Friday, December 2, 2022     Volume: 23, Issue: 40

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on September 28th, 2022, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 23, Issue 31 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 23, Issue 31

Chumash advocate for new state sports betting bill

By Taylor O'Connor

Two gambling propositions on California’s ballot this November created a more than $400 million campaign showdown—the most expensive in U.S. history, according to NPR—and united more than 60 state Native American tribes against one of the measures. 

The two propositions, 26 and 27, both focus on sports betting expansion in the state, but Proposition 27 would legalize online sports gambling, and Proposition 26 would allow Native American tribes to operate on-site sports betting and racetracks, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Chairman Kenneth Kahn told the Sun

Propositions 26 and 27 are on the ballot for the November election, which would both allow sports betting, but the difference between the two is whether online gambling will be allowed.

“Our position is 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 key difference between the two propositions is Prop. 27 is pushed by out-of-state corporations. Ninety percent of that money will be taken out of the state. Tribes will only see a fraction of the overall [profit].”

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office said Proposition 27 would direct 85 percent of the tax revenue it generates to local entities to address homelessness and 15 percent will help tribes, but Kahn wasn’t sure how that would play out. 

“The fact 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 for homelessness and that leaves about one-and-a-half cents for regulation and for tribes on the dollar.”

This isn’t the first time sports wagering and this debate approached California, Kahn added. In 2020, the state Senate proposed legislation that would have legalized online sports betting and had similar supporters like FanDuel and DraftKings among other large sports gambling names, but the bill failed

“This time, it was an approach to regulate the industry, and as technology gets better we will probably be pushing more and more into online platforms whether it’s poker, sports betting, or other types of gambling,” Kahn said. “But our perspective is we are not there yet, and our No. 1 objective is to protect families, especially in their own homes.”

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash, along with several other tribes, is pushing for Proposition 26—which would allow for federally recognized tribes operating casinos to add in-person sports betting and horse racing—because the industry supports 125,000 jobs and tribal governments receive other revenue along with a $20 billion statewide economic impact and a $3.5 billion tax impact. 

“All of that stays in the state, and that’s important to us because that provides jobs in our communities. Tribes use that money to pay for education, general welfare, and health care,” he said. 

If both bills pass after elections, it would be up to the courts to decide how they are regulated and how the state would regulate them simultaneously, Kahn said. 

The Sun reached out to both state Sen. Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) and Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) to discuss the issue, but neither responded before the Sun’s deadline.

Weekly Poll
What do you think about a farmworker resource center in Santa Barbara County?

It's a great way to create a network of collaboration and reach people in need.
It's been needed in the county for a long time and should have been made earlier.
We don't have the funding now, but we should come up with ideas in the meantime.
We don't need it. There are plenty of resources readily available.

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