California Tribes Spoke Out Against the New Sports Betting Effort

Just when you thought that some positive news would come in for the California sports betting push, the opposite has been the case. Earlier this month, countless headlines were created when it was announced that a new sports betting bill would be put in place to try and get on the 2024 ballot. By next November, lawmakers were hopeful that citizens would be able to vote on things. However, things aren’t looking good after the California tribes spoke out against the new sports betting effort.

According to a report from multiple publications, the California Nations Indian Gaming Association voted to fully oppose the new sports betting initiative. From the moment the new bill was drawn up, countless members from the local tribes were furious, as the state didn’t reach out to them for any kind of advice or consent. It felt like the state blindsided the tribes, which has certainly caused a lot of division here.

“It is hard not to be offended when listening to these individuals speak,” CNIGA Chairman James Siva said in a statement. “This is another example of outside influences trying to divide and conquer Indian tribes. We will not let history repeat itself. … Now that the sponsors have heard directly from tribes that their efforts are not supported, we call on them to drop the initiatives as they have pledged to do if tribes were to oppose them. Our opposition could not be more clear and is irrevocable.”

That’s a powerful quote from Siva and it lets everyone know that he and others won’t budge with their stance. Just like other states, the tribes in California want to have a big-time voice on how legal sports betting is operated in California. They tried to get their own bill approved last year, but they went head-to-head with the major sportsbooks and both bills were voted down on the ballot. With this latest update, the future of California sports betting remains quite unclear.

Sports fans want California to wait until 2025 for the next push

In a surprising turn of events, sports fans want California to wait until 2025 for the next push. Why another delay for legal sports betting in the state? The fact of the matter is that the current initiative feels like it’s being rushed at the last minute and it’s causing a lot of friction. The tribes are not happy and that’s not going to change in the near future. Just a few weeks ago too, there were no plans to try and have sports betting in the ’24 ballot.

However, in stunning fashion, this new bill has been thrown together and now people are trying to race to get things progressing to the next stage. Is this really going to be the best way to have sports betting as an option for everyone? Last November, there were two different sports betting bills on the ballot: one from the tribes and one from the sportsbooks. From the start, there was fighting and nasty callouts going on.

This turned the majority of the voters off, causing both bills to fail. Can you imagine if this new bill makes its way to the ballot? The tribes will surely do everything in their power to convince the voters that this is a bad idea and their best interests aren’t being taken into account. This will cause for more nasty ads to be put on television, the radio, the internet and more. This feels like a lose-lose for so many people.

Because of what’s happening behind the scenes, local sports betting proponents are actually taking to social media to try and have things pushed back one more year. While having to wait until 2025 feels like it would be a step back for the sports betting future, the fact of the matter is that things indeed are being rushed with this new bill and it’s causing a lot of headaches for folks, which is a big problem.

Illegal football betting won’t stop in California

With things being unclear for the future, it’s easy to see why illegal football betting won’t stop in California. This year, we are seeing some earth-shattering numbers being put in and authorities are having a tough time trying to stop it all. With NFL betting, people in California are focused on the San Francisco 49ers, as they hold strong Super Bowl betting odds to win it all this year. Will Kyle Shanahan’s men get the job done?

Not only that, but NCAAF betting is also quite popular as well, with fans using either illegal bookies or off-shore accounts to put money down on their favorite teams. USC quarterback Caleb Williams is arguably the best quarterback in the country and a lot of futures bets are being placed on him to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Leading up to next April, a lot more money will be going down for the youngster to hear his name called first. He’s a generational talent, no doubt about that.

Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis Jr. comes from Mississippi where he and his family spend their days discussing college football, baseball and basketball. He's written sports journalism for years after studying journalism at a local university. Over time, Peter has cultivated extensive knowledge covering sports betting legislation across the country. He closely tracks the latest regulatory developments and provides key insights into their impacts. Peter also offers sharp MLB betting analysis, leveraging stats and trends to identify value on matchups.