November 17, 2023 3 min read


CNIGA Formally Objects Sports Wagering Initiatives

Two sports betting proposals in California face official rejection from the California Nations Indian Gaming Association

In California, Tribal operators hold exclusive rights over different gaming activities. In order for the state to legalize sports betting, the Tribes need to be consulted and any proposal needs to be greenlighted by them as well.

Back in October, Kasey Thompson and Reeve Collins introduced a proposal that sought to open the largest sports betting market in the United States, the one in California. Introduced on October 27, 2023, the Sports Wagering Regulation and Tribal Gaming Protection Act’s main purpose is “to regulate online and in-person sports wagering in California,” while at the same time, generating funding for Tribal communities and governmental services.

A few weeks after the Sports Wagering Regulation and Tribal Gaming Protection Act was proposed, it is now facing formal opposition from the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA). On Thursday this week, the Association revealed that 52 of its members voted against two sports betting proposals that were recently filed with the California Sectary of State’s office.

CNIGA explained that the voting comes after a meeting between its Executive Committee and supporters of the proposals. Known as the association of tribal groups in California, CNIGA was founded back in 1988. It currently represents the Tribal sector on industry matters and advocates for gaming rights on Indian lands.

Today the 52 members of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association voted to oppose two sports wagering initiatives that were recently filed with the California Secretary of State’s office. The vote follows a meeting between the initiative proponents and the CNIGA Executive Committee,

reads a statement released by CNIGA

The Association’s Opposition Is Irrevocable

James Siva, CNIGA’s chairman, criticized the two sports wagering proposals saying: “The entire effort surrounding these initiatives was handled abhorrently by the initiative sponsors.” He revealed that it was difficult for the Association’s members not to be offended when hearing how the supporters of the initiatives discussed their proposals.

This is another example of outside influences trying to divide and conquer Indian tribes. We will not let history repeat itself.

James Siva chairman of CNIGA

Siva highlighted that the Tribes in California have been involved in the gaming sector for more than 40 years. According to him, their involvement isn’t by coincidence or mistake but rather highlights the dedication of the Tribes to ensuring the well-being of their communities and members. “Tribal Leaders are the experts, and we will decide what is best for our people,” he added.

Our opposition could not be more clear and is irrevocable,

added Siva

CNIGA’s chairman urged the supporters of the proposals to drop the initiatives, reminding them of their promise to do so if they face opposition from the tribes. Finally, Siva reiterated that the Tribes officially oppose the sports wagering initiatives.


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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