Following a significant setback in a crucial ballot in California in 2022, FanDuel, a top sportsbook operator, has adjusted its approach to entering the lucrative sports betting market in the state. The company has appointed Rikki Tanenbaum as Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, in order to capitalize on her extensive experience in working with California tribal entities.
Tanenbaum, who previously served as the chief operating officer for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, brings valuable insight into California’s distinctive gaming landscape, where tribal influence holds significant sway. In an exclusive interview for PlayUSA, Tanenbaum emphasized FanDuel’s recognition of the need for a nuanced approach tailored to the complexities of California’s tribal gaming landscape.
She highlighted FanDuel’s introspective nature, noting the company’s understanding that their current position may not necessarily lead to future success. Tanenbaum also emphasized FanDuel’s commitment to gaining a better understanding of tribal perspectives, citing an ongoing “listening tour” aimed at fostering collaboration and mutual understanding.
Tanenbaum’s background includes experience as the president of gaming at The Stronach Group, overseeing California horse racetracks, as well as earlier roles at Viejas Casino & Resort. This positions her as a valuable asset in navigating the intricacies of tribal relations.
Having witnessed the fallout of FanDuel’s unsuccessful 2022 bid firsthand, Tanenbaum stressed the importance of humility and deference to tribal leadership. She outlined her goal to assist FanDuel in rectifying past missteps and building bridges with California tribes.
In addition to tribal relations, Tanenbaum’s role will also involve nationwide initiatives, including navigating challenging markets such as Florida, Texas, and Minnesota.
FanDuel president Christian Genetski praised Tanenbaum’s diverse experience, describing her as an ideal fit for the company’s future endeavors. Despite the challenges ahead, Tanenbaum expressed optimism about her role as a bridge-builder, highlighting her commitment to fostering positive relationships between gaming entities and tribal communities.
Meanwhile, in other news related to sports betting in California, two individuals, Reeve Collins and Ryan Tyler Walz, are facing backlash for their proposed legislation seeking approval for on-site and online betting through recognized Indian tribes. The motives and origins of the proponents, who remain unidentified and allegedly unaffiliated with Boyd Gaming and Pala Interactive, have raised questions.