It’s been an interesting road to legalize sports betting in California, and it seems that it just got a bit more complicated. On Sunday, the state’s Democratic Party voted against online wagering throughout the state. This was proposed through Proposition 27, which would allow seven different companies to bring online wagering to the state of California.

Many groups have been speaking out against this proposition, as it would take resources and income away from the state’s native tribes, which have proposed their own sports betting legislation. Through Proposition 26, tribes throughout the state of California would be able to provide legal retail wagering for state residents.

The Democrats maintained a neutral stance on Proposition 26, which is giving the tribes a leg up against their corporate competition. The Democratic Party holds the majority of seats in the state, which means that tribal gambling might just take home the rights to host sports betting. Earlier this year, it was predicted that online sports betting would take the lead, delegating the tribes as the underdogs.

What the Tribes Have to Say About It

The native Californian tribes have voiced their approval of the Democratic Party’s decision. In a statement released earlier this week, the tribal chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Reid Milanovich, said:

“By opposing Prop 27, California Democrats rejected out-of-state corporations and reaffirmed their commitment to California’s Indian tribes…Prop 27 is not a solution to anything. It would expose children to a massive expansion of gambling and turn every cellphone, gaming console, tablet, and laptop into a gambling device. Prop 27 is a direct attack on tribal gaming and Indian self-reliance.”

Although the Democrats didn’t voice their support for retail wagering, they haven’t made any moves to block it from happening. This means that the tribes may be able to be on the ballot later this year, and the income from retail wagering–if approved–would help them to maintain their sovereignty.

Only Proposition Turned Down

During their meeting on Sunday, the Democratic Party voted on their stances for 7 propositions total. These included the proposition of tribal retail wagering, as well as propositions regarding reproductive freedom, raising taxes for upper-class citizens, and an increase in the minimum wage.

Proposition 27 was the only proposition that the Democrats took a negative stance on, and they came to that decision rather quickly. Three different democratic groups chose their stances, and each voted the same on Proposition 27, meaning that not one Democratic group in the entire state supports inline wagering.

What the Opposition Means

Although the Democratic Party has voiced its opposition of Proposition 27, it’s still up to the voters later this year. Both propositions will be on the ballot, meaning sports betting is still up in the air.

Without the support of the Democrats, those throughout the state will probably be less inclined to vote for the proposition, as the state is majority blue. There’s the chance that neither prop will pass, and there’s the chance that they both will. Regardless, it’s up to the people to decide.


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