California Sports Betting: Legal CA Betting Sites & Sportsbooks

California is a land of boundless opportunity for the sports betting industry, but there is a long road ahead for legalized California sports betting. There are several initiatives and legal hurdles to overcome to eventually launch California sportsbooks, and the earliest this could happen is 2023.

By Martin Booth
Fact Checked by Matthew Asher

California Sports Betting Launch Updates: Key Developments November 2022

The Golden State, with 40 million residents, is by far the most populous state and is home to nearly 20 pro sports teams. If and when California sports betting legalization happens, the size of the market will be gigantic and billions of dollars will be at stake, which is why the wrangles over legalizing sports wagering are so intense. For now, California sports bettors and legal sportsbook operators can only hope they have the opportunity to take part in legal sports betting sooner rather than later.

  • 📆 November 9: 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.
  • 📆 October 28: 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."
  • 📆 October 18: After Week 6 in the NFL, the defending Super Bowl champs Los Angeles Rams (3-3) and San Francisco 49ers (3-3) continue to battle for the NFC West Division title. The Los Angeles Chargers (4-2) also won a big Monday Night Football game over the Denver Broncos, and all California football teams have potential for a postseason run.
  • 📆 October 11: 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.
  • 📆 September 18: Both sides of the California Prop 26 and Prop 27 initiatives continue to advertise often during the NFL season. During Week 2, the advertisements take a slightly different approach, trying to dive deeper into the issues that the Props could help resolve, or issues that could arise.
  • 📆 September 8: 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 conversation around Prop 26 and Prop 27 heightens.
  • 📆 September 1: 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.
  • 📆 August 30: Recent polls from Vixio Gambling Compliance show that both Prop 26 and Prop 27 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 referendum. The poll on Prop 27 showed 29% of voters supporting, 51% opposing, and the rest undecided.
  • 📆 August 23: According to Bloomberg, the "sports-betting fight is getting messy" in California. Recent statistics have shown that $364 million has been spent on Prop 26 and Prop 27, the largest amount ever spent on a state ballot measure.
  • 📆 August 4: Television advertisements regarding Prop 26 and Prop 27 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 and Updates

Our staff of veteran gambling reporters keeps you up-to-date with the latest news on CA sports betting. We pride ourselves on bringing you breaking news and analysis of all developments in the world of online sports betting.

Is Sports Betting Legal in California?

As things stand, sports betting is not yet legal in California - even though it is now several years since the US Supreme Court made a change to federal law that empowered states to legalize the activity. There are two sports betting initiatives competing to be put before California voters in the November 2022 ballot: Proposition 26 and Proposition 27

Can You Sports Bet in California Yet?

One measure, Prop 26, is already on the ballot. Prop 26 is a proposal for sports betting to be allowed at tribal casinos. There are more than 60 California tribal casinos. However, this would not allow for any form of online sports wagering.

Another measure, Prop 27, is backed by several leading sportsbooks including FanDuel, DraftKings, Fanatics Betting & Gaming, and Penn Entertainment. This would allow online betting to be run by the tribal casinos and a few chosen brands. Under Prop 27, both online and retail sports betting would be permitted.

When is Sports Betting in California Expected to Launch?

It will be fascinating to see how California residents vote on Prop 26 and Prop 27 in the November 2022 ballot. While it's unlikely sports betting will come to California anytime soon, a positive vote in late 2022 could pave the way for the legalization of sports betting in California in 2023 or 2024.

Top Expected California Online Sportsbooks

The various parties attempting to legalize sports betting in California can only look with envious eyes at the growing legal sports betting markets in numerous other states. We cannot know at this stage how many licenses might be granted in the event that the decision is taken to offer legal sports betting options in the state. However, there are now several well-established names in the online betting market - and they will be eager to operate California sportsbooks.

⭐️ BetMGM CaliforniaBest For New Bettors
⭐️ Caesars Sportsbook CaliforniaTop Sportsbook Rewards Program
⭐️ FanDuel CaliforniaHighest Rated Sportsbook
⭐️ DraftKings CaliforniaBest For Player Props
⭐️ PointsBet CaliforniaBest For Unique Bet Types
⭐️ Barstool Sportsbook CaliforniaBest For Free Merchandise Promos

Best California Sportsbook for New Bettors

When MGM Resorts International forged a joint venture with UK sports betting brand Entain, the result was BetMGM - and its impact since suggests the link-up was an inspired move. BetMGM is now live in a host of states across the United States. 

Both rookie and experienced bettors enjoy the exceptional user experience of BetMGM 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.  

Top California Sportsbook For Rewards Program

Caesars is arguably the most famous name when it comes to American casinos. Thanks in part to its shrewd $4 billion acquisition of UK sports betting brand William Hill, it is now carving out a niche near the very top of the sportsbook market. 

Bettors 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.

Highest Rated California Sportsbook

FanDuel has been a long-time rival of DraftKings, and now vies with its old sparring partner at the very top of the sports betting market. It is also involved in one of the initiatives aiming to make online sports betting legal in California.

