November 2, 2023 3 min read


Uncertain Backing and Mysterious Origins: California’s Quest for Legal Sports Betting

Two mysterious men submitted proposals for new sports betting legislation in the Golden State but faced significant backlash from tribes

While California’s appetite for the lucrative sports betting industry remains substantial, the path forward is unclear. A pair of proposed measures for the November 2024 ballot seeks to allow on-site and online sports betting in the Golden State through recognized Indian tribes. However, these propositions are raising questions due to the notable absence of support from California’s gaming tribes.

The Proposals Faced Significant Backlash from Tribes

October saw two new sports betting proposals emerge in California, aiming to reintroduce the contentious issue to voters. However, further investigation revealed Reeve Collins and Ryan Tyler Walz, the proponents of the two new bills, were unknown in the sports betting regulatory world. Some evidence linked them to Nevada casino giant Boyd Gaming and gambling site Pala Interactive, but both organizations denied involvement.

Neither Collins nor Walz have made a public appearance so far. Despite the proposals heavily favoring tribal operators, the California Nations Indian Gaming Association confirmed they had not been consulted regarding this matter. The group expressed disappointment that the sponsors didn’t seek consultation or input from California’s largest tribal gaming organization.

While the sponsors of these initiatives may believe they know what is best for tribes, we encourage them to engage with Indian Country and ask, rather than dictate. 

Indian Gaming Association statement

The two new sports betting initiatives will be hard-pressed to qualify for the November 2024 election. Usually, petitioners have 180 days to win public approval, but the late submissions mean Collins and Walz must collect the 874,641 valid signatures required to get on the ballot in just four months. Meanwhile, California voters are not inclined to support unknown entities.

Regulated Wagering Will Offer Unparalleled Opportunities

While the two proponents’ identities remain mysterious, their motivations are relatively straightforward. The popularity of sports betting is on the rise nationwide, and California is keen to capitalize on this trend. By legalizing sports betting, the state can tap into a new source of revenue while providing its sports-loving residents with the thrill of betting on their favorite games. 

With the potential for vast revenues, investing in an expensive initiative effort remains an alluring prospect. Despite little hope for success, the gaming industry contributed over $360 million to competing propositions in 2022. The two mysterious propositions could be part of a similar effort as interested parties are keen to advance their interests and gain an advantage over the competition.

While it seems crazy to try again to unlock the market after such a resounding defeat, the upside is just so significant that maybe people can’t help themselves.

Geoff Zochodne, sports betting analyst

While the path to legalizing sports betting in California remains unclear, the demand and potential remain substantial. Even if the two current initiatives fail, experts agree that sports betting will come to the Golden State sooner rather than later. The story continues to unfold, leaving industry insiders and gaming enthusiasts eager to witness the future of sports wagering in

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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