Last week, a bill was filed in Congress that seeks to allow the tribal operator to expand to sports betting. HR 5502 was submitted by Rep Brindisi, Rep John Katko and Rep Brian Higgins and Rep Paul Gosar.
The bill is seeking to remove federal restrictions against sports betting on tribal lands. However, states like Indiana and North Carolina have already made a compact to allow legal sports betting in tribal territory. California tribes also are pushing for a referendum that will enable them to operate sports betting in their casinos.
According to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), tribal casinos operating class III gaming can be allowed to operate a sportsbook. However, this does not mean that IGRA supports tribal casinos in establishing online gaming, even in their native lands. According to Daniel Wallach, a sports betting attorney, the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) assumes that no tribe is operating online sports betting.
The tribal gaming industry is a big venture generating billions every year. In the last three years, the tribal casinos have posted an average gross gaming revenue of $33.7 billion. Although tribal executive considers the revenue generated from retail sportsbook to be insignificant, they believe that brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will help lure young players in their venues.
According to Casino.org, allowing tribal casinos to include online sports betting in their establishment will enable them to tap revenue streams which commercial casinos are getting in New Jersey, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Nevada.