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Major betting operator ensures that tribal parties are respected

A slot machine with all the screens saying "Golden State"

FanDuel has made campaign assurances to the one hundred tribes that call the Golden State home.

Speaking at the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention in Anaheim, California FanDuel Chief Executive Officer Amy Howe made assurances to the assembled representatives and the media.

She said “If legalized wagering is going to be done in California, it is going to be done with and through the 100-plus tribes that exist in the state of California. It’s critical for us to do this together and not against one another.”

FanDuel learns from past mistakes

The major gaming operator was part of a legislative push to change the fortune of gambling in the state of California in 2022. This Proposition 27 article would enable a nominated tribe or “a qualified gaming company with a market access agreement with a gaming tribe may operate online sports betting for individuals 21 years of age or older in the state but outside of Indian lands,” according to the ballot proposal.

Prop 27 fell flat on its face and also afoul of the assembled tribes who felt insulted by the lack of conversation and respect for the part they play in legalized gambling in the state.

California Nations Indian Gaming Association Chairman James Siva and Pechanga Development Corp. Director of Public Affairs Jacob Mejia were a part of the panel that Howe would speak on. Both have been vocal advocates of consulting with tribal entities on any and all legislative pushes.

Howe didn’t win many friends when the Prop 27 push failed and said that “We absolutely live to fight another day.” The statement riled Meija at the time and he responded aptly that “If you fight with the tribes, you’re losing.”

Since those turbulent times the healing process has begun between Howe and Meija to form a prospective respect. Howe addressed the media by accepting the failure of Prop 27, saying “It’s a real privilege and an honor to be one of the first CEOs to be here after what was, we can joke about it, it was a spectacular fail.”

The assembled congress knows that the legalization of gambling in the state will be a massive financial boon and Siva would staunchly say that “Expansion of gaming is going to happen. It’s a matter of when, not if. But when that does happen, tribes are going to remain in control. We will partner with companies, we will utilize products. But tribes are the operators in California, period. That’s it.”

It remains to be seen if FanDuel have indeed learned the lessons of the ill-fated Prop 27, but Meija would say in his closing comments that “It was refreshing to hear that they’ve taken stock in the outcome of the election and to reflect on what happened. It sounds like they’ve learned some lessons. But, as people have already said, the proof is in the pudding.”

Image: Ideogram.

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