The initiative will also expand tribal compact gaming to allow craps and roulette at tribal casinos, and to pay state enforcement sports betting a 10% tax on sports game revenue on racetracks.
The tribes said they also now aim to get votes on the 2022 ballot, and they are awaiting a court ruling on their request for an extension of the July 20 deadline to add to the 971,373 signatures they had collected in mid-March. The court hearing has been set for July 2.
The tribal initiative was opposed by the card club, which has set up a political committee called “No on the Gambling Power Grab.”
Card clubs say the Dodd bill could provide hundreds of millions of dollars to avoid cutting state programs caused by reduced revenues amid recession sparked by the California pandemic.
“However, the desire of some affluent tribes with Vegas-style casinos, which do not pay taxes, has prevailed in the Legislature in preventing much-needed new revenue sources from flowing into the state,” said Steven Maviglio, a spokesman for the card club committee.
The tribal initiative, by banning online sports betting, “incentivizes the online black market to continue,” said Maviglio, adding, “Californians should know that their interest in this time of crisis has been spoiled by a strong vested interest.”
Native American tribes have long been a major player in Sacramento. Five of the largest tribal donors driving the initiative spent a total of $ 2.1 million on political contributions last year, as well as $ 1.1 million lobbying state governments.
In 2004, tribes spent $ 33 million to beat a ballot that would allow race tracks and card clubs to operate slot machines, preserving a law that allowed machines to be operated only in tribal casinos.
The Dodd bill has the backing of several cities, law enforcement groups and professional sports leagues, and card clubs plan to continue pushing the law, according to Kyle Kirkland, president of the club’s California Gaming Assn.
“Failure to pass this law is a loss of opportunity for the state to generate billions in much needed revenue for housing, homelessness, health care and emergency services,” Kirkland said in a statement. “As representatives of the card room industry, we will continue to support comprehensive proposals that benefit Californians, not just one particular interest.”