California Tribes Against Sports Betting Proposal

California Tribes Against Sports Betting Proposal

A new sports betting bill in California is getting some push at the legislature but the state’s tribes are unhappy with its provisions. The tribes are vocal against providing additional gaming authority to the card rooms.

The journey of the sports betting bill

California could become one of the biggest sports betting markets in the US with a population of over 40 million. However, the state has yet to create a bill that could receive approval of the tribes. The existing bill is proposed by Sen. Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray. The bill will authorize tribal casinos and all major racetracks to operate sports betting at their premises.

California Tribes Against Sports Betting Proposal

The bill has already passed through the Governmental Organization Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee. Now it is waiting for further clearance from the legislature so that the gambling question could be added to this year’s vote, scheduled in November.

However, the state’s tribes are unhappy with the bill. The most prominent among them is the Cache Creek Casino Resort operator Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation of Yolo County. The tribe’s chairman Anthony Roberts recently wrote a letter to Dodd and Gray, expressing his displeasure with certain parts of the legislation. He wrote,

“Yocha Dehe’s opposition to this measure could not be stronger, and we vow to vigorously fight it at every turn.”

Why are tribes unhappy?

The major point of contention between the bill and the tribes is a provision that provides enhanced authority to the state’s card rooms. Even though these establishments were not included in sports betting plans, they could also get to provide banked games. The tribes have maintained a monopoly over these games for years and the two establishments are also involved in a legal battle related to the same.

Banked games are casino games where the house has a stake in the outcome. This includes games like baccarat, blackjack, three-card poker, and pai gow poker. The tribes suggest that they hold exclusive rights for such games and call the card rooms’ offering illegal. However, the state authorities have adopted a lenient approach towards the establishment and done nothing to stop their offerings. The state is now facing a lawsuit, filed in January 2019, which claims that the state’s inaction has been violating tribal compacts. Yocha Dehe is also a party to this suit. Even though it was dismissed last year, the tribes are planning to appeal to a higher court.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.