California Sports Betting: A Federal Perspective

California Sports Betting: A Federal Perspective

We speak with E. Sequoyah Simermeyer of the National Indian Gaming Commission about California sports betting and the Federal considerations and requirements surrounding the regulation of the activity. The NIGC would be involved with the oversight of sports betting conducted at Tribal Casinos, including technological considerations, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and compact considerations, and helping Tribal Gaming develop partnerships to deliver sports betting to customers.

Sports betting in California will go before voters soon, and they will decide what form of wagering (if any) will become regulated. The two dueling propositions on the ballot would either make sports betting legal at in-person tribal casinos, or allow state residents to bet on mobile devices.

Tribal casinos and state race tracks are currently the only permitted forms of gambling in California. However, sports betting could become a reality if one of the propositions receives more than 50% of the vote. The National Indian Gaming Commission is a United States federal regulatory agency within the Department of the Interior. Congress established the agency pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988.

Proposition 26 would allow in-person California sports betting at racetracks and tribal casinos. It requires that racetracks and casinos that offer sports betting make certain payments to the state—such as to support state regulatory costs. The proposition also allows additional gambling—such as roulette—at tribal casinos. Finally, it adds a new way to enforce certain state gambling laws.

Proposition 27 allows tribes or gambling companies to offer online sports betting. It requires tribes and gambling companies that offer online sports betting to make certain payments to the state for specific purposes—such as to support state regulatory costs and to address homelessness. The proposition also creates a new online sports betting regulatory unit. Finally, it provides new ways to reduce illegal online sports betting.

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