In California and a consortium of 18 casino-operating tribes is reportedly due to launch a campaign that could see voters asked whether they would like the western state to become the latest to legalize sportsbetting.
According to a Wednesday report from the Los Angeles Times newspaper, this initiative is being led by the federally-recognized Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians and hopes to be able to get a sportsbetting legalization question added to next year’s November ballot.
As part of this effort, the newspaper reported that attorneys for the tribal syndicate filed paperwork with the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Wednesday seeking official permission to begin collecting signatures from the 997,139 registered voters that are required in order to get the sportsbetting initiative placed on the upcoming ballot.
Mark Macarro, Chairman for the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, which is responsible for Riverside County’s 1,090-room Pechanga Resort and Casino, reportedly told the Los Angeles Times that the proposed ballot question would ask voters to approve a state constitutional amendment in order to allow tribal casinos and licensed racetracks to offer wagering on a range of professional and collegiate sports. If passed, he purportedly stated that this measure would moreover permit these venues to take bets on some amateur events although not high school sports and see venues agree to pay a 10% tax on all gross sportsbetting revenues.
“Californians should have the choice to participate in sports wagering at highly regulated, safe and experienced gaming locations. We are very proud to see tribes from across California come together for this effort, which represents an incremental but important step towards giving Californians the freedom to participate in this new activity in a responsible manner.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that this initiative is being supported by several other California tribes including the Barona Band of Mission Indians, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and would furthermore allow the state’s tribal casinos to offer roulette and craps.
However, the newspaper reported that the envisioned amendment would not likely call for sportsbetting to be legalized at California’s many commercial card rooms, which is an aspect that is almost surely due to see it engender a large amount of opposition. As such, Kyle Kirkland, President for the California Gaming Association, proclaimed that he ‘would be disappointed’ by any future ballot question that excluded his members and now intends to hold further discussions before deciding on a final position.