Proposition 27 is flawed, Indigenous tribes must be listened to – The Guardsman


By Emma Pratt

E-mail: [email protected]

In the upcoming November election, Californians will vote on the ever-spurious Proposition 27. If passed, the proposition will make online sports betting legal in California. Although online sports betting itself is not an immediate problem, Proposition 27 is flawed.

The only type of betting allowed in the state currently is casino gambling and card games (the latter not having tribal ownership). California casinos are owned by federally recognized Native American tribes and operate on tribal land. The Indian Gaming Regulation Act was passed in 1988 and is a move to secure tribal sovereignty through ownership of casinos as noted by Office of the California Legislature Analyst. Casino-style betting games have been legal since the law, while sports betting has remained illegal. Congress gave states the right to determine that legality themselves in 2018.

The state of Colorado legalized online sports betting in 2020 with the DD proposal, wrote Connor McCormick-Cavanagh. Although the shortcomings and successes of the Colorado proposal seem to be overlooked in California’s Proposition 27. Most proposals have a public interest element to them, with the aim of persuading voters to vote yes. Proposition DD and Proposition 27 have the public benefit of using tax money from online sports betting for the benefit of the public. Whether or not tax funding is used simply as a tactic of persuasion and not genuine care is somewhat irrelevant, as long as the funding is used effectively.

Art by Cindy Chan / The Guard

DD Proposal Provides Funding for Colorado Water Plan, wrote McCormick-Cavanagh. The Colorado Water Plan is a comprehensive plan that can be easily searched online, with fact sheets and intricate drafting plans available to the public, all of which legitimize Colorado’s efficiency in using the money. taxes from online sports betting for the stated purpose of the DD Proposal. In contrast, Proposition 27 will (supposedly) use California tax money from online sports betting for the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention Grant Program, wrote Gabriel Petek in a letter to the Attorney General of California. Petek provides no real implementation plan for such a grant program, other than writing that it “provides flexible funding to local entities,” based on certain criteria. Money, of course, is always needed — but without a sure plan like Colorado’s, it’s fair to feel skeptical that tax funding Proposition 27 is really just a persuasion tactic. which will achieve no real purpose.

Leading to further skepticism about Proposition 27’s attempt to help the homeless is the ambiguous nature of the tax funding. Again taking the DD proposal as an example, Colorado promised voters that 10% of tax money earned from online sports betting would go towards the Colorado Water Plan, wrote Sam McQuillan. The actual amount ended up being 4%, with Colorado losing $23 million in tax funding due to tax loopholes, McQuillan wrote. Proposition 27, as written, is full of tax provisions. So while he promises that 85% of the tax money earned will go to support homelessness in California – we don’t have an answer as to exactly how much funding will be given, due to tax provisions and possible escape routes, said Mary-Beth Molan. It’s entirely possible that California will lose a lot of the tax money generated from online sports betting, like Colorado did.

Most disturbing of all, Proposition 27 would take away tribal sovereignty from many California tribes. The vote measure would introduce out-of-state betting companies into the state’s tribal industry. These companies – such as BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings, would partner with California tribes in the ownership of online sportsbooks, the 2022 Cal Matters Voter’s Guide. However, only 2 tribes outwardly support Proposition 27 on the Yes to Prop 27 websitewhich means that corporate partnership is not a reality for most native California tribes.

More than 50 California tribes have publicly shared their disapproval of Proposition 27, in the YES on the 26th NO on the 27th campaign. Along with Proposition 27, Californians should expect to vote on Proposition 26 in the November election. Proposition 26 would legalize in-person sports betting rather than online, which many tribes prefer because in-person sports betting secures tribal sovereignty by simply expanding existing in-person tribe-owned casinos. Proposition 27 is therefore seen as a measure that may have been created to distract attention from Proposition 26, and ultimately from the ability of many tribes to expand into the industry. If Propositions 26 and 27 are accepted, either could sue the other for being a contradictory proposition, said Grace Gedye. Any proposal deemed to conflict with another cannot become effective, Gedye wrote.

California tribes work on proposal for 2024 election, which, like Proposition 27, would advocate legalizing online sports betting. The difference in this 2024 proposal could mean that indigenous tribes end up having more ownership in online sports betting, a position that would be undermined by corporate sports betting companies if Proposition 27 passes. Making a vote that keeps ownership in the hands of native California tribes seems well worth the two-year wait.


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