California Sports Betting Legal Updates: When Will California Sportsbooks Launch?

There's a long way to go for legal sports betting in California, but the anticipation is high. With several initiatives and legislative hurdles to overcome for legal California sportsbooks, the earliest online sports betting sites and apps could launch is 2024.

Fact Checked by Matthew Asher

Legal California Sports Betting Updates: October 2023

β›” Is California Sports Betting Legal?No, not at this time
πŸ“° Latest Update:Prop 26 & 27 Fail
πŸ“† Expected Launch Date:2024-2026
🎯 Expected CA Sportsbooks:BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings, ESPN BET, Fanatics
βœ… Last Updated:October 3, 2023

Legal sports betting in California is currently restricted to daily fantasy sports and similar alternatives. 

After Prop 26 and Prop 27 failed to pass in 2022, it's uncertain when the state could legalize sports betting, and when California sportsbooks could launch online, mobile, or retail sports betting. For now, California bettors and sportsbook operators can only hope for legal sportsbooks and California online casinos.

Alternatives to Sports Betting in California

Traditional online sports betting sites, mobile betting apps, and online casinos aren't available in California yet, but there are alternatives. While it's a different experience, legal social casinos and sweepstakes casinos are accepting new users and offering California betting promos.

California Sports Betting Legalization Timeline

With 40 million residents, California is the most populated state in the country. When California mobile and online sports betting is legalized, the market will be huge and billions of dollars will be at stake, which is why the debates over legalizing sports wagering are intense.

  • πŸ“† September 23: New regulations are being considered to ban blackjack across California card rooms.
  • πŸ“† September 16: Golden Gates Fields is having its closing date extended to June 2024 with a new group of races being announced.
  • πŸ“† June 8: Fliff, a "social sweepstakes" betting site, is being sued for operating an illegal sportsbook in California.
  • πŸ“† May 30: Caesars Racebook launches in California.
  • πŸ“† April 11: As the NBA Playoffs are set to begin, four (4) California teams have now clinched a spot: Kings, Clippers, Warriors and Lakers. However, legal sports betting is still not available, and millions of California residents continue to use unsafe offshore websites with no legal California sports betting operators available.
  • πŸ“† March 10: Less than three months into the new year, yet another state legalizes sports gambling, as Massachusetts officially launches legal mobile and online sports betting. Although not much progress has been made in California, sports bettors continue to push for legal California sportsbooks.
  • πŸ“† January 1: As 2023 begins, another state (Ohio) launches legal sportsbooks and enters the online sports betting market across the country. California sports betting remains a distant hope in the future.
  • πŸ“† November 9, 2022: Both Prop 26 and Prop 27 were rejected in decisive fashion on Election Night in California. "No on Prop 26" received 70% of votes, and "No on Prop 27" received an astounding 83% of votes. Sports betting companies are forced back to square one, and now begin preparation for 2024, and potentially a new online sports betting measure.
  • πŸ“† October 28, 2022: In his first official statement on the issue, California Governor Gavin Newsom opposed Prop 27, saying "It would hurt California's Indian Tribes, increase the risks of underage gambling, and push billions of dollars out of California and into the pockets of out-of-state corporations."
  • πŸ“† October 11, 2022: As experts continue to report that Prop 26 and Prop 27 are unlikely to pass, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins says at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) conference that legal California sports betting is more likely to pass in 2024 than 2022.
  • πŸ“† September 18, 2022: Both sides of the California Prop 26 and Prop 27 initiatives continue to advertise a mobile and online sports betting measure often during the NFL season. During Week 2, the advertisements take a slightly different approach, trying to dive deeper into the issues they could help resolve, or issues that could arise.
  • πŸ“† September 8, 2022: The defending Super Bowl Champions Los Angeles Rams kick off the 2022 NFL Season in a Thursday Night Football game vs. the Buffalo Bills. With the NFL season starting, the California sports betting conversation around Prop 26 and Prop 27 heightens.
  • πŸ“† September 1, 2022: Kansas becomes yet another state to legalize sports betting, both via mobile betting and in-person retail betting. With other states such as Massachusetts, Ohio and Maryland on track to do the same, California continues to lag behind.
  • πŸ“† August 3, 2022: Recent polls from Vixio Gambling Compliance show that both Prop 26 and Prop 27 for mobile and online sports betting are trending in the wrong direction. Internal polling for California tribes showed Prop 26 split almost evenly on yes, no, and undecided, meaning about 33% of voters support the tribal-backed California sports betting referendum. The poll on Prop 27 showed 29% of voters supporting, 51% opposing, and the rest undecided.
  • πŸ“† August 23, 2022: According to Bloomberg, the "sports-betting fight is getting messy" in California. Recent statistics have shown that $364 million has been spent on the California sports betting props, the largest amount ever spent on a state ballot measure.
  • πŸ“† August 4, 2022: Television advertisements regarding Prop 26 and Prop 27 and legal sports betting begin airing on major local channels in California, the first of which being during the NFL Preseason Hall of Fame Game on NBC.

