January 23, 2024 3 min read


Betting Initiative in California Withdrawn amid Tribal Backlash

Kasey Thompson, a supporter of the initiative, confirmed its withdrawal due to tribal opposition and insufficient support

Several efforts toward the legalization of sports betting in California have failed over the last few years. Yet, supporters of legal sports wagering kept the heat up by pushing for an initiative that would appear on the 2024 Ballot. One such effort was led by Eagle1 Acquisitions Corp. LLC, a company co-founded by Reeve Collins and Kasey Thompson.

Previously, Thompson confirmed his plans to collect the required signatures to put the sports betting initiative on the ballot in November. This required some 874,641 valid signatures and Thompson hinted he has a company that is ready to print some 1.2 million petitions to be signed by Californians. Despite the efforts, he said that even if his company starts the process, support would be needed by the state’s tribes to finish it.

Now, as announced by PlayUSA, Thompson confirmed his intention to forego the initiative amid backlash from tribes and insufficient support. He explained that the main goal for his initiative that proposes betting legalization was to benefit the tribes. Instead, Thompson said, the sports betting proposal is dividing the tribes.

This initiative was supposed to be for the tribes but is only causing division. That was never my intent. I see now the needed unity is not coming, and so I’m standing good to my word and not moving forward,

Kasey Thompson, a spokesperson and co-founder of Eagle1 Acquisitions Corp. LLC

Initiative Fails Due to Insufficient Support

Four tribes have previously shown support for Thompson’s initiative. Recently, he explained that more tribes are likely to follow and join in support of the push, outlining that many are “extremely upset that they’ve been lied to and misled by CNIGA.”

Despite his previous expectations, Thompson now said that there was insufficient support from the tribes across California. He explained that the company tried everything it could but faced significant opposition from the state’s three big tribes. This, according to Thompson, prevented the initiative from gaining further traction.

Although Thompson confirmed that he has a company ready to print out 1.2 million petitions, this process was never initiated. According to his most recent statement, the company was ready to print out the petitions, but he did not initiate this process due to the mounting opposition from the state’s tribes.

This latest decision makes the future of legal sports betting in California uncertain. Even if another company attempts to go the same path, there’s limited time for discussion with the state’s tribes and the collection of signatures. Another possible path toward legal betting is through a push from lawmakers.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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