Changes to the California Sports Betting Bill Weren’t Good Enough for Angry Tribes

Over the past month or so, one of the major pieces of California sports betting news has been the arrival of a new sports betting bill. Despite things looking unlikely for 2024, officials in the state put together a new attempt in hopes of trying to get things on the November ballot for next fall. However, a lot of people didn’t like what they saw and the changes to the California sports betting bill weren’t good enough for angry tribes to hop on board.

As soon as the bill was first introduced, plenty of Indian tribes came out against it, upset with politicians for not reaching out for any advice. Since then, there’s been a lot of division on the matter and things are totally up in the air as to whether or not things will be able to move forward or not. If the tribes don’t end up being satisfied with this project as a whole, then it feels like a long shot that things will even reach the next stage.

“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 statement from James Siva shows you just how upset tribes were. However, despite several amendments being made to the California sports betting bill, there are still a lot of angry tribe members out there. It doesn’t seem like anything is going to change their minds soon. Because of this, it feels like this rushed attempt by California officials to get sports betting in action is going to fall by the wayside.

Even California citizens don’t like how this sports betting bill is being produced

With things feeling a bit shady as a whole, even California citizens don’t like how this sports betting bill is being produced. If you remember, in November of 2022, there were two different sports betting bills on the ballot for people to vote on. However, these two initiatives pinned the major sportsbooks and Indian tribes against one another. With so much fighting going on behind the scenes, it turned people off to the two bills.

Because of that, both bills failed and sports betting for the state went back to square one. Now, no one knows when things will arrive, but this new try for 2024 has come in from out of nowhere. Yes, there’s a strong need for sports betting in the state, but people were ready for California to take its time with a new shot and not try to get things done in a quick manner. Right now, there are still too many unanswered questions for the sports betting attempt.

One thing regulators and authorities are keeping in mind is that illegal activity has been at an all-time high in the past year. Right now, NFL betting is a massive problem, as the San Francisco 49ers are looking like the best team in the league. On Sunday, the 49ers posted a memorable win over the Seattle Seahawks and now they have the best Super Bowl betting odds out there. This team is the real deal, no doubt about that.

For the rest of the season, Brock Purdy, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey and others are going to look to keep the good vibes going. The more games SF wins, the more people are going to want to bet on them leading up to the playoffs – and during the postseason as well. However, any bets that come in for California will be illegal ones. With that said, California needs to take its time with a sports betting bill and get things right across the board.

California pro teams are in favor of legal betting

One thing that could help the state in the long haul is that California pro teams are in favor of legal betting. Teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB and more know how much legal betting would benefit their organizations from a revenue standpoint. In other states across the USA, we’ve seen teams unite with officials to try and get sports betting pushed forward. With teams and the state working hand-in-hand, it benefits all the parties.

This is what people all over California understand. While things don’t seem great from a sports betting push as of this writing, the hope is that things will be able to change in the next year or two. No one knows what will happen in 2024, but the assumption is that by the end of 2025, the right steps will be taken to get legal sports betting on the table and voted in by people in California. We’ll see what happens.

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.