San Manuel, Others Offer Formal Opposition To Betting Proposals

Three powerful California tribes Monday submitted a letter to the California attorney general’s office strongly opposing the latest sports betting initiative proposals filed by a group of businessmen. The Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and Wilton Rancheria wrote that the current proposals are rip-offs of a 2021 tribal proposal, but with two “problematic provisions” that “dramatically impact the effect, purpose, and fiscal impact” of the proposals.

Reeve Collins, Kasey Thompson, and Ryan Taylor Walz submitted the proposals in late October, and the public-comment period closed Monday. If approved by voters, the proposals would bring California mobile wagering and the tribes in the state would maintain their monopoly.

Since the proposals were filed, the tribes have pushed back, saying they don’t need others to tell them how to run their already successful businesses, and that they have a plan to legalize sports betting in America’s biggest state.

That plan does not include – and has not ever included – partnering with commercial operators or interests. It could include working with commercial interests, but as management services providers rather than as operators. In fact, the tribes are so opposed to bringing digital betting to the state through an initiative not of their own making that California Indian Country spent nearly $250 million to kill a proposal on the 2022 ballot brought by seven commercial operators.

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