California Tribes Garner Extension on Sports Betting 2022 Ballot Proposal

Chumash Casino Resort in Greater Santa Barbara, California

In June, Senator Bill Dodd shelved his California sports betting bill due to Tribal opposition to language permitting cardrooms to operate games like blackjack and pandemic setbacks. While sports betting was pulled from 2020 discussions, legislators and Tribes are now eyeing the 2022 ballot — and a significant victory came for a coalition of Tribes on July 2nd. 

READ MORE: Tribes Object Cardroom Language in Bills That Could Open Door to Sports Betting in Calif. 

On Thursday, California Superior Court Judge James Arguelles ruled to grant a 90-day extension to Tribes in obtaining the required 1.1 million signatures necessary to get their sports betting amendment on the state’s 2022 ballot. COVID-19 lockdown intervened with the Tribes’ collection of signatures in March, so Tribes requested an additional 180-day window. The recent determination means Tribes don’t have to start from scratch for their 2022 referendum proposal.  

California, the nation’s most populous state, possesses huge financial incentive to greenlight legal sports betting. The state stands to see more than $1.5 billion in revenue and some $200 million in state taxes, according to Odds.com CEO, Bill Colleoni.

Unlike Dodd’s proposal, the Tribes’ plan would restrict sports betting to Tribal casinos, while barring online and mobile platforms, and preventing card rooms and private racetracks from accepting wagers on sports. 

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