Tribes in California Manage to Get Extension on Sports Betting Ballot

Californian tribes experienced a small victory on their path to legalizing sports betting as they received an extension for getting this issue on the voting ballot in 2022.

The state’s Superior Court ruled in favor of the California tribal leaders, which granted them with a 90 day extension so they can continue to gather enough signatures that would push the sports betting proposal to appear on the 2022 ballot.

Still a Long Road Ahead

And while the ruling from the Superior Court was certainly a huge win for the tribal leaders, their job is nowhere near done, as they now have just 90 days to gather enough signatures that would ensure a referendum on the 2022 ballot.

The state dictates that at least 1,096,853 signatures must be gathered for the referendum to even receive consideration. The tribal leaders aren’t too far off the mark, sitting at 971,373 signatures as of last week.

Tribal leaders have been very vocal in that they believe the lockdowns are what stalled their efforts to gather enough signatures, hindering their chances of reaching the goal in time for the original due date.

They took their request for extra time to the courts, where they asked for a 180 day extension. While they didn’t get their full request, 90 days will certainly give them more of the precious time needed.

What the tribal leaders don’t want is a spot on the 2020 November ballot, as this would leave things to the residents of the state to decide on in-person betting at the 70 tribal casinos within California.

With the plan that the tribal leaders have presented, some of the more notable features include the prohibition of private racetrack and card rooms from being allowed to take sports wagers. Additionally, it would put up a wall that would block mobile and online platforms from making a play in the state.

Senator Removes Bill

This week would have originally seen Senate bill SCA 6 proposal to make the 2020 ballot, as brought forth by Senator Bill Dodd, but because of the position of the tribal leaders and the recent “setbacks”, Dodd withdrew his bill this week.

Senator Dodd was well aware of the opposition from the tribal leaders and decided it was best not to move forward with his bill despite the state needing revenue to help offset their budget crisis.

Why the Push for Legalized Sports Betting

Many in California are working hard to move legalized sports betting through the legislature right now citing that there is so much financial incentive to do so.

In fact, some analysts believe that the industry could bring in upwards of $1.5 billion in generated revenue, which would equate to $200 million in state taxes. It’s a sizeable amount of money for any state, let alone one that is desperate for extra cash flow at the moment.

Unfortunately for sports betting proponents, no matter how much financial incentive there is to get this industry legalized quickly, Californians are looking at 2023 at the earliest for being able to place legal sports wagers.

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site.

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