The United Auburn Indian Community (UAIC), operator of California’s Thunder Valley Casino Resort, has announced a partnership with the newly formed MGM GVC Interactive LLC.

Lauded as an “ideal partner” by the joint MGM Resorts International and GVC venture, who each pledged an initial $100m into the 50/50 project, the link-up with UAIC provides access to the US’ largest state by population, should state lawmakers introduce legislation permitting sports wagering.

Under the terms of the agreement, MGM and GVC will each provide its own brand and proprietary technology, with the tribe subsequently permitted to offer retail and mobile sports betting, as well as online casino and poker, should the necessary approvals and green lights be received.

“We greatly admire the success the UAIC has had with its Thunder Valley Casino Resort, and look forward to adding to that success. The potential of this partnership is significant for MGM-GVC,” stated Adam Greenblatt, GVC director of corporate development and strategy.

For the UAIC, the fresh alignment bring the tribe “a best-in-class partner that brings unmatched brands, database, [and] professional sports league partnerships, including the recently-announced partnership with the NBA”.

Gene Whitehouse, chairman of UAIC, commented: “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.”

This partnership comes about following the United States’ Supreme Court overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), and subsequently authorizing individual states to introduce legislation enabling intrastate sports betting.  

“We are excited to have a partner the caliber of UAIC as our first partner for MGM-GVC in Indian Country,” added MGM president of interactive gaming, Scott Butera.