• A coalition of Native American Tribes in California has filed paperwork with the CA attorney general’s office in order to get a petition started for legal sports betting.
  • In order to get CA sports betting put on the November 2020 ballot, the tribes will have to get 997,139 signatures from registered voters.
  • Sports betting in California would be limited to tribal casinos with no mobile sports wagering apps.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Native American tribes have officially shown their support for legal sports betting in California, but under a list of key circumstances.

Led by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno, 18 tribes filed paperwork with the CA attorney general’s office on Wednesday in order to start a petition to get sports betting on the November 2020 ballot.

“Californians should have the choice to participate in sports wagering at highly regulated, safe, and experienced gaming locations,” said Mark Macarro, tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in a press release. “We are very proud to see tribes from across California come together for this effort, which represents an incremental but important step toward giving Californians the freedom to participate in this new activity in a responsible manner.”

Under the proposed constitutional amendments, the tribes are seeking, sports betting in California would be limited to in-person betting at tribal casinos and race tracks. Betting on high school sports and betting college teams that are based inside the state would also be prohibited.

The legal age to bet on sports in California would also be 21 and up and the tax rate imposed on CA sportsbooks would be 10% of their gross revenue.

While these stipulations would limit the number of people who could bet on sports, limit the locations for a sportsbook, and not provide online sports wagering apps in CA, it may be the state’s best hope of legalizing the activity.

Earlier this year, a group known as Californians for Sports Betting sought to collect signatures to put the issue on the 2020 ballot. The group needed to get 623,000 signatures and wasn’t able to get a single one.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, a big reason for the petition’s failure was because of a lack of donors and funds needed to afford the man-power to get signatures.

That likely won’t be a problem for California’s tribes. The tribes combine to provide upwards of $8 billion annually to the state government in taxes. The tribes are well funded and are in a position to get the 997,139 signatures from registered voters in time to put the issue on the November 2020 ballot.

However, the tribes aren’t the only ones trying to get California sports betting on the ballot. Earlier this Summer, a sports betting bill was introduced in the state legislature which, if passed by a two-thirds of the legislature, would also give voters a chance to decide on the fate of the activity.

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