Are Gambling Sites Legal in CA 2023? (2023)

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Gambling in California
GamblingLegal Since
Online Sports TBD
Daily FantasyLegal Since: 2019
Online CasinoTBD
Online PokerTBD
Online LotteryTBD

Page Contents

  • Gambling Laws
  • Legislation History
  • Gambling Age
  • Responsible Gambling
  • Upcoming Changes

California Daily Fantasy

Daily fantasy betting in California is the only option for wagering online. Although daily fantasy has not officially been legalized, the state assembly overwhelmingly passed a DFS bill, but a law has yet to be formalized. The last update came in 2016, when California senator Keven de León commented that he was “not in a rush” on passing a fantasy sports bill. As a result, the country’s most well-known online daily fantasy sports sites are available to CA players.

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It is best to follow daily sports news in order to stay up to date on unforeseen lineup changes.

Scott Bowen, Editor

Why You Can Trust

  • Our team closely monitors California gambling laws, as well as the developments in state legislation. We also stay up to date on regulations outlined by the California Gambling Control Commission
  • We monitor and release articles about gambling-related news and upcoming developments of the industry in the state by following the biggest local online media like
  • We have extensive experience in creating free gambling guides and operator reviews. Some or most popular articles are our Blackjack Rules and Roulette Rules guides.

Gambling Laws in California

California is somewhat of a gambler’s paradise due to its card houses, lotteries, Native American casinos and proximity to Nevada. The advent of the internet has further expanded gambling possibilities in the States, however, not in California. Currently, the only legal form of online gambling is Daily Fantasy Sports, although there is no official law regarding DFS. Players in California are not able to play at sports betting, casino, or poker sites.

Poker has been in California since the state joined the union and remains a legal activity. The California Penal Code was enacted in 1872, which prohibited several casino games, as well as house-banked games. It did not outlaw games played between players, however. As a result, Californians can visit any one of the dozens of licensed cardrooms in the state to play poker and other skill-based table games. Currently there is a freeze on the establishment of new card houses.

A 1987 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court prohibits CA from preventing gambling on tribal land, thus launching the era of the casino in CA. Tribal casinos are the only places in the state that feature traditional casino games like slots. Californians are may also partake in state lotteries and horse race betting. Racing bets can be placed either at the racetrack or in one of the many off-track betting facilities. Sports betting remains illegal in California, but trends seem to suggest this may change as many people have begun to push for the legalization of sports betting in the state. We will update this page should that happen.

Sports Betting in California

Currently, sports betting is illegal in the state of California. Since 1992, sports betting has been illegal across all states under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. However, the state of New Jersey argued that it should be up to the states to allow sports gambling. In June 2017, the U.S. Supreme court agreed to hear New Jersey’s case. The following May, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey, which gave the power to each state to decide for themselves whether to allow sports betting or not. It looks as though the state will legalize sports betting within the next five years, but until that happens, Californians will have to go to Nevada for their sports gambling fix. Still, you can take a look at more detailed information about California sports betting.

California Online Casinos

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I would like to remind you that you will not find any trustworthy California casino facilities at this time. Online casinos are not legal in the state. While surfing the web, you may find sites that accept players from California, but these are not regulated, which means there is no structure in place to protect players and their money should they encounter a faulty game. Native communities have attempted to open online gaming sites, but this was halted in the courts.

Online Poker in California

Similar to casinos, there is currently no option for Californians who wish to play poker online. Although online poker is immensely popular, state residents may only play poker at brick-and-mortar card houses or at Indian casinos on reservations. For now, you’ll have to cross the state line if you wish to play online. We will update this page should the law change.

California Lottery Online

The California Lottery was born in 1984 with the passing of Proposition 37 (approved by 58% of voters). The Lottery Act stated that the contest was to raise funds to provide supplemental funding for public schools and colleges throughout the state. In April 2010, the State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 142, which changed the funding formula of the Lottery, and required that 87% of sales go back to the public in the form of prizes or contributions to public education. Currently, there is no operator that offers an online lottery in California. Alternatively, if you want to know more, we have created a page entirely dedicated on this topic, therefore, do not hesitate to go to our California lottery page review.

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History of Gambling in California

Gambling has been around for centuries and was a hugely popular activity during the Gold Rush, however, the activity was unregulated at the time. The first regulation arrived in 1872 when the California penal code outlawed several casino games, and all games played against a house. This major regulation continues to shape California Gambling, and as a result, you CA residents have to go to Indian reservations, or cross state lines, in order to play traditional casino games like slots, poker, and roulette. Gambling on tribal lands was fully legalized in 2000 through Proposition 1A. In 1976 voters approved charitable bingo, and in 1984 the state officially began regulating sanctioned card gambling rooms. Online gambling, other than horse racing, is not regulated in the state, but there is a vocal group of Californians pushing for legislation. However, for the time being, true online gambling is not be available in CA.

California Gambling History
1848Gold Rush sparks growth in unregulated card games in the state.
1872 California Penal Code is established and outlaws certain forms of gambling including all forms of “house-banked” games.
1933 Horse racing is legalized in California.
1984 Gaming Registration Act regulates card rooms
1994 Gambling Control Act passed to better regulate gambling within the state
2000 Proposition 1A fully legalizes casino gambling on tribal reservations.
Present Segments of the population seek legislation for online gambling, but it still remains to be seen what form this will take.
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California State Facts

California is both an attractive and lucrative market for potential gaming companies for many reasons. Not only does it have largest population in the country, but the GDP of California often ranks in the top five in the world. With 15 major sports teams in the four big professional leagues, California has its fair share of sports fever, however sports betting has yet to penetrate the state. For an understanding of the characteristics of the state, glance at the table below:

Facts About California
Min. Income$2,080
Biggest Offline Gambling LocationSan Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino
Gambling CommissionerCA Gambling Control Commission
Spoken LanguagesEnglish 58.1% Spanish 28.8% Chinese 3.0% Tagalog 2.2%
Biggest Local Sports TeamLos Angeles Lakers
California Tax Authority
Link to the State Law
Gambling Winning Tax25%
State Website Link
Famous Local GamblersBill Walters

Gambling Age in California

The legal age to gamble at a casino on native land is 18, however many native gambling halls and all card houses have set the age at 21 to match the legal drinking age. Players of the lotto must also be 18 years old. Underage gambling is prohibited, and anyone caught doing so are subject to the laws of the state.

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Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention

There are many different channels to, through which one can receive help for problem gambling in California. The Office of Problem Gambling is a subsection of the Department of Public Health. On its website, you can find helplines as well as literature designed to help one recognize whether they have a problem or not. The OPG website is sort of a one-stop shop for all of your responsible gambling needs. You will find info for local Gamblers Anonymous groups, resources for helping loved ones, and free anonymous counseling. Another great place to find info, is on the website of the Attorney General of CA. There you can find self-exclusion/restriction programs and more.

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Upcoming Regulation and Expected Changes

There are current efforts to legalize and regulate online gambling in California in order to protect players, as well as tax the lucrative industry. At the moment a fantasy sports bill has passed the California Assembly, but has yet to make it onto the agenda of the State Senate. The last update came in 2016, when California senator Keven de León commented that he was “not in a rush” on passing a fantasy sports bill. Until a ruling, daily fantasy sports are allowed in CA. Other forms of online gambling face a harder challenge. Indian Casino lobby groups have attempted to create online sites but have been repeatedly blocked by legislatures. Currently, there are no online gambling sites scheduled to launch in the foreseeable future. In case you enjoyed our review of the gambling situation in California you can find many more subjects like this one in our online gambling in the USA overview.

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