Latest California Sports Betting News

Our staff of veteran gambling reporters will keep you up-to-date with the latest news on legal California betting apps, sites, promos and more. We pride ourselves on bringing you breaking news and analysis of all developments to legalize sports betting in California.

Is Sports Betting Legal in California?

California sports betting is not yet legal, despite several years passing since the US Supreme Court made a change to the federal law to allow for legal sportsbooks across the country. This national bill empowered states to take action, but California has yet to do so. There were two sports betting initiatives that were put before California voters in the November 2022 ballot (Proposition 26 and Proposition 27), but neither were approved. In fact, neither ballot initiative came remotely close to passing, which means it's back to the drawing board for everyone involved.

Can You Bet on Sports in California Yet?

Despite an effort to expedite the process, both California sports betting propositions failed to pass. Prop 26 was a proposal for sports betting to be allowed at tribal casinos. There are more than 60 California tribal casinos, but Prop 26 would not allow for any form of online sports wagering, and Californians voted No decisively.

Another measure, Prop 27, was backed by several leading sportsbooks including BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings and others. This would have allowed California online sports betting to be run by the tribal casinos and a few chosen, well-known brands. Under Prop 27, both online and retail sports betting would have been permitted, but this measure also fell significantly short.

When is Sports Betting in California Expected to Launch?

California residents voted decisively "No" on Prop 26 and Prop 27 in the November 2022 ballot, so a California sports betting launch date is unsure. While several other states continue to enter the online sports betting market, the California legalization of sports betting will not come until 2024 or later.

 

Best California Sportsbooks Expected to Launch

We do not know at this stage how many California sports betting licenses might be granted, but there are several well-known brands in the industry that will be eager to operate California sportsbooks. Here's some California betting sites and sportsbook apps to expect:

⭐️ BetMGM California SportsbookBest For New Bettors
⭐️ Caesars Sportsbook CaliforniaTop Rewards Program
⭐️ FanDuel California SportsbookHighest Rated Sportsbook
⭐️ DraftKings California SportsbookBest For Player Props
BetMGM Sportsbook logo

Best California Sportsbook

When sports betting officially launches, we expect BetMGM California to be the best overall sportsbook. When MGM Resorts International paired with European powerhouse Entain, the result was one of the best sportsbooks in America thus far.

Both rookie and experienced bettors enjoy the exceptional user experience of MGM products, as well as the choice of markets and live streaming, and breadth of sports and prop bets available. BetMGM is also one of the brands involved with the sportsbook-led initiative for legalized sports betting.  

Caesars Sportsbook logo

Best Rewards Program

When California sports betting arrives, Caesars Sportsbook California will surely be in the mix. This. brand is arguably the most famous name when it comes to American casinos. 

In other states, online sports betting users love the easy, quick user interface of Caesars Sportsbook's app and website. Additionally, the huge variety of boosts, bonuses and promotions, and the exceptionally broad choice of sports to bet on makes them one of the top operators nationwide.

FanDuel Sportsbook logo

Highest Rated Sportsbook App

FanDuel California will surely be a well-known sportsbook once live, as they built their brand in the fantasy sports space. Now, they are a major presence in the legal sports betting market, and they were involved in one of the initiatives aiming to legalize sports betting in California.

In the mobile and online sports betting world, this brand has won widespread praise for the excellence of its sportsbook offering. It delivers markets on a huge range of sports, outstanding live streaming, and an eye-popping array of boosts and bonuses. FanDuel is often top of the table for revenue in states where it is licensed, and that comes as no surprise.

DraftKings Sportsbook logo

Best For Player Props

DraftKings California will surely be one of the top California sports betting brands. They have evolved swiftly and impressively to become one of the leading sportsbooks in the U.S. It delivers a top-notch user experience, a huge wealth of sports to bet on, and a regular supply of attractive offers and promotions. 

