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California Sports Betting Proposal Would Permit Gambling at Tribal Run Casinos

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Nov/13/2019

18 state tribes have agreed on a sports betting measure appearing on the 2020 ballot similar to what transpired in Colorado last week.

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“Californians should have the choice to participate in sports wagering at highly regulated, safe and experienced gaming locations,” Mark Macarro, chairman of Pechanga, said in a statement. “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.”

Tribal Chairman Anthony Roberts of the Yocha Dehe Wintun said:  “We have historically been opposed to the expansion of gaming in California beyond the current scope. This initiative represents a viable and measured path that provides Californians with the opportunity to wager on sports in a manner that is responsible and provides for real enforcement penalties for unlawful gambling in the state.”

Attorneys for the proponents filed papers Wednesday with the state attorney general’s office seeking a title and summary for the initiative that would allow them to begin circulating petitions to qualify the measure.

State Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) and Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) introduced a bill four months ago that would also put a sports betting measure on the 2020 ballot.

The tribes proposal would allow wagering on professional, college and some amateur sports, though not high school sports, at Indian gaming casinos and licensed racetracks.  Card clubs are not included.  These venues would likely oppose any such measure.

The measure would also expand the tribal gaming compact powers to allow craps and roulette at tribal casinos.

Supporters would have to collect the signatures of 997,139 registered voters to qualify the initiative for the ballot.

The tribes are likely to object to any efforts that would permit mobile wagering.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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