The bill to legalize online sports betting in California is said to be qualifying for the general election in November. It will be added as a ballot measure on Thursday, June 30 by Secretary of State Shirley Weber. Operators namely FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM were the backers of the online sports betting bill.
Arguments ensued when the discussion on who controls the business erupted whether it be tribes gaming or commercial operators. Support for the legalization is heard from every corner, especially from Native American tribes.
Two Native tribes announced their support of the Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act. The Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians and the Big Valley Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians will support the legalization of sports betting in regard to the Act.
“We’re supporting the Solutions Act because it gives us an opportunity to protect our sovereignty and also create opportunities for economic wealth for the next seven generations for our tribe,” Jose “Moke” Simon, Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians chair, told The San Fransisco Chronicle.
85 percent of the sports betting revenue will be allocated to help the homeless through housing and mental health aid. Native tribes will also receive the revenue in partnership with gaming operators since the tribes are the group that will actually run the operation.
“It also helps the state of California deal with some of the biggest problems that it has here, that is affecting every community, which is homelessness and mental health issues,” said Simon.
The tribes said the Tribal Sports Wagering Act is also qualified for the vote in November. The Act is backed by a third of 109 Native tribes in California. The Act said in-person gambling must only be available in tribal casinos and horse race tracks.
Tribal Act spoke person Kathy Fairbanks said the Act has promotes better responsible gambling.
“It’s allows sports betting to patrons over 21 and older. You have to be there in person, show your ID, people can look you in the eye and make sure that you match the ID in front of you,” Fairbanks said.
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