With a large database of users and top-notch technology, DraftKings ensures it has a broad appeal to dedicated and casual bettors alike. DraftKings is also a leading player in one of the initiatives working to legalize sports betting in California, so their presence 

 

Mobile Sports Betting Apps

If mobile sports wagering becomes legal, several California sports betting apps will be available. Leading sportsbook operators have created and refined their apps to deliver outstanding user experiences. All the features and markets of desktop wagering are available, but in a format that can be accessed wherever you are.

Sports To Bet On

California sports betting is not legal yet, but once it is, there will be lots of different sports for mobile and online sports betting users.

football helmet

Football

With three NFL teams, it is inevitable that plenty of mobile and online sports betting users will bet on football. Across the country, football is the most popular sport among bettors.

basketball

Basketball

Some of the biggest franchises in the basketball world are based in California, which ensures there should be serious levels of sports betting in California on basketball, whether it's NBA or college sports. 

baseball

MLB & Baseball Betting

The perennial popularity of baseball, and the length of the regular season, ensures that there will be a high level of interest when legal sports betting apps and online sports betting sites come to California.

hockey puck and stick

Hockey

Hockey is now a coast-to-coast sport, and with three teams in California, there will be plenty of betting opportunities. Hockey commands a high degree of interest throughout the regular season and especially when the playoffs begin.

football going through goal posts

College Sports

Wagering on collegiate events would surely be a popular option for California bettors, but there is a chance it may not be allowed under laws of the sports betting bill. Once the next online sports betting bill proposal is available, we will keep an eye out for college sports betting rules and regulations. 

Teams To Bet On

California is home to nearly 20 teams in the biggest leagues in the country. There will be plenty of hometown options once they legalize sports betting in California.

  • Los Angeles Rams

    For more than 75 years, the Rams have attracted the affections of huge numbers of LA fans, and they remain by some distance the most popular football team in the city. That's despite moving to St Louis for two decades before returning in 2016. After winning the Super Bowl in 2022, it has added to the Rams' appeal. Follow our Los Angeles Rams odds page for the latest updates.

  • San Francisco 49ers

    With 5 Super Bowl victories between 1981 and 1994, the San Francisco 49ers odds often put them as favorites in the past few decades. Household names of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice grew the franchise, but they have struggled to hit the same heights since. That being said, they continue to command great loyalty among supporters.

  • Los Angeles Chargers

    The Chargers moved to Los Angeles in 2016 from their previous long-time home of San Diego. They share SoFi Stadium with the Rams and are steadily growing their fanbase in the city. Be sure to follow our Los Angeles Chargers odds page to see the latest news and updates,

  • Los Angeles Lakers

    With 17 NBA finals victories - the joint-most alongside the Boston Celtics - the LA Lakers are one of the biggest names in basketball. Indeed, they are arguably the most popular sports team in California. They were led to an NBA Finals victory in 2020 by the legendary LeBron James to add a little more sparkle to a globally famous brand.

  • Los Angeles Clippers

    The Clippers have to cope with the fact that they have never won the NBA finals - and the challenge of playing in the same city as the Lakers. But the franchise gets solid support from LA basketball fans, and they have become more regular post-season contenders in recent years to suggest the impressive loyalty of their supporters will be repaid one day.

  • Golden State Warriors

    The Warriors moved to San Francisco from Philadelphia in 1962 and aided by the presence of Wilt Chamberlain, quickly acquired a solid fanbase in the city. However, it was only with the arrival of Steph Curry that their recent golden age materialized. Three NBA Finals wins between 2015 and 2018 ensured a high profile for the Warriors that lasts to this day.

  • Sacramento Kings

    Long-suffering is the only way to describe the experience of following the Sacramento Kings. They went for 16 years from 2006 without a winning season, the longest such run in NBA history. Nevertheless, the Kings still command tremendous support from their diehard fans who remain convinced that their luck will turn one day.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers

    Ever since the Dodgers made their famous move from Brooklyn in 1958, they have been the biggest ticket in town for baseball fans. The franchise has broken attendance records galore and are without doubt the top name in California baseball. That has been helped by six World Series wins since moving to LA, the most recent in 2020.

  • San Francisco Giants

    The most intense rivalry on the West Coast is between the Dodgers and the Giants. The Giants moved west from New York in 1958 too but then suffered a long drought before capturing the World Series three times between 2010 and 2014. They continue to exert a strong pull on the loyalties of fans in their home city and beyond.

