The Coalition of Californian tribe wants to put sports betting legislation on a referendum. Still, to do so, they must collect 997,139 signatures from voters. That isn’t a problem given millions of people pass through their doors every year.

According to, the Californian Tribes had previously opposed the legalization of sports betting in the State. On Wednesday, LA Times reported that a group of 18 tribal operators had filed a petition with the attorney general’s office seeking an endorsement that will kick start signature-gathering campaign to put sports betting on a referendum.

In a statement, Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro said that Californians should have an opportunity to participate in sports betting in regulated and safe gaming locations. He also acclaimed the tribes for coming together in efforts to provide Californians with the new sports activity in a responsible manner.

Warring Stakeholders

While this is about sports betting, this is also about the warring political climate in the gaming sector. It would be timely if the coalition proposal came after Sen. Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray have introduced the sports betting bill in California.

The bill is also set to allow voters to determine the fate of sports betting in the state, which would include both cardrooms and tribal casinos. However, the tribes are against any bill that will offer any form of commercial gaming that will infringe their regional exclusivity, which is encompassed in their agreement with the state.

California Nations Indian Gaming Association initially opposed the sports betting mostly because of what they show as inaction by the state against the cardrooms. The clubs were said to be offering house-banked games which the tribes believe to be close to class three casino games.

Tribal Control

The tribes are now hoping that they will block the legislative bill and have their proposal, which excludes cardrooms in the ballot. Since the gambling bills are tax-related, they have to be passed in by at least two-thirds of the House, something which is difficult, especially when the tribe is against.

The Californian 63 tribes operate 73 casinos across the State and have employed tens of thousands of people. The tribal casinos also contribute millions to the states every year in tax revenue. So the tribe has a grip in the state, and so are the Cardrooms.

California Star Blighter

If California legalizes sports betting, it will become the largest gaming market in the US, generating billions every year. But legislative bill wants Cardrooms included in sports handle to maximize tax revenue.

The hostility between Tribes and Cardrooms has prompted the State to delay the legalization of regulated online poker. Sports betting might not have any difference with poker, but now, it has the backing of the Tribes.


Damaris is a seasoned writer and analyst of the gambling market with several years of experience writing for various blogs and websites worldwide. He has worked with several casino startups and is a supporter of credible casino projects worldwide.
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