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Sports Betting in California Gets Unexpected Boost

November 26, 2019

It's been awhile since there have been any rumblings about sports betting in California. The state has been operating under the assumption that legalizing sports betting for California residents would face big opposition from lobbyists coming out of Nevada. There has also been questions about whether or not sports betting activities would fly without full support from California's most prominent Indian tribes, which have a vice grip on the state's casino gambling rights.

Well low and behold, it looks like California's Indian tribes have made the decision to try to get out ahead of what seems to be inevitable, the legalization of sports gambling for the states residents.

Last week, twenty-four of California's leading Indian tribes issued a joint statement calling for a referendum on sports gambling on the ballot for the November 2020 election cycle. In the statement, tribal leaders are calling for the legalization of sports betting to be provided by casinos and racetracks currently in operation.

According to details found in the announcement, the tribes would like to see a 10% tax on sports betting revenues that would include betting revenues from major sports being played all over the world. The only caveat would be restrictions that would prevent residents from betting on sports events that include amateur teams from California. That's no small caveat given the number of major college and high school teams currently operating within the state's border.

While there was no specific mention of mobile gambling, it's highly likely this particular betting option would part of any meaningful legislation. Based on mobile gambling results that have been flowing in over the past few months from other states, there's clearly high demand among gamblers to have mobile access.

According to the statement that came from Mark Macarro, Tribal Chairman of Southern California’s Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, "Californians should have the choice to participate in sports wagering at highly regulated, safe and experienced gaming locations."

Then adding, "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."

This statement should serve as a signal that it's time for someone in California's state legislature to take up the sports betting cause prior to the next election cycle. To make the ballot by November, there's a lot of work that needs to be completed.


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