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Guide to Online Gambling in California

California online gambling is not yet legalized and regulated within state borders. However, there are real money gambling sites available in CA. They’re just based elsewhere.

So if you’re wondering you can gamble online for real money in California, the simple answer is yes. We go into more detail in this guide to CA online gambling, which also includes our recommendations for the best California gambling sites currently available.

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The legal situation regarding gambling online in California is, at best, a little confusing.

With a few exceptions, it’s the same in most American states. Although some have legal online gambling that is regulated by the relevant state government, most do not have legislation in place that directly relates to betting and gaming over the internet.

All this means, for the most part, is that gambling sites can’t actually base themselves within states that don’t have the appropriate laws and regulatory framework in place. They can still accept customers from those states, providing they’re licensed and operating legally where they ARE based.

So, if you’re looking to gamble online from CA, your search is over. We’ve analyzed all the sites available to players in the state, and ranked them based on various criteria. Our list of the best California online gambling sites is all you need to get started.

Best California Gambling Sites

Best California Gambling Sites

How can we contend that the sites we recommend stand above the rest? That’s a good question, and the answer is that we measure all of the important factors point by point when we’re engaged in the rating process.

Read on to find out more about how we identify the top California gambling sites.

Assessing Online Gambling Sites for CA

Our process for ranking real money gambling sites is extensive and effective. We look at all the factors that can affect your overall online gambling experience in one way or another, and apply ratings to sites accordingly. The sites that perform the best in key areas are the ones that we rank the highest.

We won’t cover every aspect of our ranking process here, as there’s too much involved. But here are a few details on some of the areas we considered when listing the best online gambling sites for CA.

Is Your Money Safe?

When you’re gambling online for real money, you’re naturally going to be concerned about the safety of your funds. This is fully understandable, because it’s a bit unsettling to start a financial relationship with a company that has no physical presence.

This being stated, a measured look at the big picture should inspire confidence. Internet-based gambling sites are widely utilized by players around the world. So, in a very real sense, online gambling is firmly established as a completely legitimate industry with a solid foundation.

Of course, there are always going to be a few bad actors in any business niche. Our job is to provide our readers with SAFE California gambling sites, so of course we make sure that the rogue operations get nowhere near our recommended list.

If you stick to our approved gambling sites for California, you can be absolutely certain that you’re dealing with legitimate and trustworthy companies.

An important part of our ranking process is to research the history of sites, and gather feedback from others who have used them. Although we thoroughly test themselves, this additional research can be very enlightening.

We have to be completely convinced that a site is reputable and treats its customers well before we recommend it.

The Test of Time

Financial companies that hold your funds, like banks, brokerages, and insurance companies, hammer home the fact that they’ve been around forever. They know people want to be reassured that the company will be in business and solvent when they need their money.

To a lesser extent, the same principle applies to online gambling sites. The operators that we rank as the top-rated California gambling sites stand on very firm footing. We look for websites that have been around long enough to establish a reputation for absolute reliability.

Something for Nothing

The best CA gambling sites roll out the red carpet when it comes to financial incentives for their players. Our recommendations all offer eye-catching bonuses for new players, and we’re talking about hundreds of dollars or more.

Most businesses don’t give you free money to express their appreciation for your patronage, but the real money gambling sites are notable exceptions. In addition to the initial bonuses, there are ongoing promotions, so the rewards don’t necessarily stop after the initial sign-up.

While we’re on the subject of bonus money, after you collect your welcome offer from one site, you can register an account as a new player on another site to take advantage of their new sign-up cash promotions.

We advise joining all of our recommended California gambling sites and claiming the sign-up offers. This can add up to quite a bit of extra money to bet and play with.

Safety, an established reputation, and generous bonuses offers are at the cornerstone of what makes for a top online gambling site. There are many, many more things to consider, though. Here are some more examples.

  • Banking options
  • Speed of payouts
  • Customer service
  • Range of gambling options

The best gambling sites for California all offer a choice of ways to deposit and withdraw your funds. They also make sure that any withdrawals are paid out in a reasonable timeframe.

They provide top-notch customer service on every level, too. Telephone customer support is there for you, and some sites have call centers operating around the clock. You can contact them by email, and live chat is available as well.

A range of gambling options is important, as people have different preferences for what they like to play and bet on.

Again, this is really just scratching the surface of what we look at. We’ll move on now, though, and look at reasons why you might want to gamble online from California in the first place.

Why Gamble Online from California?

Californians can engage in a few forms of real money gambling at physical locations throughout the state. There are more than 60 Native American casinos, and there are horse racing tracks and poker rooms.

It’s nice to have these options available, but there are several reasons why online gambling is the better choice in just about every instance.

No Access Limitations

If you’re fortunate enough to live in one of the major metropolitan areas where there are horse racing tracks, you can fight traffic and eventually bet the ponies. The only problem is, they’re hours away from most residents of the state.

There are poker rooms in all parts of California, but a relatively small percentage of people that like to gamble are live poker players. The Native American casinos offer some traditional casino games, but they’re usually spread out on tribal lands in more remote areas.

So, yes, there is gambling in-state, but it’s quite limited. On the other hand, when you open an account at one of the leading CA gambling sites, there are absolutely zero geographic limitations. You can dive into the action from anywhere, and this is a quantum leap that changes the playing field.

