California online gambling has grown and become a popular form of .entertainment in recent years. State residents have a growing interest in online gambling activity. Players can bet for real money without consequence.
In recent decades, California has become one of the most gambling inclined populations in the entire United States. With the liberal gambling laws of neighboring Vegas nearby, California has sought to profit from the gambling industry.
California’s Best Online Betting Sites
Online gambling has not been regulated yet in California. However, there are still plenty of online gambling sites that currently accept residents from California. Below you’ll find our list of recommended CA gambling sites that are trustworthy, offer fast payouts, and a great selection of online games.
Gambling in California: An Overview
California borders the Pacific Ocean, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona, and Mexico.
- Abbreviation: CA
- State Motto: Eureka
- Capital City: Sacramento
- Population Estimate: 39.5 million (1st)
- Website: https://www.ca.gov/
California is known as a progressive state and has legalized many forms of gambling. It started back in 1933 when pari-mutuel betting on horse races was legalized.
In 1984, the lottery was approved by voters. The legislature implemented new regulations on state cardrooms in the same year. Non-house-banked card games like poker have always been legal in California, even when some other card games were outlawed in 1872. Cardrooms offer many games, which are player-to-player without the house as the bank.
In 1998, voters approved gaming compacts with the numerous Native American tribes per the 1988 federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). With more than 100 tribes in the state, it was a complicated task. Clarifications to tribal gaming were made via state law through the mid-2000s.
Since 2017, more than 150 tribal casinos and cardrooms exist throughout California. Nearly half are located on Native American reservations, with most offering house-banked card games, slot machines, bingo, and electronic games.
Most forms of gambling in California are regulated under the California Gambling Control Act Business and Professions Code.
The code addressed unregulated gambling as dangerous to the public.
The most specific reference to California online gambling is tribal gaming. Tribes are forbidden to offer banking and percentage card games via the internet. Therefore, Native American gaming operations cannot provide online poker until the state allows all gaming operators in the state.
However, the California Bureau of Gambling Control has sent a clear message regarding licensed gambling businesses in the state doing business with entities.
Online Gambling Legislation in California 2021
California legislators have tried to legalize online poker for more than 10 years. Lawmakers have sponsored bills in the Senate and the Assembly, but the hurdle is to appeal to all interested parties to continue negotiations.
In 2016, the horse racing industry was one that finally agreed to stay away from online poker opportunities in exchange for a $60 million annual subsidy.
There have mostly been two sides fighting over one sticking point in the bills consistently – suitability. Also known as the bad actor clause, suitability decides whether to allow some online poker operators (namely PokerStars) to operate in the California market.
Some argue that continued operations in the US market after the 2006 UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) should be prohibited from participation. That group consisted primarily of powerful tribal nations, while few tribes joined the PokerStars coalition and its large cardroom contingent.
Ultimately, no compromises were acceptable, and talks broke down in 2017. There have been no online poker bills considered since then.
Online casino games have not been considered by lawmakers at all.
California legislators did consider daily fantasy sports legislation in 2016 but were not able to pass it. It has not been licensed and regulated, but it is not banned either. DFS sites like DraftKings and FanDuel accept real money play from Californians.
The state has been considering sports betting bills for several years. However, online and in-person sportsbooks are illegal.
2021 online gambling developments in California will depend on the intent of Native casinos, who have been pushing for online betting sites for years.
Recently, representatives from the Native casinos in California launched a voter initiative for online sports betting. It will be up for a vote on the November 2022 ballot and may open the door to further online betting.
Califonia Online Betting FAQ
Can you gamble online in California?
Yes. Online bettors can gamble safely in California with several providers offering poker, slots, and sports gambling options.
Can I play poker online for money in California?
Yes. Several California online gambling operators allow residents to play online poker for real money.
What kind of gambling is illegal in California?
In California, horse race betting, daily fantasy sports, sweepstakes online casino, and sweepstakes online poker are legal. However, online and physical sportsbooks are both illegal in the state.
Does CA have land-based casinos?
There are many land-based casinos in California. Over 160 land-based tribal casinos operate in the state, with many providing a full casino experience. Below is a selection of some of the biggest Native casinos in the Golden State.