial sports betting platforms.

For this reason, SCA-6, which was making traction within the California Legislature, was pulled by its primary sponsor Senator Bill Dodd near the end of the session.

The waves of issues tribes were making for the bill and its progress was far too great to continue with a deadline around the corner.

The California Sports Wagering and Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act is an initiative that would allow for sports betting to take place only at tribal locations.

The initiative states that gaming has only helped the people of California and a sports betting market would only continue to improve that.

“The California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act ensures that sports wagering is regulated and taxed, so adults who choose to participate in this activity can do so legally, while raising revenue for education, public safety and mental health, ensuring strong consumer protections especially for children and strengthening enforcement of gambling laws.”

It goes on to say that Indian gaming in the Golden State provided $3.4 billion in revenue with $1 billion of that going directly to the state of California in 2016 alone.

While lawmakers like Dodd would like the market to be an all-encompassing one with both tribal and commercial sportsbooks, tribes want the state to know they can more than provide ample dividends if given the monopoly on the sports betting industry as they are seeking to gain through this petition.

Now What?

The extension handed down by Judge James P. Arguelles was done so justly as a pandemic is a global event that took away the tribes’ chances of getting their petition signed amid a statewide lockdown.

They received 971,373 signatures at the time activities were halted but were shooting for one million to be on the safer side of the required 997,139.

Even with an extension, there is no telling when California will be fully opened to allow tribes to receive enough signatures for the 2022 ballot.

The Golden State is currently only in Phase 2 of its reopening. Hopefully, October is a good enough extension to get sports bettors to approve legal sports betting on the 2022 ballot in California, even if it will be a strictly tribal industry.

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