FanDuel 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.

Best California Sportsbook For Player Props

DraftKings has 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 

 

California Legal Sports Betting Legislation Timeline

  • 📆   2022: Online betting initiatives confirmed for November ballot.
  • 📆   2021: Four initiatives are launched that could be on the ballot of California voters in November 2022:
    • The California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act, is supported by a coalition of tribes. This has qualified to be on the ballot in November 2022. It would restrict sports betting to tribal casinos and four racetracks.
    • The California Solutions to Homeless and Mental Health Support Act allows online betting, with revenue dedicated to combating homelessness. It is supported by major sportsbooks including FanDuel and DraftKings, which aim to get enough signatures to force it onto the ballot.
    • The Age-Verified Tribal Online and In-Person Sports Wagering Act, supported by a separate tribal coalition, would allow in-person and online sports wagering.
    • An initiative that would allow card rooms to offer retail and online CA sports betting.
  • 📆   2020: Amid more wrangling between state legislators and the tribes, no progress is made.
  • 📆   2019: More bills are launched, but the tribes respond by launching their own ballot initiative.
  • 📆   2018: The US Supreme Court overturns PASPA, clearing the path for states to legalize sports betting.
  • 📆   2017: For the second year running, a bill that would have paved the way for legal CA sports betting is unsuccessful that would allow card rooms to offer retail and online CA sports betting.

Mobile Sports Betting Apps in California

If mobile sports wagering becomes legal in California, it is certain that a choice of outstanding online sportsbook apps will be available. This is, after all, the home of Silicon Valley - and millions of bettors in other states enjoy the convenience of sports wagering on their mobile devices. 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.

 

CA Sports To Bet On

There are lots of different options in terms of sports for gamblers in California.

NFL Betting

With three NFL teams in the Golden State, following the defection of the Raiders to Las Vegas, it is inevitable that plenty of sports wagering would focus on football. Across the USA, football is the most popular sport among bettors. The Super Bowl, won in 2022 by a California team, is probably the biggest annual sports wagering event in the world. The structure of NFL games makes them ideal for in-play betting opportunities, and the devotion NFL teams inspire among their huge fanbases ensures there will always be a high level of interest in betting on football.

NBA Betting

Some of the biggest franchises in the basketball world are based in the Golden State, which ensures there should one day be serious levels of betting in California on NBA matches. Basketball is a fast-moving, high-scoring sport that is popular with devotees of in-play wagering. The NBA was the governing body that was most eager to embrace the commercial opportunities provided by sports wagering, so we can assume there will be great interest here if and when the sports betting laws in California are changed.

MLB Betting

California has more professional sports teams than any other state - and no fewer than five of them are Major League Baseball outfits. 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 gambling comes to California. Baseball is also famously a sport that drives a huge volume of statistics, which makes it ideal for those who want to make an informed sports wagering decision.

NHL Betting

Hockey is now a genuinely coast-to-coast sport, a status emphasized by the presence of three NHL teams in California. Hockey commands a high degree of interest throughout the regular season and especially when the Stanley Cup finals are on. The fact that there are also many high-quality and respected leagues in Europe means that the smartest sportsbooks can offer a steady stream of top action for hockey fans to enjoy.

College Sports Betting

California is home to a host of programs with teams in Division I of the NCAA. However, it is far from certain that fans of college sports will be able to wager on their favorite Californian teams. The sports betting initiative with the backing of tribal casinos would specifically prohibit wagering on in-state college sides, a restriction applied in several other states. We shall have to wait and see what the precise terms of any change in California law would mean for college sports wagering.

California Teams To Bet On

California is home to over a dozen teams in four of the biggest leagues in the country. There are plenty of hometown options for you to be ton. 

  • Los Angeles Rams

    For more than 75 years, the Los Angeles 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 the 2022 season in their new SoFi Stadium it has added to the Rams' appeal. It was the team's second championship and first since 1999.

  • San Francisco 49ers

    With 5 Super Bowl victories between 1981 and 1994, the San Francisco 49ers established themselves as firm favorites with many fans in San Francisco and beyond. The first four made household names of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and many of their teammates. They have struggled to hit the same heights since, but continue to command great loyalty among their 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. A 9-8 season in 2021, which saw them narrowly miss out on the playoffs, suggests there could be brighter days to come for the Chargers.

  • 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 & Offers At California Online Sportsbooks

If the decision is taken to legalize sports betting in California, operators who offer sports betting will undoubtedly use promotions and offers as a way of standing out from what is sure to be a hugely competitive crowd. This is good news for bettors, who will have a host of tempting bonuses and promos to choose from. It's always advisable 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. Let's look at the types of offers that might come your way.

Risk-Free Bets 

Every sports bettor dreams of having a wager that cannot lose - and a risk-free bet is a way to make that dream come true. Many California online sportsbooks run by leading operators are likely to offer such a promotion as a welcome bonus for new customers. 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. The amount of that first bet can be substantial, and many operators will cover a risk-free bet of $1,000 or more.