  • Los Angeles Angels

    For the people of Anaheim, the Halos are the only show in town. It was the Anaheim Angels, the team that won the 2002 World Series and despite the change of name the team, continues to inspire fervent devotion among its fans. Their rivalry with the Dodgers from Los Angeles County is known as the Freeway Series, and Halos fans hope to be back on the high road to glory soon.

  • Oakland Athletics

    The history of the A's dates back to the start of the 20th century, and they have won four World Series titles since relocating to Oakland in 1968. However, the most recent was in 1989. The A's found new fame following the success of the book and film Moneyball, which charted their extraordinary 2002 season.

  • San Diego Padres

    Despite having the undivided attention of sports fans in San Diego following the Chargers' move, the Padres have struggled to command a place at the peak of their sport. There were two World Series appearances in the Eighties, but little since the turn of the century apart from a couple of NL West titles and a wild card berth in 2020.

  • Los Angeles Kings

    The Kings took to the ice in 1967 and have commanded strong support in LA ever since. They also enjoy a fierce local rivalry with the Ducks and the Sharks. The Kings claimed the bragging rights by winning the Stanley Cup twice, in 2012 and 2014, having earlier made a splash by bringing Wayne Gretzky to Tinseltown in 1988.

  • Anaheim Ducks

    The team began life in 1993 as the superbly titled Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, but changed their name in 2006 - and went on to win the Stanley Cup finals the following year. Several divisional titles have followed to keep the team's profile high, and they draw significant support from fans in Anaheim and beyond.

  • San Jose Sharks

    The Sharks attract tremendous support from the San Jose area and beyond. Since they were founded in 1991, they have reached only one Stanley Cup Final, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016. However, their popularity remains undimmed among their loyal fans.

  • LA Galaxy

    One of the main reasons for the success of Major League Soccer was the global profile enjoyed by the Galaxy. The team brought stars such as David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ashley Cole and Landon Donovan to the league and saw interest in their matches rocket as a result. The Galaxy has won a host of MLS titles, and in 2020 took the CONCACAF Champions League.

  • Los Angeles FC

    LAFC is the biggest local rival to the Galaxy, and matches between them are known as El Trafico in honor of the city's chronic traffic snarl-ups. LAFC has been in the league only since 2018, but has a solid local fanbase and has already won the Supporters' Shield and been runner-up in the CONCACAF Champions League.

  • San Jose Earthquakes

    Top-level soccer came to San Jose in 1996, and the franchise has attracted good local support ever since - despite a two-year hiatus in Houston. The club has won the MLS Cup twice, the Supporters' Shield twice, and attracts impressive attendances to watch matches at PayPal Park.

Promotions

If California is able to legalize sports betting, sportsbooks will undoubtedly use promotions and offers as a way of standing out from what is sure to be a hugely competitive crowd. It's always recommended to make the most of sign-up offers and get plenty of extra value from your first taste of online wagering with a particular sportsbook.

free bets graphic

Risk-Free Bets

Every sports bettor dreams of having a wager that technically cannot lose. Many California online sportsbooks are likely to offer these sportsbook promotions as a welcome bonus. If your first bet wins, you pick up your return. But if it loses, you get your stake back, usually in the form of a free bet or site credit.

money going into wallet

Deposit Match Bonuses

This is another popular sports betting online sports betting welcome bonus that helps build your bankroll with online sportsbooks and mobile apps. However much you put in your account as a first deposit with California sports betting sites or apps, the sportsbook will increase by a certain percentage. Check the terms and conditions carefully, particularly when it comes to playthrough requirements.

sports bettor with checkmark

Referral Bonuses

After you have signed up for a sports betting account, there should be further promotions and bonuses to keep you entertained. Referral bonuses are a good example of this. If you are enjoying your sports gambling experience with an operator, and one of your friends decides to sign up too, you make the referral - and you can both receive a generous bonus, often up to $100, in your account as a result.

odds boost graph

Odds Boosts

If you want to place a bet, a slight odds boost or profit boost can go a long way. Many sportsbook operators offer frequent, even daily, boosts on selected markets. Some make such a regular feature of this that they carry dedicated Boosts sections on their websites. This is a great way for you to receive extra value for a winning bet - or even to persuade you to make a wager you were in two minds about.

parlay graphic

Parlay Refunds

Parlay bets are incredibly popular with sports bettors, mostly because they hold out the prospect of a substantial payout in return for a small stake. The catch is that all your selections have to be correct for you to get that return. With parlay insurance, however, if just one of those picks lets you down, you can get your stake back, usually as a free bet. This soothes the pain of missing out narrowly on a big sports betting payout.

