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Local Elected Officials Oppose Tribal Gaming Initiative

Measure will Cause $5.5 Billion in Lost Economic Activity for California Communities and $500 Million in Lost Tax Revenue

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (April 18, 2022) – A group of California local elected officials today joined California cities and officials throughout the state in opposition to the tribal gaming initiative – the only sports betting measure being contemplated for the November 2022 ballot that harms local communities.

Newly announced officials include: Jerry Dyer, Mayor, City of Fresno; Graciela Ortiz, Mayor, City of Huntington Park; Alex Walker-Griffin, Vice Mayor, City of Hercules; David Torres, Councilmember, City of Montebello; Gustavo Camacho, Councilmember, City of Pico Rivera; Hipolito Cerros, Councilmember, City of Lindsay; Jesse Alvarado, Councilmember, City of Hawaiian Gardens; Karina Macias, Councilmember, City of Huntington Park; Luis Chavez, Councilmember, City of Fresno; Marco Barcena, Councilmember, City of Bell Gardens; Marilyn Sanabria, Councilmember, City of Huntington Park; Pat Kearney, Councilmember, City of Lawndale; and Scarlet Peralta, Councilmember, City of Montebello

Today’s announcement adds to the chorus of those already opposed to the qualified tribal gaming measure that is strongly opposed by cities and local government officials across the state, including:


  • California Contract Cities Association – representing 74 cities
  • Gateway Cities Council of Government 
  • South Bay Cities Council of Government
  • City of Bell Gardens
  • City of Commerce
  • City of Cudahy
  • City of Hawaiian Gardens
  • Cities for Self-Reliance Joint Powers Authority
  • Amy Shuklian, County Supervisor, Tulare County
  • Tom Patti, County Supervisor, San Joaquin County
  • Benjamin Cantu, Mayor, City of Manteca
  • Leonard Mendoza, Mayor, City of Commerce
  • Oralia Rebollo, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Commerce
  • Jose Gonzalez, Vice Mayor, City of Cudahy
  • Andrew Mendez, Councilmember, City of Azusa 
  • Andrew Sarega, Councilmember, City of LA Mirada
  • Bernadette Suarez, Councilmember, City of Lawndale
  • Bret Daniels, Councilmember, City of Citrus Heights
  • Brian Raymond, Councilmember, City of Atwater
  • Hugo Argumedo, Councilmember, City of Commerce
  • Ivan Altamirano, Councilmember, City of Commerce
  • Joel Angel Zamora, Councilmember, Santa Fe Springs
  • John Soria, Councilmember, City of Commerce
  • Oliver Baines, Former Councilmember, City of Fresno 
  • Vong Mouanoutoua, Councilmember, City of Clovis
  • Jan Averill, Former Board Member, Lowell Joint School District
  • Sandra Suarez, Former Board Member, Centinela Valley Union High School District

The initiative proposes to amend the State Constitution to guarantee tribal casinos a near-monopoly on all gaming in California – adding exclusivity over roulette, craps and sports wagering to their current monopoly on slot machines — while weaponizing the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) so it can be used against tribal casino operators’ legally-operating competition.

Specifically, this change in the State Constitution allows tribal casinos to hire private trial lawyers and replace the role of the Attorney General to sue their non-tribal competitors. As a result, local communities will lose more than 32,000 good-paying jobs that generate $1.6 billion in wages annually. Cities rely on this revenue for resident services such as public safety, housing and homeless programs.


Tribal casinos have a history of unsuccessfully challenging the legality of local cardrooms. Now, they’re taking it a step too far by exploiting the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) that was originally meant to protect workers. The measure expands PAGA into new territory by allowing tribal casinos to sue their competitors — forcing cardrooms out of business with unlimited, meritless lawsuits.

It deprives local governments of revenue for vital services. The eligible tribal gaming measure contains a poison pill for local cardrooms, which are a significant source of tax revenue and economic activity for many local governments. The measure will force cardrooms out of business and result in a loss of $500 million in local tax revenue statewide — meaning fewer funds for public health, homelessness services, senior centers, and after-school programs. California and local communities will lose $5.6 billion in economic output generated by cardrooms.

For more information to stop the tribal gaming monopoly, go to www.stopmonopolies.org.