California Sports Betting

  • Three tribes have announced that they plan to introduce yet another sports betting ballot proposal for the 2022 elections.
  • There are already sports betting proposals slated to be on the 2022 ballot in California, which only requires a simple majority to pass ballot measures.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Three tribes – the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria, and the Wilton Rancheria – have submitted a proposal for the fourth ballot initiative in California to attempt to legalize sports betting.

The proposal outlined an online-only industry with mandatory in-person account registration. The initiative also includes retail wagering and a variety of table games. According to the proposal, the earliest possible launch date would be September 1, 2023.

Taking Control Of California Sportsbooks

There is already a sports betting initiative – the California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Act – scheduled to be on the ballot in California for the 2022 elections, with others in the works.

The newest tribe-sponsored proposal would put tribal entities at the industry forefront of legal California sports betting, while native tribes have much less pull with the other proposals.

“We believe that there is a grave risk that either the DraftKings Measure (the commercial operators proposal) or the Cardrooms Measure could pass. Right now, tribes do not offer California voters an option for online sports wagering. If the DraftKings Measure or the Cardrooms Measure passes in November 2022, tribes would lose their exclusivity to Class III gaming in California and such passage would accelerate the legalization of online gaming by non-tribal interests, threatening the existence of Indian gaming as we know it,” the proposal read.

If the proposal is approved, it will likely run on the same ballot as the aforementioned commercial operators’ proposal. It would be left to the voters to decide if they prefer a commercial-based legal sports betting industry or a tribal-based industry.

In California, ballot initiatives only need a simple majority to pass.

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