Tribal gaming is having a moment right now.
It’s about business, certainly. But it’s also about economic independence and fending off perceived existential threats, not all of which involve their ability to derive wealth from gambling.
The power of the 110 federally recognized tribes in California was demonstrated in November when a coalition of Native American gambling companies funded a campaign to crush Prop 27, which would have allowed national operators like DraftKings and FanDuel to offer mobile and online sports betting in the state of 39 million residents.
“I don’t think it’s a moment. I think it’s about time,” Sheila Morago, executive director of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, told Gaming Today. “In California, I think it was such a great job. [Anti-27 tribes] did the polling, they knew what they wanted, they knew exactly what the people in California wanted. And they were underestimated, I think, by companies coming in, especially from states that they don’t live in, assuming that they know how things work.
“We’ve spent years and years developing these relationships with our state legislators, with the governor’s office in many states. They’re going to go to the tribes first and say, ‘Hey, what do you think?’ So I think it’s not just a moment. I think it’s about time that the tribes are actually flexing political muscle.” Tribes Among Few That Got Something out of Props Fight
Not all tribal entities opposed Prop 27, and the level of support for Prop 26, which would have allowed […]