California tribes back initiative to legalize sports betting

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A coalition of Native American tribes has proposed an initiative for the 2020 ballot that would legalize sports betting in California.

The Los Angeles Times reports 18 tribes led by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians filed papers Wednesday seeking a title and summary for the initiative that would allow them to begin circulating petitions to qualify the measure.

The constitutional amendment proposed by the tribes for next year’s ballot would allow wagering on professional, college and some amateur sports at Indian gaming casinos and licensed racetracks.

The initiative would impose a 10% tax on revenue derived from sports wagering for public safety, mental health programs, education and regulatory costs.

The filing comes just months after state Sen. Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray introduced a bill that would also put a sports betting measure before voters.