California lawmakers and Native American tribes have been locked entrenched in a battle regarding bring legal sports betting to the largest state. The Chairman of the ‘Governmental Organization Committee is California Senator Bill Dodd. The Senator is a Democrat and lives in  Napa, CA also known as wine country. He has been hard at work trying to iron out issues with his sports betting bill named ACA16. Another Democrat Adam Gray, who represents the 21st Assembly District of California has been working on the bill ACA16 with Dodd. Gray who is married to former California Congressman Gary Condit’s daughter Cadee says ‘that the bill is being restructured to address the Native American Tribal issues.’ Dodd announced this week that he and other lawmakers will gather in Sacramento to address the sports betting bill in January.

The First Series Of Hearings Is Set To Begin On January 15th, 2020

Dodd said that the first hearing is set for January 15th, 2020 in the state capital of Sacramento. The Senator said he expects there to be several meetings, until the final structure of the bill will be finalized in June. Initially, Dodd was going to hold the first meeting on November 20th, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, but those plans fell through. Several Native American Tribes in California filed an amendment to the bill, which would allow sports betting at Native-owned casinos.

Dodd has denied various media reports that claim Native Americans are opposed to ACA16, which they say would infringe on their valuable territory. Dodd addressed the Native American stance on the sports betting bill. He said, “ Frankly I didn’t expect it, but it was a total surprise. They obviously have firm beliefs on what they see should be happening in this area, and that’s their right. But I represent all the people of California not just the tribes. I think our approach to this should be holistic.”

Senator Dodd Said The November Meeting Cancellation Had Nothing To Do With Tribes

Senator Dodd wanted it to be clear, that in his opinion, November 20th cancellation had nothing to do with ongoing Native American Tribal issues. At first negotiations between Tribal leaders and legislators were going well. Their opposing issues were being ironed out. Dodd said the Tribal members were voicing resistance to any further meetings.

However, he stresses the cancellation had nothing to do with those issues. He said the wildfires that were going on statewide really pushed the hearing off the immediate agenda. The resources for the fires had to be expanded, and because there was a state of emergency in California at the time, the hearing going forward would have been inappropriate. Dodd said he expects that all sides that have a stake in the sports betting bill will be attending the first hearing in January. To get the bill on the ballot in November, it will take two-thirds of both chambers in the legislature to approve the bill moving forward.