Three California Ballot Initiatives Seek Legalization of Sports Betting in 2022

As more states take steps to legalize sports betting, all eyes are on the nation’s most heavily populated state — California. Unlike many of the states where sports betting is – or will soon be – legal, California’s constitution does not give its legislature the power to authorize “lotteries,” a term that includes “games of chance” like sports betting. Accordingly, before the state can take steps to legalize sports betting, California’s constitution must be amended.

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US Department of Interior Approves Connecticut’s Expanded Gaming Compacts

On Thursday, September 9, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved Connecticut’s amended state-tribal gaming compacts with the Mohegan and Mashantucket-Pequot Tribes, bringing Connecticut another step closer to an expanded gaming “launch.” As we reported previously, the amended compacts were negotiated alongside the state’s new expanded gaming law and allow the Tribes to offer sports betting and daily fantasy sports contests on tribal land. Although the expanded gaming law was enacted in May 2021, its provisions do not take effect until the Department approves the amended compacts and publishes notice of the decisions in the Federal Register.

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US Department of Interior’s Decision on Florida Sports Betting Compact Likely to Inspire Future Gaming Expansion If It Survives Pending Legal Challenge

As we reported previously, the U.S. Department of the Interior (Department) issued a letter on August 6, indicating it had declined to take action regarding Florida’s state-tribal gaming compact (the Compact) within the 45-day window prescribed under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). As a result, the Compact is “considered to have been approved” by operation of law. On August 16, two Florida-based gaming operators filed a lawsuit seeking to vacate the Department’s decision. If the Department can overcome this legal challenge, its August 6 decision will likely inspire tribal-state gaming expansion in other states.

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