The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] – Volume 23, Number 31
Chumash Advocates for New State Sports Betting Bill
By Taylor O’Connor
Two gambling proposals on the California ballot in November created a more than $400 million campaign showdown – the most expensive in US history, according to NPR – and united more than 60 Native American tribes in against one of the measures.
The two Propositions, 26 and 27, both focus on expanding sports betting in the state, but Proposition 27 would legalize online sports betting, and Proposition 26 would allow Native American tribes to operate sports betting and racetracks on site, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indian President Kenneth Kahn told the Sun.
“Our position is that Proposition 27 is a massive expansion of gambling in California. We are concerned about addicted gambling and youth gambling [with] devices available at home,” Kahn said. “The main difference between the two proposals is that Proposition 27 is being pushed by companies outside the state. Ninety percent of that money will be taken out of the state. Tribes will only see a fraction of the total [profit].”
California’s Office of the Legislative Analyst said Proposition 27 would direct 85% of the tax revenue it generates to local entities to address homelessness and 15% would help tribes, but Kahn was unsure how that would take place.
“The fact that they are trying to solve homelessness with gambling could create more homelessness,” he said. “Eight and a half cents of what will be collected will be allocated to the homeless and that leaves about one and a half cents for regulation and for tribes on the dollar.”
This is not the first time that sports betting and this debate have approached California, Kahn added. In 2020, the State Senate proposed legislation that would have legalized online sports betting and had similar proponents like FanDuel and DraftKings among other big names in sports gaming, but the bill failed.
“This time it was an approach to regulate the industry, and as technology improves, we’ll likely push more and more towards online platforms, whether it’s poker , sports betting or other types of gambling,” Kahn said. “But our view is that we’re not there yet, and our No. 1 goal is to protect families, especially in their own homes.”
The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash, along with several other tribes, are pushing for Proposition 26 — which would allow federally recognized tribes operating casinos to add in-person sports betting and horse racing — because the The industry supports 125,000 jobs and tribal governments receive other revenue as well as a $20 billion statewide economic impact and $3.5 billion fiscal impact.
“It all stays in the state, and it’s important to us because it creates jobs in our communities. The tribes use this money to pay for education, general welfare and health care,” he said.
If both bills pass after the election, it will be up to the courts to decide how they are regulated and how the state will regulate them simultaneously, Kahn said.
The Sun reached out to both Sen. Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) and Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) to discuss the matter, but neither responded by the Sunit is deadline.