Caesars Entertainment Neutral In California Sports Betting Fight

Caesars Entertainment is staying out of the fight over legalizing mobile apps and/or in-person betting at sportsbooks. Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg said during a recent call with analysts the company is neutral in the upcoming California sports betting election, according to the Nevada Independent. Caesars operates tribal casinos in California.

Voters on Nov. 8 will see two competing sports betting questions on the ballot, Propositions 26 and 27. Prop 26 would allow in-person betting at sportsbooks inside 66 tribal casinos and four thoroughbred racetracks. Mobile apps would remain illegal. The state’s largest tribes support this proposal. Prop 27 would legalize mobile apps statewide. This mobile-only proposal is being backed by national online bookmakers such as DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM. 

The outcome is expected to be a financial windfall for the winner, with billions of dollars at stake in the nation’s most-populated state, home to 40 million residents.

Caesars Operates Tribal Casinos

Caesars Entertainment, a Nevada-based publicly traded company, is staying out of the fight because of its partnerships with tribal casinos, the CEO said. In San Diego County, Caesars operates the Harrah’s Southern California resort for the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, the Nevada Independent noted. Caesars also operates Harrah’s Northern California southeast of Sacramento. This resort is owned by the Buena Vista Rancheria Band of Me-Wuk Indians. 

Reeg said Caesars doesn’t want to be “in opposition to tribal interests when we’re their partners. So we’ve remained neutral in California throughout,” he said. “You should expect that to be the case in any state where tribes are at odds with the commercial interests.” 

Caesars Entertainment also operates the Caesars Sportsbook app in the U.S. and Canada.

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MLB Wants Mobile 

As Caesars remains neutral, others have jumped into the fray. The latest to take sides is Major League Baseball. With official betting partners that include DraftKings and FanDuel, MLB is supporting Proposition 27 to legalize mobile apps. Five MLB franchises are located in the state: San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants.

The league said in a statement it “remains committed to protecting the integrity of its games and creating a safe experience for fans who wish to wager on those games.”

 “Proposition 27 — the only measure on California’s upcoming ballot that would authorize and regulate online sports betting — includes strong integrity provisions designed to help MLB carry out those commitments,” according to the statement.

Large tribes opposing mobile wagering contend the national online bookmakers, headquartered in cities such as Boston and New York, would take most of the profits out of state.

“Under Prop 27, online gambling corporations would take near total control of the sports wagering market in California—excluding the vast majority of Indian tribes and posing a direct threat to Indian self-reliance,” the “No on Prop 27” coalition said in a tweet.

Vote Combinations

When Californians go to the polls in November, they can vote “yes” on both or “no” on both. They also can vote “yes” on one and “no” on the other. If both are approved, the one with the most “yes” votes will take effect. However, if a court determines the two proposals are not in conflict with each other, both could be implemented.

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