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Tribal-Owned Casinos in California Voice Their Anger about New Sports Betting Bill

There has been a lot of anger between tribal-owned casinos and legal card rooms in the Golden State. The two sides can not see eye to eye on new legislation regarding two sports betting bills. Each side accuses the other of underhanded tactics to get their way when it comes to sports betting.

Native American tribes in the state have been accused by their detractors of being greedy and having a monopoly on all types of gambling in the state. Last week, the two main advocates for sports betting submitted amendments to their original sports betting bills.

Senator Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray were getting everything in order for the Tuesday hearing. The two lawmakers have been extremely vocal about their battle to get legal sports betting passed into law in the state. The hearings will take place on Tuesday afternoon and is not expected to issue a decision for a few weeks.

The Two Lawmakers Have Accused Tribes of Being Greedy, Not Cooperative

Tribal representatives sent a sternly worded letter to the committee ahead of Tuesday’s vote. The tribal officials want it to be made clear that all of the tribes are unified in their opinion that the two bills are not in the tribes’ best interest.

The tribal leaders said on Tuesday that all of the tribal nations are supportive of each other, and feel that the bills are trying to edge them out of the business. The letter was addressed to both Dodd and Gray, and delivered on Monday June 1, 2020. The letter is from 15 different tribes in California and two tribal associations.

The tribes are unified in their distrust of government officials who are looking to get them out of the gaming industry. They didn’t mince words saying, “We will fight till the bitter end.” The letter says tribal officials are to give the lawmakers a preview of how the tribes will counter the efforts of the state to eliminate tribes from the gaming market share.

Tribal Officials Did Say Earlier They Were Willing to Compromise, Now Say They Won’t

Governor Gavin Newsom has indicated that he was in favor of sports betting passing. He has discussed the budget crisis in the state and how this bill would alleviate that. The state was planning on easing into reopening parts of the economy this last weekend. Due to the civil unrest brought on by the death of Minnesota man George Floyd, state-wide curfews are now in place.

The state is now set back further economically with no end in sight. Newsom said on Monday that the state is experiencing “a crisis of epidemic proportions.”

The sports betting bill SCA6 is of particular concern to tribal leaders. In their letter, they said, “We can not view your SCA6 any other way than yet another betrayal of the agreement between the State of California and Indian Tribes.”

The tribes are against legal card rooms in the state continuing to have designated player games. Dodd and Gray say despite the tribes’ objection, this time, the bills will go before California voters in November.

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