Deposit Match

This is another popular welcome bonus that has the effect of swelling your sports wagering coffers. However much you put in your account as a first deposit, the sportsbook will increase by a certain percentage. This is often a 100% bonus, meaning your account balance is doubled before you even have your first bet. Check to terms and conditions carefully, particularly when it comes to playthrough requirements.

Referral Bonuses

After you have signed up for an 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 Boosts

If you have decided to wager on a particular outcome, it can really lift the spirits if the odds about that result get a boost. Many 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 Insurance

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, of course, 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 payout.

Choosing The Best California Online 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 on sports online. 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.

Great Reviews

By the time sports betting proposals have been voted on by the electorate of the Golden State, and 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.

Bets Allowed

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. Check out the types of wagers available on your top sports - leading operators will enable you to play the way you want to.

Frequent Sports Betting Bonuses 

The best 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.

Great Pricing On Betting Lines and Odds 

As you assess various California sportsbooks, you will notice that the 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. If you want to place money on the Los Angeles Lakers to win their next game, for instance, the odds at one operator might be +120, while another is showing a price of +130. Clearly, placing a bet with the latter will win you more money. This is one reason why it can be worthwhile opening more than one account in a new marketplace like California.

Excellence In User Interface 

There is no point in having all the bonuses in the world if the process of finding the bet you want to place and staking your money, is slow and complicated. 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.

Easy Deposits & Withdrawals

Of course, if you are unable to place money in your account, your betting journey with a sportsbook will be a very short one. 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. Even more importantly, check that you will be able to withdraw your money quickly and easily - some operators have fewer methods for withdrawal available than for deposit. And the speed of payouts is a key consideration when we are assessing sportsbooks.

Variety of Customer Support

Nobody wants to have to contact a sportsbook - it means you have an issue, a question, or a complaint. But if that need arises, 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!

Get The Best Line

By having multiple 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.

Intro Betting Bonuses

When sports betting in California goes live, it is highly likely that the competition for customers will lead to some extremely generous welcome offers. 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.

Bet Offerings

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.

Feel The Sportsbook

Sometimes, the choice of the right sportsbook for you will come down to a matter of personal taste. You may prefer the design, font, or navigability of a particular sportsbook. Only by test-driving more than one sportsbook can you be sure you are in precisely the right place for you and your style of wagering.

Sportsbook Rules

It's important to remember that sportsbooks may have different rules to cover the same situation. For instance, some operators impose a minimum price at which a risk-free or free bet must be placed; this may be -200 or -300 - and some have no restriction at all. Similarly, the minimum number of selections in a parlay before parlay insurance can be applied may vary between operators. That's why it's essential to check out the terms and conditions thoroughly before taking advantage of any promotion or offer.

Available Sports Wagers At Legal California Online Sportsbooks

Expect a wealth of bet types offered when California sports betting launches 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 college sports involving in-state teams. We also advise strongly against wagering with unlicensed offshore betting sites.

Other California Betting Options

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

 

Daily 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

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.

Elections

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

Pop Culture Ceremonies

In some states, regulated 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

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.

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 Legislation

When the US Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional in 2018, it opened the door to states legalizing 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 that is set to go before voters in November 2022. This would allow sports retail betting in California at tribal casinos and racetracks - but not online.

Seven leading sportsbook operators are behind another proposed ballot measure that would allow online gambling, administered by the tribes in conjunction with those big betting brands. This has more chance of getting on to the 2022 ballot than the other tribal initiative, or the one launched by the card rooms. Without the support of the tribes, it is unlikely that the card rooms' measure will appear on the ballot.

California Sports Betting 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.  

California Legal Online Sports Betting Tax Rate 

No decision has yet been taken about the tax rate that would be charged to the operator of any California sportsbook. However, under the sportsbook-driven initiative that may go before voters in November 2022, an initial license would cost $100million, with a renewal fee every five years of $10million. This measure envisages that 15 percent of tax revenues would go to non-participating tribes, with the balance going to homelessness initiatives.

Who Regulates California Sports Betting Sites?

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.

California Sports Team Partners

In states where 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 sports betting not legal in the Golden State, such partnerships would be pointless. 

Deposit and Withdraw from CA Sports Betting Sites

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 Sports Betting vs Mobile Sports Betting

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. 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.  

Responsible Gambling

Although sports betting has not been legalized in California yet, the presence of dozens of tribal casinos, card rooms and racetracks means that the need to encourage responsible gambling in the Golden State is not new. All licensed sportsbooks should offer links to detailed information and advice about making sure your gambling 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

Contributors

Martin Booth covers a gambit of topics for BetCalifornia.com as an award-winning contributor covering sports betting and casino gaming around the world for decades, Martin Booth is one of the most trusted voices in online gambling. From legislative updates in California to breaking down the top betting apps in CA.

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