California voters could soon weigh in, again, on the issue of legalized sports betting in the Golden State.
Documents filed with the Attorney General’s Office last week propose two ballot initiatives for 2024.
The Tribal Gaming Protection Act would allow California’s governor to negotiate agreements with tribes to allow both in-person and online sports wagering. The Sports Wagering Regulation and Tribal Gaming Protection Act would create the framework for it.
Both initiatives need to gather 875,000 signatures in 180 days to qualify for the November 2024 ballot.
If this all sounds familiar, that’s because California voters overwhelmingly rejected a pair of similar initiatives in 2022, even with hundreds of millions of dollars spent on advertising.
With both new initiatives including “tribal” in their titles, one could assume that California’s Native American tribes are involved. That, however, does not appear to be the case, and tribal representatives are expressing frustration.
“The sponsors of the two recently filed initiatives did not first reach out to the State’s largest tribal gaming association for consultation and input,” the California Nations Indian Gaming Association said in a statement. “Instead, CNIGA and our member tribes were alerted to their existence when they were filed with the Attorney General today.”
KTLA has reached out to the backers of both initiatives, Reeve Collins and Ryan Tyler Walz, for comment.
Collins’ email domain is eagle1corp-dot-com which is a “parked” website with no content. His LinkedIn bio states he once served as a co-founder and CEO of Pala Interactive. Boyd Interactive acquired Pala in 2022 but has no involvement in the initiatives, a spokesperson confirmed.
“Decisions driving the future of tribal governments should be made by tribal governments,” CNIGA said. “While the sponsors of these initiatives may believe they know what is best for tribes, we encourage them to engage with Indian Country and ask, rather than dictate.”
More than 30 other states allow sports betting, but gambling in California is currently limited to Native American casinos, horse tracks, card rooms and the state lottery.