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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Latest Sports News & Rumors: Tailored for You / California tribes oppose new sports betting proposal

California tribes oppose new sports betting proposal

Publish Date: 12/17/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA), together with 28 independent tribes, have strongly opposed the recent sports betting initiative proposed for the ballot. This coalition represents a significant part of California’s tribal nations.

CNIGA Chairman James Siva emphasized the united front of the tribes in a recent statement. He said that the opposition is “loud and clear.”

“Indian Country will stand firm in protecting our sovereign rights and integrity.” Siva said. “We call on the proponents to do the honorable thing and withdraw these flawed initiatives.”

In a letter addressed to Eagle 1 Corp. executives and the petition signer, the tribes have urged for an immediate withdrawal of the initiatives. Eagle 1, set to begin collecting signatures for the initiative in January, had previously assured tribes that they would not proceed without their full support. However, this stance seemed to change, with subsequent statements suggesting a pursuit of majority support among tribes instead.

The letter from the tribes underscored their firm resistance. It conveyed their message that over half of California’s tribal nations are against these contentious proposals. They emphasized the expectation for the recipients to maintain their commitment and promptly withdraw these proposals.

CNIGA unanimously rejects betting proposal

CNIGA recently voted unanimously to oppose the final language of the main initiative, even after proponents amended it to address concerns of large tribes and allocate the entire 25 percent tax on online sports betting to limited- and non-gaming tribes. Despite these amendments, CNIGA’s stance remains firm, with no tribe voicing support or abstention in a subsequent voice vote.

Siva also denounced the initiatives as deceitful and harmful to tribal governments and voters in California. He claimed they aim to divide tribes and legitimize illegal offshore operators.

The tribes also oppose a proposal to legalize offshore online sports betting assets. They saw it as an exploitative scheme.

Tribes like San Manuel, Pechanga and Graton Rancheria, which collectively spent over $220 million against Prop 27, are part of this united front.

“Nearly 99% of the funding against Prop 27 is represented in that letter,” said Pechanga executive Jacob Mejia. “These initiatives will result in another defeat and will delay legalization of sports wagering by years.”

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