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Is online betting legal in California?

Legal sports betting is occurring throughout the United States. From New York to New Jersey, Arizona to Indiana, bettors now have the opportunity to participate in online sports wagering. Legalizing sports betting has been a success for these states, as they regularly bring in huge amounts of money thanks to sports betting revenue. However, the most populous state in the US does not have an active sports betting industry. Currently, there is no legal sports betting in California.

This remains a surprise to most people. With 40 million people in addition to 40+ million annual tourists and the most professional sports teams in the country, California would be a lucrative market for legal sports betting apps in the US.

There are numerous attempts currently ongoing to legalize sports betting in California. A proposed tribal initiative would at least allow retail wagering at land-based tribal casinos and horse racing tracks. Other sports betting legislation would also permit online sports betting legal operations via platforms affiliated with the tribal casinos and racetracks.

One of those ballot measures, which has been sponsored by the tribes, is being challenged in courts because it is looking at more than one gaming issue. Any efforts to create a legalized sports betting industry in California have until June 25 to qualify for the ballot, with a maximum of four ballot measures currently possible. The legalization of sports gambling in California requires a constitutional amendment approved by voters.

This page covers the latest news, updates and progress as California sports bettors hope for a breakthrough this year.

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Is Sports Betting Legal in California?

There are many sports fans in the state, making CA the state with the highest potential for customers. Experts estimate that legal online betting will be worth more than $2.5 billion each year, and it’s crazy why people wouldn’t want to legalize it. The sheer numbers that mobile sports betting could generate in the Golden State has led to many industry analysts to claim it is a matter of time before there is an active California sports betting market.

The first people who were adamant about allowing legal online betting in California and rallied for it were CA Assembly member Adam Gray and Senator Bill Dodd. They are firm supporters of the online aspect of sports betting and are against the proposition of eighteen of the Native Casinos. They think that sports betting should only be allowed in land-based casinos and racetracks.

Details About Sports Wagering in the Golden State

There have been multiple attempts to legalize sports betting in the state, with as lot of action taking place with the 2020 hearings in January and November. The first significant event regarding sports betting in California was in November 2020.

There was a proposition for a bill, but it didn’t go through. The main reason was those tribal casinos would get to provide sports betting, roulette, and other games, but card rooms would also receive government protections, and the casinos wouldn’t be able to constantly be on their heels about the card games in those rooms.

Casinos think that card rooms are walking on the line between legal and illegal. If the bill went through, they would continue to offer even more card games and still walk on the line while casinos wouldn’t get many benefits and card rooms would still get some of their customers without any legal issues. Lawmakers decided to put off the bill for 2021, and we don’t have reliable information suggesting that it would happen anytime soon. Bettors in California will be eagerly awaiting news to see if they can bet on the Super Bowl from home in the future.

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What Kind of Gambling is Legal in California Now?

Currently, the only legal betting of any kind is allowed in tribal casinos, card rooms, racetracks (horse racing only), charity gambling, and the California state lottery. There are almost seventy casinos in the state which offer more than two thousand table games and tens of thousands of slot machines. Some of the available Casinos are:

  • Desert Rose Casino
  • Harrah’s Casinos in Northern and Southern California
  • Pechanga Resort and Casino
  • San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino
  • Twin Pine Casino

There are sixty-nine casinos available across California, but we only gave you a shortlist of them.

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Current status of California sports betting

All roads to California sports betting lead to the November 2022 election. Whatever the opinions of of the various stakeholders in the Golden State, the voters will ultimately decide how the industry will look or if they even want sports betting at all. At the moment, there are four sports betting initiatives that various groups are trying to push to the electorate in 2022. However, only one is certain to be on the ballot right now.

The tribal initiatives

One initiative that is already guaranteed to be on the November 2022 is the tribal measure. If approved, this would allow for sports wagering to occur at tribal casinos and horse tracks around the state. However, there are lots of inconsistencies with this proposal. For example, the initiative does not allow for online sports betting whatsoever. The insistence on only have retail sports betting is due to the fact that there are more tribes able to provide ports betting than there are online partners, and the group doesn’t want to harm those who miss out.

The sportsbook initiative

Other sports betting proposals include the sportsbook measure. This would be extremely beneficial for the tribes. If passed, this would create an online-only market for sports betting in California.

The card room initiative

There is a third movement aiming to go on the November 2022 ballot. This would permit card rooms to offer both online and retail sports betting.

Will Customers be Able to Bet on California Sports Teams?

Like other US states, we believe that California will allow betting on professional sports, but we aren’t sure they will allow college sports betting, especially on home teams and players. California has the most professional teams of any US state, and they have a huge fan-following. Currently, there are six major league sports with professional teams in the state:

NFL MLB NBA NHL MLS
Los Angeles Chargers Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles Lakers San Jose Sharks LA Galaxy
Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Angels Golden State Warriors Los Angeles Knights Los Angeles FC
San Fransisco 49ers San Diego Padres Los Angeles Clippers Anaheim Ducks San Jose Earthquakes
San Fransisco Giants Sacramento Kings
Oakland Athletics

California also has plenty of college teams in Division I basketball and football. So there will also be a huge revenue if they decide to allow betting on homegrown college teams.

Are Offshore Sportsbook Options in CA Legal?

The only way you can place bets in California is if you bet on offshore sportsbooks. It isn’t legalized by any bills, but you won’t get punished if you do it. This is one of those situations where there aren’t specific laws prohibiting it, but it isn’t allowed in the state. Betting offshore makes it so that no force in California would be able to punish those Sportsbooks, even if they don’t agree with what they provide because they are out of their jurisdiction.

California sports betting FAQ

Are DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) legal in California?

Yes, they are. You can register and play on any DFS platform, like DraftKings or FanDuel.

Is Horse Racing betting legal in California?

Yes, it is. It was legalized in 1933, and there are plenty of racetracks where you can do it.

Are offline sports bets legal in CA?

No, it isn’t.

Which Sportsbooks would most likely be legalized?

We can’t say for sure, but we believe that bookmakers like DraftKings and FanDuel will make the list whenever online sports betting is legalized.

Why wasn’t online and offline betting legalized in November 2020?

Mainly because of the conflict between tribal casinos and card rooms. An agreement couldn’t be reached, so the talks were shelved for 2021.

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Final Thought About the Future of Legal Online Betting in California

California has the potential of becoming the state where sports betting is the largest considering they have eighteen professional sports teams and plenty of college teams as well. The sports following in the state is large, and many casinos could apply for gambling licenses. Although the state has the potential of becoming the most successful if legal online betting launches, there are still some parties who don’t agree with the proposed bill. We don’t think that the issues between specific organizations will be solved any time soon. While there is a possibility of California legalizing sports betting in 2021, people may have to wait longer, depending on the situation in the state and which people will support the initiative in the future.

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