Legal Online Gambling in

California

The tribes hold the key to legal sports betting in CA and they're not in the mood to back down, nor rush things through. With state lottery and casinos operating, Cali could make a push for online gambling as well as sports betting but issues with ongoing disagreements between gambling stakeholders keep delaying further developments.

California

There are currently no legal online gambling options in CA

Welcome to Legal Gambling in CA

Legal sports betting remains a distant dream for Californians. A proposal to amend the State Constitution and legalize online and mobile sports betting looked, for a while, to have a genuine chance of progressing.

The bill had the backing of sports leagues and, notably, many of California’s sports teams. And the online element would have generated much-needed revenue and helped suppress the black market which continues to grow.

But after the state’s tribes strongly opposed the bill, the plug has been pulled on the hope of seeing sports betting in the Golden State soon. The earliest we can hope to see sports betting in CA now is 2023.

CALIFORNIA GAMBLING LAW
  • Online sportsbooks ❌
  • Land-based sportsbooks ❌
  • Online casinos ❌
  • Land-based tribal casinos ✅
  • Online poker ❌
  • Horse race betting ✅
  • Lottery ✅
  • Bingo ✅

California Online Gambling FAQs

You ask, we answer. Here are the FAQs on CA online gambling.

Is online gambling in California legal?

No. Under state law, online gambling is not permitted.

Are there legal online gambling sites in California?

There are no legal online gambling sites in California other than the state lottery and horse race racing sites.

When will online gambling be legal in California?

This is not known. The earliest you can expect to see any kind of gambling in California is 2023. The tribes are hoping to get their own proposal on the November 2022 ballot. But the bill would only green light retail sports betting, not online.

How can I gamble online in California?

Apart from online horse betting, there are no online gambling options in California.

Are there land-based casinos in CA?

Yes, the Native American tribes operate 69 casino sites in California. There, you can legally wager on slots and table games.

Is Bovada legal in CA?

No. Sites like Bovada operate offshore and are not governed by a regulatory body. As an unlicensed and unregulated US betting site, it is therefore against state law to use Bovada to bet on sports.

Despite the legalization of sports betting in numerous states, the lines between legal and illegal gambling remain blurred. This allows sites such as Bovada to continue operating and appear legit. But Bovada is not legitimate in any way, shape or form. Even if online gambling was legal in California, Bovada would not be granted a license to operate.

California Online Gambling Bill 2020

Where are we with CA Sports Betting?

The latest bid to legalize sports betting in California filled newspaper columns and generated much excitement not only in the Golden State but across the US.

Would it finally happen? Would the most populous state finally join a third of states in America that have permitted legal sports wagering? Or would the latest attempt wilt away the same way previous efforts have?

Unfortunately, for Californians, it’s the latter. The chance for the state to generate millions in tax revenue has died, at least for this year. Strong opposition from the state’s tribal casinos led to the demise of the proposal which would have allowed bettors to wager via mobile devices and computers.

A far more limited sports betting framework would be far more appropriate for the tribes who are not against the idea of legal sports wagering entirely but argue that the online element of the bill would harm land-based tribal casinos.

The tribes want sports betting to be kept at brick-and-mortar facilities. The proposed bill would've also given the green light for the tribe's arch-enemy, The Cardrooms, to continue offering card games, which is also a conflicting issue; the tribes deem the offering of certain card games by the card rooms as a breach of the tribal-state compact and want more action to be taken by the state.

Updated. June 23, 2020

What is the future of online gambling in CA?

As has been proved now, and in the past, the tribes are hugely influential when it comes to gambling in CA. Not that we didn’t already know this of course. But the most recent attempt to push forward with sports betting goes to show just how much control the tribes will have in shaping the future of legal gambling in California.

This said, there’s an acceptance among the tribes that sports betting in CA is inevitable. But not to the detriment of the tribal casinos. While the law would have permitted sports betting in the casinos and racetracks, the online element of sports betting is the major hurdle for the tribes who argue the introduction of mobile apps would harm organic footfall.

In the short-term, the tribes are set to club together and put forward their proposal for the 2022 ballot. But this would only see sports become legal at casinos and racetracks, not online. In other words, you can expect the wait for legal online gambling in CA to continue.

Sports teams in California

Sports and California go hand-in-hand. The Golden State is home to as many as eighteen professional sports teams across the five major American leagues.

Here are the teams you will be able to wager on when sports betting in California is legal. A reminder that, for the time being, wagering on sports remains illegal.

NFL

  • San Francisco 49ers
  • LA Rams
  • LA Chargers

Football has become America’s most popular sport thanks to the growth of the NFL in the past decades. Not that Californians need much convincing to tune in though with three teams based in the state: The LA Chargers, the LA Rams, and the San Francisco 49ers who are the most successful with five Super Bowl titles.

NBA

  • LA Lakers
  • LA Clippers
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Sacramento Kings

Among the strong contingent of pro basketball teams in CA, The Lakers have been NBA Champions no less than sixteen times, the second-highest in the competition’s history. The Warriors have positioned themselves as the team to beat of late though, winning the title in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

MLB

  • LA Angels
  • LA Dodgers
  • Oakland Athletics
  • San Diego Padres
  • San Francisco Giants

If you thought Cali was well represented in football and basketball, try MLB. The LA Angels, LA Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, and the San Francisco Giants. The five franchises boast 24 World Series titles between them. The Giants lead the way with eight, the last coming in 2014.

NHL

  • Anaheim Ducks
  • LA Kings
  • San Jose Sharks

Two Stanley Cup wins in 2012 and 2014 mean the LA Kings as Cali’s leading NHL side. The Anaheim Ducks won their maiden title in 2007 while San Jose Sharks have yet to win US ice hockey’s biggest prize.

MLS

  • LA Galaxy
  • Los Angeles FC
  • San Jose Earthquakes

The MLS is slowly making a name for itself in the US due in no small part to the success of LA Galaxy and the club’s stunning recruitment policy. The club has attracted several high profile international players including Steven Gerrard, Zlatan Ibrahimovich, and of course, the very first marquee arrival, David Beckham. City rivals, Los Angeles FC, founded in 2014 have fared better on the pitch, winning the Western Conference in 2019.