The Los Angeles Clippers have made Pechanga Resort Casino an exclusive tribal casino of the NBA team.
The multi-year agreement follows similar arrangements between Pechanga Resort Casino and the Lakers, Rams, Chargers, Angels, SoFi Stadium, USC athletics, and Santa Anita Park.
Pechanga Resort Casino is located in Temecula, about 80 miles southeast of the Los Angeles urban area, and 55 miles northeast of San Diego. It features a 200,000 square foot casino with more than 5,400 slot machines, 152 table games, 38 poker tables, and a 700-seat bingo hall. Pechanga Resort Casino is one of the 10 largest casinos in California.
This news made us think: Which other tribes and casinos have sports partnerships in California? And, if Prop 26 passes to legalize retail sports betting in CA, how significant might those partnerships become?
Other California Tribes With Sports Partnerships
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino in Highland, California, has deals with the Dodgers, the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks and LA Kings, as well as the five-time MLS Cups champions LA Galaxy, and LAFC.
Like Pechanga, Yaamava’, operated by the San Manuel Band of Mission of Indians, is located near Los Angeles (about 60 miles inland to the east), and has a large casino and resort that serves as a tourist destination. It is the largest casino in California and on the West Coast.
The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians also has deals with the Las Vegas Raiders, as well as the athletic department of UCLA, and the famed Rose Bowl venue.
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Cache Creek Casino Resort
Prior to the 2021 MLB season, Cache Creek Casino Resort, located in Brooks, just outside Sacramento, entered an agreement with the San Francisco Giants. Earlier, Cache Creek inked a deal with the 49ers. Cache Creek is owned and operated by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.
Cache Creek also has partnerships with the San Jose Sharks and Golden State Warriors. Additionally, it’s partnered with the Sacramento River Cats, the Oakland A’s Triple-A affiliate.
Sycuan Casino Resort
Sycuan Casino Resort in El Cajon, owned by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, has a deal with San Diego Loyal SC of the USL. The casino also has a betting partnership with Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove, as an ambassador.
The Sycuan Band and its casino resort are founding partners of Snapdragon Stadium, home of San Diego State football and the NWSL’s San Diego Wave. The stadium features the Sycuan Piers, which have 22 loge boxes, standing room for 500 guests, three bars, and a concession stand.
In addition, Sycuan is also a founding partner of Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.
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Red Hawk Casino
Red Hawk Casino in Placerville, California is operated and owned by the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians. Prior to the 2022-23 NBA season, Red Hawk Casino became the official casino partner of the Sacramento Kings.
Through that partnership, fans at Kings games will have a chance to win casino getaways and other experiences. And guests at Red Hawk will have chances to win tickets to Kings games and shows at Golden 1 Center.
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Viejas Casino & Resort
Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, California, about 30 miles east of San Diego, is the title sponsor of Viejas Arena, home of San Diego State basketball. The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians owns the casino.
Pala Casino, Spa and Resort
Pala Casino, Spa and Resort, about an hour north of San Diego, is partnered with Live Fast Motorsports. The deal puts the Pala logo on BJ McLeod’s car at NASCAR races at Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, California), Texas Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway (Sonoma, California), Phoenix Raceway, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The Pala Band of Mission Indians owns the casino.
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Spotlight 29 Casino
Spotlight 29 Casino, in Coachella, California, is a founding partner of Acrisure Arena and the Coachella Valley Firebirds, an AHL hockey team. The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians owns the casino.
Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort
Owned by the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians, Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, about 50 miles east of Sacramento, is a corporate partner of the Stockton Ports. That is the Oakland A’s Single-A affiliate that plays at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento, 40 miles north of Sacramento, is an official partner of the USL’s Sacramento Republic FC, which plays at Sacramento City College’s Charles C. Hughes Stadium.
The Estom Yumeka Maidu of the Enterprise Rancheria owns this casino.
What Do These Relationships Mean for Potential Future Sportsbooks?
These relationships could become significant if Prop 26 passes. That would legalize California sports betting in-person at Indian casinos and the state’s four licensed horse racetracks.
BetMGM already has a deal in place with the United Auburn Indian Community, which owns Thunder Valley Casino Resort, to operate its sportsbooks if sports betting ever becomes legal.
Same story with Unibet and the Quechan Indian Tribe’s Quechan Casino Resort. And Caesars already runs casino operations at Harrah’s Resort Southern California and Harrah’s Resort Northern California. So it only makes sense that Caesars Sportsbook would also operate their retail sportsbooks.
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But the other California casinos are more up for grabs.
And if a casino or tribe already has a partnership in place with a pro sports team that also is a corporate partner with a sports betting company, perhaps the tribe would turn to that company if it wants help running a retail sportsbook.
The Sacramento Kings, for instance, are partnered with MGM Resorts and Red Hawk Casino. Could that relationship lead to a BetMGM Sportsbook at Red Hawk Casino if Prop 26 passes?
What about Pechanga Resort Casino? The Clippers are part of the NBA, which has DraftKings and FanDuel as its official sports betting partners. Does that mean Pechanga might call upon either of those brands to help run its retail sportsbook?
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