February 22, 2024 3 min read


Assemblyman Advocates Tribal Leadership in California Sports Betting

The Assemblyman encouraged policymakers to view the matter not merely as the legalization of sports betting, but rather as an opportunity to ensure that any expansion of gaming aligns with the principles that have long guided tribal gaming

In a recent commentary, Assemblyman James Ramos emphasized the pivotal role of California’s Native American tribes in any potential expansion of sports betting within the state. 

Ramos Highlights Tribal Role in California Gaming Policy

Assemblyman James Ramos, a member of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, underscored the historic agreement between the state and tribes in 1999, which granted tribes exclusivity over casino gaming, confining such activities to tribal reservations.

Highlighting the significance of this agreement, Ramos stressed the need for a similar approach to be taken with sports wagering, emphasizing principles of responsibility, community benefit, and respect for past commitments, reported Cal Matters

Ramos urged policymakers not to perceive the issue solely as the legalization of sports betting but rather as a matter of aligning any gaming expansion with the values that have guided tribal gaming since its inception.

Ramos’s commentary comes amidst ongoing discussions surrounding the future of sports betting in California. Notably, tribes have played a decisive role in shaping the trajectory of such endeavors. In 2022, a coalition of influential tribes, including San Manuel, successfully defeated a ballot proposition supported by commercial sportsbook operators, thereby maintaining control over gaming activities within the state.

The assemblyman’s remarks serve as a reminder that any potential progression towards regulated sports wagering in California hinges on the consent and leadership of the tribes. Ramos emphasized the tribes’ steadfast commitment to protecting gaming revenues within California and maintaining responsible, community-oriented enterprise practices.

Ramos Foresees Challenges in California’s Sports Betting Journey

While Ramos refrained from making predictions regarding the timeline for potential sports betting approval, it is evident that the issue will not be on the ballot shortly. Recent polls have indicated limited public appetite for revisiting the topic, particularly following the setbacks of 2022.

Looking ahead, the 2026 midterm election remains a possibility for reconsidering sports betting legislation. However, factors such as a gubernatorial election could complicate the process, diverting attention and resources from gaming-related initiatives.

Furthermore, discussions surrounding the approval of mobile betting suggest a phased approach, with retail sportsbooks potentially preceding online platforms. This approach could necessitate travel to tribal casinos for sports betting enthusiasts, particularly those residing far from major population centers.

Notably, a sports betting initiative in California, spearheaded by Kasey Thompson of Eagle1 Acquisitions Corp. LLC, was withdrawn due to opposition from tribal groups and a lack of sufficient support. Thompson initially aimed to gather signatures for the initiative, but faced backlash from tribes, leading to its abandonment.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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