The Sports Betting Alliance (SBA) has announced its opposition to two sports betting ballots in California and stated that it will not provide financial support for either initiative. The two ballots, which were filed with the state’s attorney-general in October 2023, propose giving tribes exclusive rights to offer retail and online sports betting in California.
Reeve Collins, co-founder and CEO of Pala Interactive, is named as the contact for media inquiries for both ballots. Pala Interactive, founded by the Pala Band of Mission Indians in 2013, was acquired by Boyd Gaming in November 2022.
The authors of the ballots have been seeking financial support for signature gathering from sports betting operators. However, SBA members including BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Fanatics Sportsbooks have stated that they will not provide funding.
Nathan Click, spokesperson for SBA, reaffirmed the organization’s opposition to the measures. He emphasized that the initiative is constructed in a way that prevents the market from reaching its potential and would enable the unregulated illegal market to thrive.
The first version of one ballot, entitled The Sports Wagering Regulation and Tribal Gaming Protection Act, detailed proposals including tribes submitting a portion of their sports betting revenue into a tribal wagering revenue sharing trust fund and contributing to a homelessness and mental health fund.
The SBA’s declaration is another blow to ballot backers, with many tribes and other operators also expressing their opposition to the measures. The supporters of the ballot have 180 days to gather the required signatures through random sample, with the election scheduled to take place on November 5, 2024. This initiative is the latest in a series of efforts to legalize sports wagering in California and follows the rejection of previous sports betting proposals by voters in November 2022.