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Jerome García December 6, 2023 4 min read
Tribes Skeptic of Proposed California’s Revised 2024 Ballot Betting Push
The Golden State has failed several ballot measures, with the idea of betting on sports eliciting very poor interest from voters
Regardless, Eagle1 Acquisitions Corp. LLC, led by Pala Interactive co-founders Kasey Thompson and Reeve Collins, feels that the group has a chance to see the matter through. There are numerous challenges that the backers of the measure would have to overcome though.
Past Failures No Reason to Despair in California Sports Betting Push
For starters, voters are a little lackluster when it comes to sports gambling in the state. People have grown weary of hearing about the near-constant bickering between private interests and tribal leaders.
To add insult to injury, Eagle1 Acquisitions Corp. LLC also thinks the company can go around the Californian tribal leaders, and that it doesn’t need their support. This is a matter of perspective, though, as the group believes most tribes are already happy with the revised measure.
Divisive as the topic has been in the state, voter lethargy about the issue seems to be the biggest problem that any organization trying to support a sports betting ballot measure faces.
Yet, Eagle1 is all systems go, and the group has said that it has made changes to its proposal so that it factors in feedback from industry stakeholders and regulators, and even the Californian tribes themselves. Yet just because Eagle1 has heeded some of the Tribal leaders’ words, it doesn’t automatically make the proposal something that tribal gaming establishments would love to back.
These two camps are once again at loggerheads, oblivious of the fact that the November 2022 ballot saw two proposals, one by commercial parties and one by the tribes, defeated despite the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on advertising.
Tribes have learned their lesson, though, with some tribes cautioning that Eagle1’s actions were what he called foolish, although in not so many words. Opposing tribal members and leaders simply stated any efforts to make this happen right now would simply fail.
Tribal Leaders Consider Latest Betting Legalization Attempt Futile
Some tribal leaders and members have criticized Eagle1 and their attempts which he considered to be missing the point and even shifting the narrative to cast themselves in a better light. The attitude by Eagle 1 has been described as disrespectful by some Native Americans.
However, Eagle1 is not giving up the bone so easily, whether it is because you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, or simply because the group knows something that the tribal gaming leaders do not. Yet, to succeed, the ballot would need 900,000 signatures to just make it on the ballot, an unlikely outcome.
Eagle1 believes that its measure can bring a lot of good to the state, though, as it would seek to once and for all eliminate the black market, offering online and in-person options. The potential for the market sits at some $60 billion in total wagers, driving revenue of up to $3 billion annually, Eagle 1 estimates.
Most Tribal-Focused Betting Measure Ever
Thompson also disagrees with the outstanding opposition, as he believes 70% of the tribes are currently supporting the measure, and that it’s the most tribal-focused option on the table. Collins joined his colleague in arguing that previous language that would have been unfair to the tribes had already been excised from the text.
In an attempt to placate outstanding opposition, Eagle1 reminded that the tribes would not have to cough up to push the proposal’s marketing efforts and that the tribes stand to benefit hugely if the measure is passed onto the ballot and from there – into law.
With a year to go and hundreds of thousands of signatures needed, it is the latest attempt to see California get a proper sports gambling industry set up. We have touched on some of the technicalities of the new proposal in our previous coverage as well.