Choosing The Best Sportsbook

If the decision is taken to legalize California betting sites, sports bettors are likely to face a rich choice of destinations where they can wager with online sports betting sites and apps. How do you choose the right one for you? There are several attributes that mark out a great sportsbook, and a combination of the following factors will help you to make your decision.

Reviews

Once sports betting in California has been legalized, online sportsbooks will have been operating in other states for several years. There are plenty of places where customers share their experiences of betting with particular operators. As well as researching the thoughts of players to find a sportsbook that will treat you in the right way, we recommend you check out our insights - we will carry reviews on every legal sportsbook coming to California.

Bet Types

There are, of course, numerous ways to place a wager on professional sports matches. However you like to get involved with your favorite teams and leagues, the best sportsbooks should give you that option. Once they legalize sports betting in California, check out the types of wagers available on your top sports - leading operators will enable you to play the way you want to.

Bonuses 

The best apps and online sportsbooks deliver value on a regular basis by offering frequent promotions and bonuses. This is a way of making you feel that you are being rewarded for your loyalty to your chosen operator. One type of bonus is frequent odds boosts, but you may also be able to take advantage of reload bonuses, parlay insurance, referral bonuses and many more.

Lines/Odds 

As you try out California sportsbooks, you'll notice the sports betting odds are not the same. Operators source their prices from different places - some from in-house teams, others from expert providers. The key is to get the best value you can so that sports wagering is as profitable as it can be for you.

User Experience 

The ability to navigate to the market in which you are interested, and to make your wager, is a key consideration when reviewing any sportsbook. This applies both to the desktop version of a website and to online sportsbook apps. The best operators invest considerable time and money in providing interfaces that enable you to beat quickly and easily.

Deposits & Withdrawals

Check carefully to see that your preferred method of moving money is available. Most sportsbooks should accept deposits through credit and debit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets and prepaid cards. Check that you will be able to withdraw your money quickly and easily - some sports betting operators have fewer methods for withdrawals.

Customer Support

If sports betting issues arise, your query should be addressed and resolved as soon as possible. Options should include toll-free phone numbers, email addresses, extensive FAQs and, in particular, 24/7 live chat facilities that interact with you quickly and deliver expert help. The more options a sportsbook has, and the better they work, the more likely it is to score highly in our reviews of CA sports betting sites.

Why Sign Up For Multiple California Sportsbooks?

When you get the opportunity to begin sports betting in California, you may be tempted to open just one account. However, there are advantages to trying various operators to see which suits you best. There is no law against opening multiple accounts - and think of all those welcome bonuses you can enjoy!

mobile phone sports betting graphic

Get The Best Line

By having multiple sports betting accounts, you can compare lines and odds on the bets you want to place. Some sportsbooks put their next-day odds up earlier than others, for instance, and you may find more value in this way. Occasionally, sportsbooks will offer reduced-juice prices, and by opening more than one account you will be able to spot this and take advantage.

gift box

Bonuses

When retail, mobile and online sports betting in California go live, the competition for customers will lead to some extremely generous welcome offers for California sports betting sites and apps. Why restrict yourself to just one? Take advantage of the battle for your loyalty by opening more than one account and getting the benefit of each and every sign-up bonus available to you.

hand holding mobile phone with sports betting

Bet Types

As we said earlier, sportsbooks get their odds from different sources. While there are some respected providers who deliver lines to various operators, the fact that prices do not always come from one place can lead to variations in particular markets. By opening more than one account, you are in a great position to take advantage of the best prices on the sports you want to wager on.

clock and rules graphic

Sportsbook Rules

It's important to remember that sportsbooks may have different rules to cover the same situation. That's why it's essential to check out the sports betting terms and conditions thoroughly before taking advantage of any promotion or offer.

Available Wager Types

Expect a wealth of bet types offered when California online sports betting and mobile betting apps launch in the future.

 

  • Moneyline

    This is the most straightforward type of bet available. You select which of the two teams in a match, or competitors in a race, will win and place your wager accordingly. The Moneyline tends to be one of the first bets displayed on any event, and it shows you instantly which team is favored to win.

