Last Updated Feb 04, 2022, 13:20 PM

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR SIGNS TRIBAL COMPACTS

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California may still be a long way from legalizing any form of sports betting. Attempts to introduce legislation have been met with various road blocks almost every step of the way.

Yet, hope is on the horizon. A planned voter referendum in 2022 could change everything with a favorable result.

That is why there is some encouraging news in this state when it comes to gaming in general. California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed off on six new tribal gaming compacts.

It was mentioned that each new compact “reflects the Governor’s and the tribes’ mutual commitment to a strong and respectful government-to-government relationship.”

There were no major changes to any of the compacts from a true gaming standpoint. Many of the changes are designed for “promoting tribal economic development, tribal self-sufficiency and a strong tribal government.”

However, a strong relationship between the Gov. Newsom and the in-state gaming tribes is essential. These new compacts could lay the groundwork for the future expansion of gaming options in the state.

At the top of the list would be legal sports betting. California has the potential to become one of the biggest markets in the legal US sports betting industry. Texas has also been noted as a major potential player that is not in the game.

New York and Florida continue to work through the regulatory process to launch legal online sports betting within their borders. These four markets combined offer tremendous upside. This particularly pertains to the rapidly expanding legal US mobile sports betting industry.

It is important to note that Florida along with Arizona needed the full support of tribal authorities to move forward with their legalization efforts.

Florida’s new compact with the Seminole Tribe has paved the way for legal sports betting. There are still a few obstacles to clear. However, the Seminole Tribe will continue to hold a monopoly within the state’s gaming industry.

Arizona will offer legal sports betting through its tribal gaming network. In that state, professional sports teams and venues will also be part of the mix.

As part of an official statement on the new California compacts, the following comments were released:

“The compacts reflect a commitment by the tribes to revenue sharing with non-gaming and limited gaming tribes through the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund and the Tribal Nation Grant Fund, so that the economic benefits of gaming extend to all tribal governments of California.”

Increased cooperation between in-state tribes is another important step moving forward. A strong tribal system of gaming throughout California could set the stage for a smoother expansion into legal sports betting.

Written by Dave Schwab, our US Sports Betting Industry expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise here.

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