California Sports Betting Update: Sportsbooks Ad Hits at ‘Wealthy’ Tribes – VIDEO
Posted on: August 1, 2022, 09:06h.
Last updated on: August 2, 2022, 02:34h.
There are less than 100 days now until California voters decide if they want to legalize sports betting. And on Monday, the group behind a proposed constitutional amendment to allowing online wagering released an ad online that punches back at tribal gaming interests that oppose the measure.
The 30-second spot is from “Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support.” It’s the latest in a multi-million-dollar electoral battle royale that’s likely to set records for money spent on a campaign initiative.
“Californians for Solutions” is the committee supported by $100 million from sports betting operators Barstool Sportsbook, Fanatics, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, Bally Bet, and WynnBET.
The group’s initiative, known as Proposition 27, would devote 85% of the tax revenue generated from online wagering to homelessness and mental health programs. But the spot released Monday (see below) focuses mostly on tribal economic development, where the other 15% would go.
The narrator in the ad states that Prop 27 is a “game changer” because it would help smaller tribes in the state, including those that aren’t engaged in gaming.
For years, California’s non-gaming Tribes have been left in the dust,” the narrator says. “Wealthy tribes with big casinos make billions while small tribes struggle in poverty.”
Under the proposed amendment, commercial sportsbooks would pay $100 million for a license. But they would have to establish a partnership with an in-state tribe. Tribes that wish to offer sports betting on their own could do so for a $10 million license. But they would be limited in how they could brand their app.
Tribes not involved in sports betting would be eligible to receive funding from the economic development fund established by the measure.
Sports Betting Ad War in California
Prop 27 is one of two sports betting initiatives appearing on the November 8 California ballot. The other is Proposition 26, a proposed amendment by tribal gaming interests to allow retail sports betting at Indian casinos and state-licensed horse racing tracks.
Most tribal gaming operators have come out for Prop 26 and against Prop 27. Less than two weeks ago, “Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming,” a tribal-backed anti-Prop 27 group, released an ad (below) criticizing “Californians for Solutions” for trying to mislead voters about the online wagering measure. “Californians for Tribal Sovereignty” said a “loophole” in the measure would mean tribes would not get as much money as promised.
Monday’s “Californians for Solutions” ad is seemingly a direct response to that ad.
“So who’s attacking Prop 27? Wealthy casino tribes who want all the money for themselves,” the narrator says.
Tribal Groups Decry New Spot
Just a couple of hours after “Californians for Solutions” released its ad, another tribal-backed group issued statements from California Indian gaming leaders who called the spot “shameful” and said the out-of-state sportsbooks want to undermine tribal gaming and autonomy.
The out-of-state corporations behind this ad should immediately pull it off the air and apologize to the tribal leaders,” said Lynn Valbuena, chairwoman of the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations, in a statement released by the “Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming.” “These profit-driven Wall Street corporations have stooped to a new low by minimizing the progress California tribal nations have made through tribal government gaming.”
California Nations Indian Gaming Association Chairman James Siva said more than 50 in-state tribal nations oppose Prop 27.
However, that’s not all tribes. Among those that have come out in support of Prop 27 are the Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians and the Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria.
Millions Raised By Groups So Far
According to the Los Angeles Times, the costliest ballot measure in California history was Proposition 22 in 2020. Companies like Uber and Lyft backed the initiative to establish regulations that make drivers for such gig-economy companies independent contractors instead of employees. Organizations for and against the measure spent nearly $224.3 million on that campaign.
Based on records from the California Secretary of State’s office, the four committees that have been established to support or oppose either sports betting measure have already raised more than $235 million.
Besides the $100 million from the seven sportsbooks backing “Californians for Solutions,” the two tribal-backed groups have raised more than $95 million. The “Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming” has raised $60.2 million.
The other group engaged in the campaign is “Taxpayers Against Special Interest Monopolies,” an organization funded by state-licensed cardroom casinos that opposes Prop 26. Those cardrooms have raised $40.6 million.
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Last Comments ( 2 )
Perhaps it is a big misunderstanding with the gaming tribes and the non-gaming tribes in California. Perhaps, tribal members of non- gaming tribes don’t even know that they receive revenue sharing or that they’re supposed to receive revenue sharing from the tribal council after their Tribal councils receive it from revenue sharing. I do not know. But whatever the case, these complaints need to be taken to their tribal councils not the voters of California. The less fortunate tribes have no idea how much money gaming tribes put into revenue sharing specific for the purpose of alleviating much of their financial stress. We are all Natives and we are all receptive to each others suffering.
What they don’t tell you is that California gaming tribes add into revenue sharing for the non-gaming tribes in California. This is called revenue sharing. This means that about five gaming tribes that I know of, puts into a pot for the less fortunate tribes in the area. These millions of dollars that go to the non gaming tribes depends on how big their tribe is. This ultimately,determines how much money they get. It equals tons of money for the less fortunate tribes but it is up to their tribal council how the money is disbursed to each tribal member or if it isn’t dispersed.Tribal council always has final say. It kind of irks me how the less fortunate tribes are always crying around like they don’t get anything from the gaming tribes. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fact is, they just want more free money..