Members of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association Chair James Siva expressed dissatisfaction with the way two tech entrepreneurs, Kasey Thompson and Chuck Collins, have approached the issue of sports betting in California. Siva in a webcast, stated that the approach of holding tribes’ feet to the fire and forcing them to choose was not going to work with them. Thompson and Collins are asking powerful, entrenched Native American tribes to set aside their anger and join their cause. They are urging the tribes to see the financial benefits, emphasizing that moving assets from illegal offshore sites into tribal control can bring substantial revenue.
Thompson is determined to deliver a win for the tribes and is not seeking financial support from them to fund the campaign. However, tribal leaders remain skeptical of the duo’s motives and tactics. They view the approach as paternalistic and dictatorial, intending to push the tribes into an unfavorable situation. They also question Thompson’s likelihood of success, particularly since support from the tribes remains shrouded in silence.
Thompson, with a background in high-end gambling, is confident in his proposal, asserting that it has been crafted to benefit the tribes and curb unauthorized wagers. However, despite his declaration of support from the tribes, few have voiced backing for the initiative. Furthermore, leaders have disavowed the proposal, expressing suspicion and dismissing it as a misguided effort that undermines tribal sovereignty.
Tribal officials liken Thompson and Collins’ proposal to previous attempts by other companies to infiltrate the lucrative sports betting market in California. They view the endeavor as an invasion, questioning the tremendous financial backing behind the strategy. Even with ongoing conversations and correspondence with tribal leaders, doubts and skepticism from the tribes remain deeply entrenched.
The push, driven by Thompson and Collins, has been met with hesitation and suspicion. Tribal leaders maintain that any support for such a proposal will only come from thoughtful, inclusive, and respectfully conducted conversations. Despite Thompson and Collins’ determination and perceived strategic advantage, they face an uphill battle in gaining the trust and support of the tribal community.