Home FanDuel CEO vows new projects will have California tribes onboard

FanDuel CEO vows new projects will have California tribes onboard

FanDuel Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amy Howe has said she intends to work with the Californian Tribes on any new state gambling work.

The CEO announced the pledge at the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention in Anaheim, California this week.

The session titled “Tribal Sovereignty in the New Frontier of Sports Wagering” saw Howe navigate some difficult truths about the consideration of tribal affairs in state gambling.

FanDuel commits to Californian Tribe collaboration

Howe shared the stage with The Chairman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) and the director of public affairs for Pechanga Development Corporation, Jacob Meija. The CEO talked at length about the issues that have faced gambling operators and the one hundred tribal entities that exist in the Golden State.

The CEO of the American gambling powerhouse took the flak for the failed legislative proposal (Prop 27) which received only 17.7% of favorable votes. She took the humble pie directly, saying “It’s a real privilege and an honor to be one of the first CEOs to be here after what was, we can joke about it, it was a spectacular fail.”

Prop 27 tabled a change to the state legislation that could have allowed a nominated gaming tribe, “or a qualified gaming company with a market access agreement with a gaming tribe may operate online sports betting for individuals 21 years of age or older in the state but outside of Indian lands,” according to the ballot proposal.

Howe faced a tricky opening question as Meija asked the CEO’s thoughts on the definition of Tribal sovereignty. Howe responded “We (FanDuel) believe it’s the inherent authority for the tribes to be able to govern themselves. What does that mean? That means the ability to govern what they have preserved and built over generations.”

FanDuel learning from mistakes

Prop 27 was seen as a failure for major gambling players hoping to wrest some control away from the tribal entities. Howe addressed the concerns and said the operator learned from the mistakes.

Howe stated “If legalized wagering is going to be done in California, it is going to be done with and through the 100-plus tribes that exist in the state of California. It’s critical for us to do this together and not against one another.”

FanDuel has brought in three specialists with knowledge of tribal gambling affairs to form a strategic partnership division. Rikki Tanenbaum and Frank Sizemore were a part of the anti-Prop 27 campaign and former National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer joined in February 2024.

Meija candidly closed the session saying “It was refreshing to hear that they’ve taken stock in the outcome of the election and to reflect on what happened. It sounds like they’ve learned some lessons. But, as people have already said, the proof is in the pudding.”

Image: Pexels.

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Brian-Damien Morgan
Tech Journalist

Brian-Damien Morgan is an award-winning journalist and features writer. He was lucky enough to work in the print sector for many UK newspapers before embarking on a successful career as a digital broadcaster and specialist. His work has spanned the public and private media sectors of the United Kingdom for almost two decades. Since 2007, Brian has continued to add to a long list of publications and institutions, most notably as Editor of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, winning multiple awards for his writing and digital broadcasting efforts. Brian would then go on to be integral to the Legacy 2014,…

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