Before the proposition to enable online sports betting in California formally passes for the November ballot, California tribes have begun an ad campaign opposing it. The legislation would permit in-person sports betting at tribal casinos and racetracks, as well as online sports betting for businesses like DraftKings and FanDuel.
The ad campaign by California tribes is in reaction to a proposal supported by seven big prospective operators, which include the two aforementioned online betting companies in addition to BetMGM and others, that if approved by voters in November would authorize mobile and online sports betting.
“When voters granted our sovereign nations exclusive gaming rights, it advanced self-sufficiency and created thousands of good jobs,” said California Tribal Leader Jesus Tarango in the ad.
With the arrival of major online betting brands, those things may be hindered. Tribal Leader Glenda Nelson complemented Tarango’s statement, saying “But now, out-of-state corporations are coming to California.”
While those betting companies have devoted $100 million to advertise online sports betting, tribes have allocated roughly $66 million to oppose it, according to Politico.
California tribes oppose online sports betting companies
As per the ad, the proposed proposal is projected to make “any smartphone, laptop, tablet, and even video game console into a gambling device, offering up internet gambling to everyone, anywhere, at any time.”
Then, there would be increased “addiction, economic damage, and homelessness,” as “millions” of young people would be exposed to online gambling.
For the tribes, allowing those companies into California’s betting industry would jeopardize their economic independence, robbing them of much-needed revenue that would also aid surrounding communities.
Kenneth Khan, chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians described the plan as “a direct attack against tribal self-sufficiency and tribal sovereignty.”
In response to this, a counter-measure filed by California tribes has already registered for the ballot. It would enable live sports betting at their casinos and racetracks.
According to Kahn, their measure safeguards against underage gambling. “We have 20 years of history of responsible gaming,” said Khan. He also tried to ensure that it is “highly regulated.”
“When you have to go into a brick-and-mortar facility and place a bet, you go through multiple screenings of age verification. At our casino, you have to be 21 to enter the front door.”
Online betting brands arrival may support local economy
On the other hand, those in support of online sports betting claim that the proposal would bring hundreds of millions of dollars every year, which would address key concerns in California.
“We’ll use it to solve our state’s toughest challenge,” said Nathan Click, spokesman for the Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act. to allow online sports betting in California. “
Among the said ‘tough’ issues include “homelessness – and funding mental health treatment and addiction services that help get folks off the streets,” said Click.
“As we’re looking at this bare market right now, we’re inevitably going to see budget shortfalls,” he added. “This would be additional revenue that doesn’t’ come from folks’ taxes.”
Moreover, Click ensures that the initiative’s protective measures would take place. “In order to sign onto one of these services, you have to prove your identity and prove that you’re over the age of 21,” said Click, explaining the primary requirement to use the online betting brands’ services.
According to Click, users must grant access to their bank accounts to be able to verify their identities. In addition, companies will run a background check as well.