California Legislature leaders voice disapproval of Proposition 27

August 10, 2022

Four senior lawmakers cite tribal sovereignty as a key factor in their decision making.

Four prominent leaders in the California Legislature have rejected Proposition 27, a sports betting ballot in favor of the commercialization of betting. Prop 27 was supported by popular betting operators such as DraftKings and FanDuels, as it would grant them access to the lucrative market of Golden State bettors, the largest golden goose in the nation.

Assembly speaker Anthony Rendon commented, “Californians should vote No on 27 and support California tribes over out-of-state corporations.” Rendon was joined by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher and Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk in taking this stance, indicating that the antipathy toward the commercial operators is an issue with bipartisan support. 

If passed, Prop 27 would create a regulatory body within the California Department of Justice that would have the authority to regulate online sports betting.

This most recent rejection of the bill will be chalked up as a victory for Californian tribal operators who fiercely oppose Prop 27. Cahuilla Indians Tribal Chairman Reid Milanovich is one such opponent who believes the bill was “a direct attack on tribal gaming and Indian self-reliance.”

Rendon and his fellow legislative leaders agree with Milanovich’s sentiment regarding Prop 27. Wilk commented: “Prop 27 eliminates the sovereign right of California tribes to operate gaming in California. They have proven to be excellent stewards of this responsibility. We should protect this tribal right, which has also benefited all Californians.”

Rendon, meanwhile, highlighted how the bill would allow for out-of-state corporations to maximize their profits at the expense of Native American Californians.

Gallagher summarized the position of the four legislative leaders, commenting: “We need to protect tribal sovereignty and gaming in California. Prop 27 threatens the current system, approved by voters, that allows tribes to use their lands to be self-reliant while also providing tremendous benefit to the communities they serve. Vote no on Prop 27."



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