  • Parlays

    A parlay enables you to pick several selections and back them all to win with a single stake. The catch is that they all have to be successful in order for you to collect a handsome return. If you have parlay insurance and just one pick lets you down, you should at least get your stake back.

  • Totals

    How many times do you think a particular occurrence will happen during a game? With a totals bet, also known as an over/under, you can back your hunch. The sportsbook will put up a number - the total points scored in a game, for instance - and you will be able to bet either way depending on your prediction.

  • Point Spreads

    Point spreads are hugely popular with American bettors. The sportsbook levels the odds of the two sides in a game by giving one of them a notional start. You then decide if the team you think will win is going to do so by a margin that exceeds, or covers, that spread.

  • Futures

    It's possible to stake your money on events taking place several weeks or even months away. If, for instance, you believe the Los Angeles Dodgers will win the World Series next year, or that the Golden State Warriors are a shoo-in for the NBA Finals, you should be able to find a sportsbook offering odds well in advance.

  • Prop Bets

    Not all bets are concerned with the overall outcome of a sports game. Proposition bets focus on particular events within that match. They can relate to individual or team performances, such as the number of points one player will score, the first team to a particular total, or even the score at half-time. The choice can be extensive.

  • Live Bets

    Even when a sporting event has got underway, digital technology enables odds to be updated instantly - which means you can place a bet during the action. This has become an enormously popular method of sports wagering in recent years, and leading operators offer extensive in-play betting markets on the top sports action.

  • Prohibited Bets

    There are certain events that no sportsbook can carry markets on. Political events such as elections are one example. You may be restricted when it comes to betting on awards ceremonies, or on collegiate events involving in-state teams. We also advise strongly against wagering with unlicensed offshore betting sites.

OtherΒ Betting Options

While we wait for sports betting to go live, here's a breakdown of other forms of wagering in California.

 

phone with daily fantasy graphic

Fantasy Sports

Daily Fantasy Sports have never been specifically prohibited in California. At the same time, they have never been legalized. As a result, the activity takes place in a legal gray area. Leading operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings operate DFS games in the Golden State, and it is estimated that more than 100,000 players stake tens of millions of dollars each year.

horse racing graphic

Horse Racing

California is home to some of the most prestigious horse racing tracks in the USA. These include Santa Anita Park, which has staged several editions of the Breeders Cup. With wagering on horse racing legal online and in person, the activity is a striking exception to the current law forbidding online sports betting in California.

phone with politics election graphic

Elections

No licensed American sportsbook is permitted to carry markets relating to the outcome of political events. This includes local, national and international elections, even Gavin Newsom odds. The restriction applies coast to coast.

award ceremony trophy

Pop Culture

In some states, regulated online and mobile sports betting operators are allowed to offer bets on popular awards ceremonies. In others, the activity is restricted. It will be fascinating to see whether or not California - home to the Academy Awards - permits wagering on such ceremonies.

eSports video game controller

eSports

Wagering on esports has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, it is not always permitted in states where sports betting has been legalized. It remains to be seen whether or not esports wagering will be allowed in California.

playing cards

Card Rooms

California is home to more than 70 card rooms. As the name suggests, these are premises where card games can be played - though some card rooms also host table games. Digital games such as online poker are not permitted, however. The card rooms generate revenues that run into hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

CA Online Sports Betting Measure

When the US Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional in 2018, it opened the door for states to pass bills for legalized sports betting. While it was never likely that federal law would be passed, many states across the Union have since created commercial sports betting markets.

Several bills have been launched in California, both before and since that landmark Supreme Court decision. However, the fact that the only gambling currently permitted in the Golden State is at tribal casinos presented a considerable obstacle to legalization.

The tribal casinos launched a sports betting initiative (Prop 26) that went before voters in November 2022. This would have allowed sports retail betting in California at tribal casinos and racetracks - but not online.

Seven leading sportsbook operators are behind another proposed ballot measure (Prop 27) that would have allowed online gambling, administered by the tribes in conjunction with those big betting brands. This had more chance of getting on to the 2022 ballot than the other tribal initiative, or the one launched by the card rooms, but neither Prop 26 or Prop 27 passed. 

