Divided California Tribes Clash over Sports Betting Plan

California is one of several states pushing to legalize sports betting, following the lead of 37 other US states and the District of Columbia. Eagle1 Acquisition Corp is spearheading an effort to legalize sports betting in California, with plans to gather enough signatures to put the issue on the November ballot.

The company faces a significant challenge, as they need to collect 874,641 valid signatures by April 23, 2024, in order to add the sports betting initiative to the ballot. Kasey Thompson, a spokesperson for Eagle1, expressed confidence in their ability to collect the necessary signatures, but also emphasized the need for support from other operators and industry stakeholders, including the state’s tribes.

However, the initiative has faced opposition from the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA), which represents 28 tribes in the state. The CNIGA sent a letter to Eagle1 urging them to withdraw their support for the sports betting initiative, citing the opposition of the tribes they represent.

Despite this backlash, Thompson noted that there are tribes that support the proposal, and he believes that others may come on board in the future. He also highlighted the potential financial benefits of the proposal, estimating that each of the 110 tribes in California could benefit from more than $50 million in the first five years if sports betting and other gambling activities are legalized.

However, before any of this can become a reality, Eagle1 must first gather the necessary signatures and then seek the support of California voters. The company is optimistic about their chances, but the road to legalizing sports betting in California is sure to be a challenging one.