Published: October 28, 2023

California Sports Betting 2.0? Mystery Ballot Initiative Proposals Filed

Requests for two proposed California sports betting ballot initiatives were filed Friday to the Attorney General’s office, seemingly without the blessing of state tribes.
The initiatives would give tribes exclusivity in offering online and in-person California sports betting, as well as certain casino games. Ryan Tyler Walz and Reeve Collins are listed as proponents.
However, the proposals already face staunch opposition from major California tribes.
Short window to qualify for ballot
The CA sports betting ballot initiatives are on a time crunch to qualify for the Nov. 5, 2024 election. Petitioners will not have the usual 180 days to gather signatures. 
Rather, they will have approximately four months to collect the 874,641 valid signatures required to get on the ballot. And it appears California voters are not eager for online sports betting either.
In 2022, Proposition 27, a measure backed by DraftKings and FanDuel to legalize online sports betting for commercial entities, received just 16% of the vote. It would have legalized online sports betting, but was pitched to voters as a means for addressing homelessness.
"The California Nations Indian Gaming Association is deeply disappointed that the sponsors of the two recently filed initiatives did not first reach out to the State’s largest tribal gaming association for consultation and input. Instead, CNIGA and our member tribes were alerted to their existence when they were filed with the Attorney General today.
"Decisions driving the future of tribal governments should be made by tribal governments. 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.”
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