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FanDuel CEO vows new program will bring California tribes into gamblingReadWrite

FanDuel Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amy Howe said she intends to work with California tribes on any new state gambling efforts.

The CEO announced the commitment this week at the India Gaming trade show in Anaheim, California.

In a session titled “Tribal Sovereignty in the New Frontier of Sports Betting,” Howe explored some difficult facts about considering tribal matters in state gaming.

FanDuel is committed to working with California tribes

Howe shared the stage with Jacob Meija, president of the California Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) and director of public affairs for the Pechanga Development Corporation. The CEO discussed at length the issues facing gambling operators and the one hundred tribal entities present in the Golden State.

The CEO of the US gambling giant has been criticized for the failure of the legislative proposal (Proposition 27), which received only 17.7% of the votes in favor. “We’re really honored to be one of the first CEOs to come here, and we can joke that it was a huge failure,” she said, taking the humble pie directly.

Proposition 27 proposes changes to state legislation that could allow designated gaming tribes, “or qualified gaming companies that have a market access agreement with a gaming tribe, to operate online sports betting for individuals in the state who are 21 years of age or older,” But “outside Indian territory,” according to the ballot proposal.

Howe faced a tricky opening question when Mejia asked the CEO for his view on the definition of tribal sovereignty. Howe responded: “We (FanDuel) believe there is inherent authority for tribes to be able to govern themselves. What does that mean? It means the ability to steward what they have preserved and built over generations.”

FanDuel Learns from Mistakes

Proposition 27 was seen as a failure for major gambling players hoping to wrest some control from tribal entities. Howe echoed those concerns and said operators learned from their mistakes.

“If we’re going to legalize gambling in California, it’s going to have to happen through the more than 100 tribes in California. It’s critical for us to work together instead of against each other,” Howe said.

FanDuel has brought in three experts with knowledge of tribal gambling matters to form its strategic partnerships division. Rikki Tanenbaum and Frank Sizemore are part of the anti-Proposition 27 movement, and were joined in February 2024 by former Indian National Gaming Commission Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer.

Mejia said candidly at the end of the meeting: “It was refreshing to hear them assess the election results and reflect on what happened. It sounds like they have learned some lessons. But, as people have already said, the evidence is In the pudding.”

Image: Pexels.

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