California Tribes’ Message Highlights Recent Sports Betting News
Recent sports betting news has shown major movements in signature markets. For starters, the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) threatened to wage a counter-campaign against the current sports betting initiatives if they aren’t pulled. In Virginia, the attorney general has given their opinion on pick’em fantasy games. Finally, two more operators gained market access in North Carolina.
Let’s break down all the recent sports betting news in these markets.
California Tribes Take Hard Stance Against Sports Betting Bills
The CNIGA has maintained its opposition to the two initiatives that would make California online sportsbooks a reality. Even after bill supporters amended the measures to please three other California tribes, the CNIGA remains unmoved.
The association voted unanimously to oppose the measures. Even as the measures present themselves as pro-tribe, the CNIGA has stood against them. Now, the CNIGA announced that they will mount an aggressive campaign to oppose the measures if not withdrawn.
“The disingenuous nature of these initiatives should be a red flag to every tribal government as well as every voter in California,” said James Siva, CNIGA chairman. “The proponent of the measures are attempting to divide and conquer tribes by pushing an initiative that attempts to legitimize illicit off-shore operators and putting our governments at risk.”
The two measures, The Tribal Gaming Protection Act (23-0031) and The Sports Wagering Regulation and Tribal Gaming Protection Act (23-0030), work in tandem. They would bring online sports betting to California and grant local tribes the role of overseers of the betting market. Additionally, the amendments increased revenue sharing from 15% to 25% to the Tribal Sports Wagering Revenue Sharing Trust Fund.
“The opposition coming from Indian Country is loud and it is clear,” continued Siva. “Tribes will not be distracted by outside influences making empty promises. Indian Country will stand firm in protecting our sovereign rights and integrity. We call on the proponents to do the honorable thing and withdraw these flawed initiatives.”
With the tribes planning to aggressively oppose the measures, their likelihood of passing drops significantly.
Virginia Attorney General Says Pick’Em Fantasy Is Sports Betting
The ongoing dispute regarding the legitimacy of pick’em fantasy games has reached Virginia. Attorney General Jason S. Miyares gave his opinion on the matter. Miyares stated that these pick’em fantasy games should be considered sports betting. Therefore, operators would need a Viginia sports betting license to host these game modes in Virginia.
“Accordingly, it is my opinion that when a customer places a bet related to individual athletes’ performance metrics, the outcome of which is determined by reference to a contest operator’s established baseline rather than choices made by other customers, the customer is engaged in sports betting and not a fantasy contest,” Miyares wrote.
Several markets have begun taking hard stances on the DFS product. Florida, New York, Michigan and Maine are just some that have pushed legislation to ban pick ’em games. Even the American Gaming Association has sided with states on the matter.
With AG Miyares’ opinion, Virginia could follow suit with the other markets that have moved to stop pick ’em games.
FanDuel And Fanatics Claim North Carolina Market Access
Two new operators, FanDuel and Fanatics, have claimed market access for North Carolina sports betting. FanDuel has partnered with the PGA Tour, and Fanatics has secured a deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. Both operators now have a gateway to launching in N.C.
North Carolina has yet to announce an official launch date, but operators have already begun requesting applications. Lawmakers have already approved multiple rounds of rules for their upcoming market. The skeleton of the North Carolina sports betting landscape is beginning to form.
In addition to FanDuel and Fanatics, bet365 and ESPN BET have market access through partnerships with the Charlotte Hornets and Quail Hollow Club, respectively. The N.C. betting market is inching towards launching in the first half of 2024.