In the California sports betting battle, supporters of Prop 26 have preached that the vast majority of California tribes support Prop 26 and oppose Prop 27.
That’s no surprise. Prop 26 would allow sports betting only in-person at California Indian casinos and the state’s horse racetracks.
Prop 27, meanwhile, would allow online sports betting and eat at California tribal sports betting revenue.
But which tribes support Prop 26 and which support Prop 27? And why?
Here’s a full breakdown.
Which California Tribes Support Prop 26?
The following 58 tribes (as well as the California Nations Indian Gaming Association and the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations) publicly support Prop 26.
- Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
- Barona Band of Mission Indians
- Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria
- Big Lagoon Rancheria
- Bishop Paiute Tribe
- Blue Lake Rancheria
- Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria
- Cabazon Band of Mission Indians
- Cahuilla Band of Indians
- Chemehuevi Indian Tribe
- Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria
- Chicken Ranch Tribe of Me-Wuk Indians
- Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians
- Colusa Indian Community Council (Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians)
- Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians
- Elem Indian Colony
- Elk Valley Rancheria
- Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians
- Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians
- Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
- Hoopa Valley Tribe
- Ione Band of Miwok Indians
- Jamul Indian Village of California
- Karuk Tribe
- Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeño Indians
- Manchester Point Arena Band of Pomo Indians
- North Fork Rancheria
- Pala Band of Mission Indians
- Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians
- Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians
- Pechanga Band of Indians
- Pit River Tribe
- Quartz Valley Indian Reservation
- Redding Rancheria
- Redwood Valley Little River Band of Pomo Indians
- Resighini Rancheria
- Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians
- San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
- San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians
- Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians
- Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians
- Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians
- Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians
- Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians
- Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians
- Susanville Indian Rancheria
- Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation
- Table Mountain Rancheria
- Tejon Indian Tribe
- Tolowa Dee-Ni’ Nation
- Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians
- Tule River Indian Tribe
- Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians
- Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians
- Wilton Rancheria
- Wiyot Tribe
- Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
- Yurok Tribe (largest federally-recognized tribe in California)
Of these 58 tribes, 29 currently run casinos with 351 or more slot machines and are considered gaming tribes.
Of the remaining 29 tribes, 14 are non-gaming tribes, although it’s important to note seven of those tribes are known to be currently building or planning to build casinos. Then the final 15 are considered limited-gaming tribes, meaning they have casinos with 350 or fewer slot machines.
The tribes who own eight of the 10 biggest casinos in California are among these 58 specifically listed tribes. The two exceptions: the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, which owns Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, and the United Auburn Indian Community, which owns Thunder Valley Casino Resort.
Which California Tribes Support Prop 27?
These are the tribes, listed by both No on 27 and Yes on 27, who publicly support Prop 27.
- Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians
- Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians
- Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut Tribe
Two of these tribes are limited-gaming tribes. Tribes that don’t participate in sports betting, which will include non-gaming tribes and many limited-gaming tribes, would receive 15% of the tax revenue from Prop 27. Currently, such tribes receive $1.1 million annually from gaming tribes via the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund.
The Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians owns Konocti Vista Casino in Lakeport and the Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians owns Twin Pine Casino & Hotel in Middletown.
The Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut Tribe is a gaming tribe that owns Tachi Palace Casino & Resort, the seventh-largest of the Northern California casinos. It features 2,000 slot machines, 21 table games, and 80,000 square feet of gaming space. This tribe is the only known California gaming tribe to publicly back Prop 27.
Prop 27 spokesperson Nathan Click said during a September debate that the campaign is in contact with other tribes that support Prop 27 but don’t want to do so publicly.
Which California Tribes Haven’t Publicly Endorsed Prop 26 or Prop 27?
According to the California government, there are about 110 federally recognized tribes in California.
So, add the 58 who publicly support Prop 26 and the three who publicly support Prop 27 (61 total), and you’re left with 49 tribes out of the 110. At least on a widely known public scale, these tribes haven’t made California sports betting endorsements.
Let’s do some quick math: Remember, 44 of the 58 tribes listed on the No on 27 ad have casinos (29 gaming tribes and 15 limited-gaming tribes). And, as of October 2022, 64 California tribes run casinos. That means, according to the state government’s estimate, 20 CA tribes that own casinos have not publicly endorsed either Prop 26 or Prop 27. That then leaves us with 29 non-gaming tribes who also haven’t taken a public stance.
Some notable tribes who haven’t made public endorsements include:
- Morongo Band of Mission Indians, which owns Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, the third-largest California casino
- United Auburn Indian Community, which owns Thunder Valley Casino Resort, the fourth-largest California casino
- Jackson Band of Miwuk Indians, which owns Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel, which offers 1,700 slot machines
The fact that roughly 49 tribes haven’t made a public endorsement doesn’t necessarily mean they all don’t support one prop over the other. Some of those tribes, for instance, may feel adequately represented by the California Nations Indian Gaming Association and the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations endorsing Prop 26.
August No on Prop 27 Ad
This ad ran in California in August. It listed the tribes that oppose Prop 27. It was paid for by No on Prop 27.