The California state gambling bill is one of the most complicated sports betting legislations in the US. The lawmakers and the numerous Native American tribes in the state have different approaches towards gambling, creating a deadlock.
Conversations to continue
The state legislature will continue its conversations over the sports betting bill in January. The hearing will begin again on January 15, 2020. The previous hearings were disturbed because of wildfires in the state and objections from the tribes.
The ACA 16 aims to bring a state constitutional amendment that would allow sports betting in California. Senator Bill Dodd, who is also the chair of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee sponsored the gaming bill. He will be holding hearings alongside Adam Gray, his assembly counterpart in January. This would initiate a 2020 ballot to approve the constitutional amendment. The hearing will be held in Sacramento, but Dodd said that they would hold many more hearings before they finalize the framework and put forward the bill in June.
What is the fight all about?
The lawmakers had decided to hold the first hearing for the bill on November 20 in Los Angeles. However, eighteen native tribes in the state proposed their own ballot just two days before the hearing. They want the constitutional amendment to allow sports betting at their own racetracks and casinos. Some believe that the hearings were stalled only because of the tribes, but Dodd said that it was because of the wildfires.
He said that the tribes’ stance was not surprising, but he was not expecting them to forward their own bill. Dodd added that it is the tribes’ right to put forward their proposals, but he is a representative of all people in California and therefore, he needs to adopt a more comprehensive and holistic approach to gambling.
The lawmakers have tried to talk with the tribes to create a more comprehensive plan. However, they remain adamant about not allowing cardrooms to provide sports betting services in the state. The tribes are financially and politically powerful in the state, which means that reaching an agreement will be crucial. According to some experts, it may not be difficult for them to put their proposal on the ballot. Dodd maintains that all providers in the state- like cardrooms, sports team, DraftKings, and FanDuel, amongst others, should be given priority. With the tribes’ bill, all these stakeholders get left out from the market.