MGM GVC Interactive announced that it has struck a deal with the United Auburn Indian Community (UAIC) in California for future sports betting operations.

MGM GVC Interactive is the joint venture between the British company GVC Holdings and the Nevada based MGM International Resorts.

The UAIC own and operate the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in California.

Although sports betting has not been legalized in the state, this puts the tribal-owned establishment in good standing to launch a sportsbook in the future.

Gene Whitehouse, Chairman of the UAIC, said: “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.”

The specifics of the partnership are still vague but according to a statement, MGM and GVC will provide its “iconic brands and propriety technology” allowing the UAIC to launch retail and mobile sports betting and an online casino.

Scott Butera, President of Interactive Gaming at MGM, said: “We are excited to have a partner the caliber of UAIC as our first partner for MGM GVC in Indian Country.”

It is still unclear how long it will be until sports betting is legalized in the state of California, but there has been an overwhelming amount of support for it.

A group in favor of sports betting, Californians for Sports Betting, filed a ballot initiative in June, but this will not be considered until the 2020 election.

However, it can be bought forward to the November ballot if the group manages to secure between 500,000 and 600,000 signatures. This has the potential to cost up to $3m.

On top of this, the state government will need to craft a legislation that does not violate the tribal gaming compacts that are currently in place in the state.