Revenue Projection

When you consider the projected revenue of a commercial online and retail sports betting market in the Golden State, it helps to explain the urgency behind the search for viable solutions to the issue of legalization. It has been estimated that a mature online market could generate up to $3billion in annual sports betting revenue - which in turn should mean hundreds of millions of dollars in annual tax revenue for the state.  

tax documents

Tax Rate

No decision has yet been made about the tax rate that for operators of California sportsbook. However, under the sportsbook-driven initiative that went before voters in November 2022, an initial license would cost $100 million, with a renewal fee every five years of $10 million. 

This measure planned that 15% of tax revenues would go to non-participating tribes, with the balance going to homelessness initiatives. Moving forward, it is unknown what the tax rates may be in the next proposals. 

California bettors may have questions on whether they will be taxed for betting on sports - and we have the answer! Check out our California gambling tax calculator for questions on gambling tax rates in the Golden State. 

legal regulation padlock graphic

Regulation

All forms of gambling in the Golden State are administered by the California Gambling Control Commission. This includes the licensing of card rooms and tribal casinos - and any future CA sports betting market.

Partnerships

In states where mobile and online sports betting has been legalized, many professional sports teams enter into lucrative partnerships with leading operators. It is inevitable that, if and when legal sports wagering in California is launched, there will be numerous such deals struck. At this point, however, with betting on sports not legal in the Golden State, such partnerships would be pointless. 

Deposit and Withdraws

If and when CA online sportsbooks are allowed to operate under license in the state, there should be a wide range of ways in which you can deposit money into your account. You should be able to wager with them with total peace of mind - sports betting and casino operators employ state-of-the-art security protocols to keep your financial and personal information completely safe. Among the banking methods available should be:

  • Debit & Credit Cards
  • Bank Transfers
  • Cash at a Partner Casino
  • E-Wallets
  • Pre-Paid Cards

It is also important to check that your chosen sportsbook also offers a wide range of withdrawal methods if you want to get your hands on your winnings - and that it delivers the money back into your account as swiftly as possible.

VISAInstant Deposits1-5 Day(s) Withdrawals
MasterCardInstant DepositsNo Withdrawals
American ExpressInstant DepositsNo Withdrawals
VenmoInstant Deposits2-5 Day(s) for Withdrawals
PayPalInstant Deposits2-7 Day(s) Withdrawals
Bank Transfer1-3 Day(s) for Deposits3-7 Days for Withdrawals

Retail vs. Mobile

Many people still enjoy the experience of retail sports betting. You are likely to be in the company of like-minded enthusiasts, and you can probably watch the events you wager on a big HD screen. Also, if you have a query about your bet, there should be a staff member on hand to help you.

However, increasing numbers of bettors relish the ability to wager through their mobile devices. Modern apps are incredibly user-friendly and enable you to access all the markets, features and bonuses available on the desktop version of the website. Most of all, though, you have the convenience of being able to place a bet wherever you are - at home, at work, on vacation, or traveling - without needing to journey to licensed premises.

Where To Bet in California Now

Under current state laws, there is nowhere in California where it is legal to place bets on sports events. The only exception is horse racing, and social sports betting operators such as Fliff. If you cannot wait until legalization happens, there are neighboring states where sports betting is permitted - Las Vegas is not far away across the Nevada border. You are allowed to gamble in person at tribal casinos, but remote gambling on games such as online poker is not permitted.  

California Sports Betting: Final Thoughts

Although sports betting in California is not yet legal, it should happen eventually, especially after recent sports betting launches in other large states. It will take some time, but legal online sports betting, mobile sports betting and retail sportsbooks should arrive in the future, For now, it's just a waiting game. 

Alternatives to Sports Betting in California

Traditional online sports betting sites, mobile betting apps and online casinos aren't available in California yet, but there are alternatives. While it's a different experience, legal social casinos are accepting new users, and offering California betting promos.

Responsible Gambling

All licensed apps and online sportsbooks will promote responsible gambling. They should offer links to detailed information and advice about making sure your sports betting stays under control at all times.

There are also several local and national bodies with a presence in California that can offer support and practical assistance to people who fear their gambling is becoming a problem. They include: California Department of Justice, California Council on Problem Gambling, California Lottery and National Council of Problem Gambling.

California Sports Betting FAQ

Author

Hunter Hewitt has been working in the sports betting industry for over two years combined, and has been gambling recreationally for over a decade. Hunter is an experienced writer, editor and marketing professional, and as a California-native currently based in Oakland, he's committed to providing the up-to-date, factual information for BetCalifornia.com.

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