The outlook for the approval of sports betting legislation in California by 2024 looks grim to many. Yet Friday witnessed the emergence of two proposals that attempt to reopen voter considerations in America’s most populous state.
The Attorney General of California, Rob Bonta witnessed a filing for The Sports Wagering Regulation and Tribal Gaming Protection Act by Ryan Waltz. The press and public should direct all inquiries to Reeve Collins, according to the notice. Collins used to stand as the co-founder and CEO of Pala Interactive, a digital gaming branch associated with a tribe of the same name in California. Details on the Pala Band of Mission Indians are absent from the extensive 40-page application.
Pala Interactive was purchased by Boyd Gaming in the preceding November, costing a substantial $170 million in cash transactions. Waltz’s connection to California tribal gaming is currently unknown, as is his identity. However, in the filing to the office of the Attorney General, Waltz assured he is a registered voter in the state.
Rumors arose earlier this month that Pala Chairman Robert Smith was in discussion with other tribal leaders in the state about revitalizing a sports betting ballot initiative for 2024. These rumors also suggested dissatisfaction and resistance among his peers. Voters decisively rejected sports betting proposals previously introduced by commercial and tribal gaming operators during the 2022 midterm election cycle.
Despite being the largest state in the US, counting 39.24 million residents at the end of 2021, California is still among the 15 states prohibiting sports betting. The chokehold tribal casinos hold on the state’s gambling industry and their monopoly-like status often stymie outside sportsbook firms and political agents.
The new filing by Waltz employs time-honored strategies, accentuating the economic contribution of tribal casinos to local and state economies and contending a billion-dollar unregulated black market that could significantly benefit California.
Still, the filing falls short of mentioning that tribal casino operators are exempt from state income taxes. It also disregards the tribal aspirations to oust the state’s card rooms, which would likely lead to financial ruin for some of the towns operating them and compromise essential services.
The question of whether any progress will ensue after this filing remains unanswered. Without the backing of the state’s most prominent tribal operators, the initiative is likely doomed. At the moment, the industry consensus is that only Georgia, among mid-sized or large states, has the potential to legalize sports betting in 2024.
In related news, the rise of online gambling platforms signals a shift in the overall gaming landscape. Users are learning to enjoy the convenience of playing their favorite casino games from the comfort of their own homes. If you’re curious to learn more about this new frontier, we’ve compiled a list of the finest online casinos currently available in Canada. These platforms not only offer a diverse range of games but are also committed to maintaining a safe and responsible gaming environment. With this information at your fingertips, you’re well-equipped to make the best choice about where to place your next bet.