On December 5, 2023, at 05:15h, Eagle1 Acquisitions Corp., LLC submitted amendments to its California sports betting proposals in an effort to gain tribal support. The group aims to secure favor with the state’s Tribal gaming consortiums by addressing concerns that the bill’s backers didn’t consult them prior to filing. The amendments were based on feedback received from tribal leadership, out-of-state operators, regulators, and other stakeholders.
One major amendment includes a significant increase in Tribes’ revenue share. Eagle1 noted that Tribes currently receiving approximately $1 million per year could see that figure grow 15x to 20x under their proposal. Other changes involve the removal of two stipulations that may have stood in the way of robust regulatory oversight and the taxation of promotional gaming credits after five years. Another amendment aims to strengthen the ability of California Tribal gaming operators to become their own affiliates.
Eagle1 hopes that the amendments will generate support for the Sports Wagering Regulation and Tribal Gaming Protection Act, which is designed to regulate an unregulated market, put 100% control of online and in-person California sports betting in the hands of tribes, and provide a fair and competitive sports betting environment for Californians.
However, some Tribal operators in California are reluctant to push the matter over the near term, and some amendments might not be to the liking of those groups. For instance, the amendment to remove in-person registration for those residing more than 10 miles from a California Tribal casino after two years and the inclusion of comments from land-based and out-of-state operators and regulators could face resistance from Tribal gaming entities.
Eagle1 is aiming to put the issue of sports wagering before California voters in 2024, just two years after commercial and Tribal sports betting ballot initiatives were defeated by voters there. The group will continue to work with tribal leaders to secure support for the proposition and bring it to the ballot for the 2024 California election. However, the Tribes view sports wagering as a 2026 issue, citing fatigue on the subject among voters and indicating that mobile betting would be further out than that.