Indian tribes in California are trying to get a sports betting referendum on the 2022 ballot. The tribes have been collecting signatures from registered voters, but they fell short of the required number that was needed.
Judge James P. Arguelles granted the extension earlier this week, and the new date is now set for Oct. 12. The previous deadline was set for July 20, and the tribes would not have been able to get the signatures by then.
The coronavirus pandemic stopped the tribes from collecting signatures, and it’s still unclear if the tribes will be allowed to get the signatures needed before the new date. California law requires close to one million signatures, and the tribes a few thousand signatures short as of Sunday.
Tribes in California have been opposed to any forms of sports betting legislation because they don’t want to lose out on any revenue from their casinos. The tribes are willing to offer sports betting in their casinos, but they want complete control over the industry.
Initially, tribes were hoping to get an initiative on the 2020 ballot, but that deadline passed on June 25. The tribes will continue working towards getting something in place, but they will now be forced to wait an additional two years.
Extension Gives Sports Betting New Life in California
Lawmakers in the state of California were also trying to get a sports betting bill passed, and it appeared that it was headed in the right direction. A bill was set to be voted on by a Senate Committee, but the bill was pulled off the table just days before the vote.
That bill would have given sports betting licenses to the tribal casinos, but it also called for mobile and online sports betting. The bill was amended several times to try and please the Native American tribes, but the bill still faced plenty of opposition.
Residents of California were hopeful that sports betting would have been legalized in 2020, but this new extension at least keeps the issue open for a few years. The voters will make the ultimate decision, and there will be an intense battle that takes place over the next few years.
Cardrooms in California are hopeful that they would be allowed to offer sports betting, but that won’t happen if the tribal nations get their initiative passed. The bill that was proposed in the legislature also left cardrooms out of the discussion.
California could become a huge leader in the sports betting industry if and when it becomes legal. There are several professional teams located in the state, and these teams would help drive sports betting.
The Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers are both NBA title favorites, and they are set to battle it out in the Western Conference Playoffs. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the betting favorites to win the World Series, and they have been extremely successful over the past few seasons.