MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings are gambling on the future of sports betting in California as they enter into a deal with the United Auburn Indian Community (UAIC) to provide sports betting services to their casinos. The only problem is, sports betting isn’t legal in California and could still be a long way from making its legal debut in the Golden State.

Given the circumstances, details on what exactly is in the deal are pretty vague. In fact, it’s not even clear that California tribal gaming entities will even be offering sports betting at all. (Especially when one considers their record on attempting to legalize online poker.)

The vague and nebulous future of sports betting in California doesn’t, however, worry UAIC Chairman Gene Whitehouse. In a press release, Whitehouse explained the deal saying, “It is not yet clear if California will authorize sports betting or interactive games generally, but with the overturn of PASPA possibly opening the door for sports betting, our Tribe wants to be well-situated, and this agreement with the national leader in the field does just that.”

MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings aren’t likely to see any outcome from the deal anytime soon, but that’s not really the point. There is, as our colleagues at CalvinAyre.com pointed out, a speculative land rush is under way when it comes to US sports betting real estate and every gambling operator wants a piece of the action.

The deal between MGM Resorts, GVC Holdings and the UAIC is the first journey into Indian Country for both operators.


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