Californian cardrooms can rest easy as locals prevented the controversial Proposition 26 from passing. Many feared that the measure would have given tribal casinos too much power.
Prop 26 May Have Hurt the Economy
Proposition 26’s goal was to amend local laws and provide tribal operators with the opportunity to hire private trial lawyers and replace the role of the attorney general. It is hardly surprising that the proposition quickly became the subject of controversy as many feared that tribal operators would have been able to abuse this power to put their competition out of business.
According to estimates, Proposition 26 endangered the livelihoods of more than 32,000 people and put wages totaling $1.6 billion at risk. Experts believe that the measure would have could have had a total economic impact of over $5.5 billion.
Commercial operators were unanimously opposed to the proposition. A united front of many organizations such as the California Contract Cities Association, Gateway Cities Council of Governments, AFSCME California, Disabled American Veterans, California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles County Business Federation banded against the tribal measure.
After several months of intense campaigning on both camps’ sides, the results are in. As it turns out, Californians were not in favor of Proposition 26.
The Opposition Triumphs
Press representatives of the opponents of the tribal measure said that it failed to fool the California voters. They proceeded to call the proposition a “massive expansion of gambling by five wealthy tribes” and added that the measure “included a poison pill” that would have stolen a huge market share from highly regulated cardrooms.
The opponents added that the measure would have jeopardized whole economies, putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk and damaging many communities. They are happy that the voters decisively struck proposition 26 down, realizing how bad it would have been for California.
Juan Garza, the executive director of California Cities for Self-Reliance Joint Powers Authority and a representative of the five cities where cardrooms fund vital services, said that he is proud that Californians chose to reject Proposition 26.
Prop 26 had a hidden poison pill that allows for unlimited lawsuits against cardrooms – a highly regulated industry that provides critical tax revenue for cities and jobs across California.
Garza thanked all voters for voting against a proposition that, according to him, would have harmed thousands of people in the state.
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