You can participate from any location, and you can do so at any time of day or night. This is not the case with many of the physical gambling locations in the state.

Total Convenience

Even if there’s some type of betting or gaming venue relatively close to your home, the facility may not be all that inviting after you have visited it once or twice. The drive is inconvenient, and in some instances, there are parking fees. Once you make your way inside, another set of hassles greet you.

Large crowds and unruly behavior are commonplace in casinos, for example. This can be uncomfortable in a general sense, but you may also find it hard to snag a seat at the tables and slot machines.

There can be prohibitive rules with regard to drinking alcohol while gambling at Indian casinos. And refreshments are going to be overpriced at the gaming halls because of the “only game in town” factor.

You have the freedom to gamble at home in complete peace when using the best California online gambling sites, with all the affordable refreshments you could ever want just a few steps away.

The sites are designed for mobile adaptability, so if you want to place wagers while you’re in a coffee shop or a local watering hole, you’re good to go.

Simply put, if you like to gamble, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re confining yourself to the brick and mortar locations.

California Online Gambling Laws and Regulation

We know that many of our readers are interested in the future of online gambing because they have heard about the changing attitudes among government officials in many parts of the country. One huge development has definitely accelerated the shift that we are seeing in more and more states.

Supreme Court Sports Betting Decision

During the 1980s, the sporting world was rocked by a number of scandals that involved inappropriate gambling by participants for dishonest purposes. This culminated in the revelations about baseball great and former Reds manager Pete Rose betting on games that he managed (among others).

There was a congressional response presented in the form of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 1992. This made gambling on sports in the United States illegal in all parts of the country except Nevada, a state that already had numerous sportsbooks in place.

This statute remained unchallenged for the next two decades or so, but finally, New Jersey decided to throw down the gauntlet.

The court battle raged on for a few years, and it eventually reached the highest court in the land. On May 14 in 2018, the Supreme Court decided that the PASPA law violated the 10th Amendment, and this effectively opened the door to all 50 states legalizing sports gambling.

California’s Status

Though US gambling laws now allow states to license sports betting facilities, it is up to each respective state to decide how to proceed. They can also choose to legalize and regulate online gambling.

There are some states that will likely never even give the possibility any consideration because of their overall stance toward gambling.

California doesn’t fit into this category, but there isn’t much momentum toward legalization and regulation right now. They’re planning on placing a referendum on the ballot in the near future to let the voters decide on the matter.

Even if they do vote in favor of the measure, it will take a significant length of time for the parameters to be established by the government. It should also be noted that state-sanctioned brick and mortar sports betting facilities are one thing, but online gambling is another.

Since the state is moving very slowly toward the regulation of sports betting at physical locations, it will probably take even longer for them to license online casinos and sportsbooks.

No Worries for California Gamblers

People that live in the Golden State don’t have to cross their fingers and wait for a miracle with regard to safe, trustworthy, regulated online gambling. The best California gambling sites that we listed are always open for business.

They’re licensed in reputable jurisdictions, and there are strict requirements for applicants. These operators are well-financed, managed by vetted industry professionals, and required to offer safeguards for players.

One of the factors we take into consideration when rating sites is the particular geographic focus. As an American, you want to frequent a site that’s designed for US players.

You can rest assured that all the sites that have gained our stamp of approval provide a supreme experience for Californians.

People that live in the Golden State don’t have to cross their fingers and wait for a miracle with regard to safe, trustworthy, regulated online gambling. The best California gambling sites that we listed are always open for business.

Current California Gambling Laws

We have an entire page dedicated to gambling laws in California. It’s worth a read if you want to know the details of all the current gambling legislation in the state. For a quick overview, see below.

Overview of California Gambling Laws
Type of GamblingLegal Status
Casino GamblingLegal (Tribal casinos only)
PokerLegal
Horse Racing BettingLegal
LotteryLegal
Daily Fantasy SportsLegal
Charitable GamingLegal
Social Gambling Restricted
Online GamblingUnspecified

More CA Gambling Sites

Most of the top online gambling sites for California that offer just about every form of gambling that you would find in the world-class casino resorts that tower over the Las Vegas Strip.

The exact offerings vary a bit from site to site, but you can definitely find a resource on our approved list that has what you want.

Sports betting, casino games, and poker are all available at most online gambling sites

Although each site typically offers multiple forms of gambling, some sites are better at one thing than they are at others. That’s why we also rank the best California gambling sites on other, more specific, categories.

Summary

Now that you know so much about California online gambling, and the sites available to you in the state, we wanted to leave you with a few concise takeaways.

Our research team puts all of the best gambling websites for California players under a microscope. We look at relevant factors and aim to provide you with a world-class gaming experience at the sites we listed.

And when you establish an account at our recommended sites, you never have to drive to a physical betting or gaming facility. These sites are always up and running, so you don’t have to worry about rude people, long waits, or distance.

There’s also no shortage of betting options when you enter the online universe. If you like casino games, table games, slots, and video poker, they’re all readily available. And these CA gambling sites accommodate bettors of all bankroll sizes.

Sports betting is also another possibility, and you’ll find favorable odds here. You can bet on horses or dogs with all the standard types of wagers.

Anyone that has an interest in gambling should take full advantage of this exciting entertainment option.