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California Democrats Oppose Online Sports Betting, Stay Neutral on Tribal Land Betting

California Democrats Oppose Online Sports Betting, Stay Neutral on Tribal Land Betting article feature image

George Rose/Getty Images. Pictured: California state flag.

The California Democratic Party voted on Sunday to oppose the online sports betting initiative backed by DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM.

The party voted to remain “neutral” on a competing initiative to legalize sports betting on tribal lands only.

The announcement comes following the democratic Resolutions Committee’s review of propositions to appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. Over 10 million Californians are registered with the Democratic Party, nearly double the number of Republicans in the state.

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“By opposing Prop 27, California Democrats rejected out-of-state corporations and reaffirmed their commitment to California’s Indian tribes,” Reid Milanovich, Tribal Chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians said in a statement.

The tribal group backing the in-person initiative has campaigned vigorously against the online initiative, calling it an affront on Indian self-reliance and linking it to the potential spread of underage gambling.

Three separate tribes have endorsed legalizing statewide online sports betting, calling the larger group’s claims “false attacks.”

“The Solutions Act protects Tribal sovereignty and will allow every Tribe — not just those with big casinos close to big cities — a chance to directly benefit from online sports betting in California,” Jose “Moke” Simon, Chairman of the Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians said in a statement.

Under Prop 27, tribes uninvolved in sports betting would receive 15% of revenue from a 10% tax on online betting. The remaining 85% would fund California’s homelessness and mental health programs.

It has drawn vast support from mayors and nonprofit leaders around the state, while several community leaders and business associations have campaigned against it.

If both ballot propositions receive enough votes, they would both become law.

Under Prop 27, online sports betting would begin in California by August 2023.

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