A tribal committee launched a campaign against the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act on Wednesday.

  • A committee representing several of California’s native tribes has launched an advertising campaign against the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act.
  • The tribes argue that the initiative would break a promise to the tribes that they would be granted exclusive rights to gaming activity in California.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California residents will begin seeing an advertising campaign against the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act after three of California’s tribes launched the campaign Thursday.

What Is The California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act?

The act in question in the ad campaign is financially backed by seven major commercial sportsbooks: Bally’s, Barstool, BetMGM, DraftKings, Fanatics, FanDuel, and Wynn.

The act would legalize and regulate online sportsbooks in California, with a preset share of the resulting tax revenue allocated to mental health and homelessness services. Most notably, it would allow for both tribal and commercial sportsbook operators.

The act is still in the signature-gathering phase and will need to receive nearly 1,000,000 verified signatures before the June 30 deadline.

Californians For Tribal Sovereignty And Safe Gaming Launch Ad Campaign

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Wilton Rancheria, and The Rincon Band of Luisueno Indians established a political action committee in February – called Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming – to oppose the measure.

This group launched an advertising campaign on Thursday that will broadcast through several channels.

The advertisement features tribal leaders Glenda Nelson and Jesus Tarango and specifically mentions DraftKings and FanDuel as legal sports betting operators looking to “break the promise” of tribal gaming exclusivity.

“When voters granted our sovereign nations exclusive gaming rights, it advanced self-sufficiency and created thousands of good jobs… But now, out of state corporations are coming to California. Their online sports betting initiative would break the promise between us. It’s bad for Tribes and all Californians,” said Nelson and Tarango in the ad.

Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming has committed $100 million to their effort to stop commercial sportsbooks from entering the California gaming market.

Initiative Reportedly Still On Pace To Appear On Ballot

Despite the PAC’s push against the act, representatives familiar with the matter say that the initiative is on pace to receive an adequate number of signatures to appear on the ballot.

This comes in the wake of a UC Berkeley poll that showed 16% of men and 28% of women in California are still undecided on their position on the sports betting initiative.

Currently, there are three sports betting ballot initiatives vying for a spot on the California ballot in November: the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act, which is the act the advertising campaign is concerned with; the California Sports Wagering and Consumer Protection Act, which primarily offers cardroom operators sports betting licenses but also includes other entities such as professional sports venues; and the California Legalize Sports Betting on American Indian Lands Initiative, an initiative sponsored by a coalition of tribes that would allow sports betting through tribal operators only.

The latter is the only to be officially accepted to appear on the November ballot, though the Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act is thought to have a fair chance to appear concurrently.

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