New push underway to bring sports gambling to California

Dustin Dorsey Image
Friday, November 3, 2023
New push underway to bring sports gambling to CA
Two men relatively unknown in the sports regulatory world are trying to bring legal sports gambling to California.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Two men relatively unknown in the sports regulatory world are trying to bring legal sports gambling to California.

For many, sports are a way of life. And as popularity grows, so does the popularity of sports betting.

It's not legal in California yet, but it could lead to a lot of revenue if it was.

"California sports betting would likely be the most profitable and largest sports betting market in the country," Sports Betting Dime sports betting regulatory reporter, Editor Robert Linnehan said.

This is why another potential sports gambling legalization ballot measure has been introduced.

"It would be exclusive to the state's Native American tribes who could offer sports betting in person at their casinos or across the state online using apps that would be branded with the tribes branding," sports betting analyst Geoff Zochodne said.

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Zochodne says we've learned the state's major tribes have to be involved in a deal in order for it to pass.

These initiatives were introduced by two men, Reeve Collins and Ryan Tyler Walz.

Experts say there's just one problem.

"It seems like it's something for the tribes, but it's not something necessarily by them," Zochodne said.

The California Nations Indian Gaming Association said not only do they not support these measures, but they weren't even involved in their planning.

Saying in a statement, "Decisions driving the future of tribal governments should be made by tribal governments. While the sponsors of these initiatives may believe they know what is best for tribes, we encourage them to engage with Indian Country and ask, rather than dictate."

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"It's been a complete mess," Linnehan said. He Collins and Walz are unknown in the sports betting regulatory world.

When we reached out, we were unable to get in contact with either of them.

Linnehan says these measures likely won't make the ballot because they were submitted too late to try and get the necessary signatures needed for approval.

But the odds of other attempts to legalize sports gambling in California are pretty good.

"California is simply too big of a prize," Linnehan said. "There's too much money for sports betting operators to leave this alone. There's too much money in taxes for the state to ignore. This is certainly not going to be the last time you hear somebody try to legalize sports betting in California."

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