Think Before You Vote on This Sports Gaming Measure: Valley Leaders – GV Wire

Leaders across the Valley gathered on Thursday to oppose a measure on sports betting in the November ballot.

The so-called measure of Tribal Sports Betting Law hopes to legalize sports betting at Native American gaming casinos and licensed racetracks in California.

However, those who spoke at a news conference outside Fresno City Hall said the measure would result in $1 million in lost tax revenue for local programs and services.

“My advice to November voters is to be very discerning and be very careful before voting on any initiative, but especially this one,” said Clint Olivier, a former Fresno City Councilman who leads the Central Valley Business Federation.

Olivier said the measure would cut jobs and local businesses because its provisions pave the way for a flurry of lawsuits.

Clovis City Council Member Vong Mouanoutoua said, “This initiative does nothing more than encourage abusive litigation that hurts locally owned and operated businesses, widens California’s opportunity gap, and threatens essential tax revenue. California’s Central Valley is already reeling from soaring gas prices, inflation, housing costs and poverty, and the Qualifying Tribal Gaming initiative will only make matters worse.

So what is measurement really about?

In 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting – a decision that ushered in sports betting in at least 32 states.

If the ballot measure passes, Californians could legally bet on the Lakers, Warriors, Dodgers, Rams and other teams — as long as they place their bets at a tribal casino or racetrack. horses.

It is estimated that legalizing sports betting in the state would bring in at least $1 billion in gross annual revenue; $3 billion if the state allowed online betting – another proposal on the ballot.

Why the local opposition?

Those present at the press conference said it was important to read the fine print of the measure and understand all the implications.

“So in November there will be a number of competing and varied voting metrics that have to do with online gaming – this one doesn’t,” Olivier said. “This one is about what we call the PAGA lawsuits and it could be very, very damaging.”

According to Oliver, the initiative would amend the state constitution to allow tribal casinos to use the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA).

This act, Olivier says, would open the door to a slew of lawsuits by tribal casinos against locally owned card rooms, putting Fresno’s Club One Casino at risk.

“The City of Fresno collects $1 million in tax revenue from Club One casino alone and that money is used to fund essential city services – repairing curbs, gutters, sidewalks and tree trimming – that people rely on in the City of Fresno. to provide,” Olivier said. .

Leaders oppose a November ballot measure that would allow sports betting, citing a serious impact on the finances of the city of Fresno. Left to right: Mike Karbassi, Luiz Chavez, Clint Olivier (GV Wire/Liz Juarez)

Fresno City Council members fear losing $1 million

“We get over a million dollars from our local cardroom people here. They employ over 400 people and we know these resources are used for our parks, for our police and fire infrastructure in our communities,” said Fresno City Council member Luis Chavez.

Fellow council member Mike Karbassi agreed with Chavez, saying the measure would eliminate jobs in the community.

“There are better ways for our state to legalize sports betting without directly harming the people of the Central Valley,” Karbassi said.

“California voters should pay close attention to the fine print of this initiative so they know exactly what the skilled tribal gaming initiative will do in eliminating jobs and stifling economic opportunity in a region…that has them.” most needed.”

On Thursday, Tulare County Supervisors Amy Shuklian and Peter Vander Poel also voiced their opposition to the measure.

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