Online Sports Betting in California & CA Gambling Laws 2020

Sports betting is massively popular across the world and in the United States, with so many different major sports events taking place on a regular basis. In terms of sports betting in California, while there is no legal framework in place as of yet, a lot of people use the likes of offshore betting sites to fulfill their needs. This guide looks at all aspects of sports betting in California, showcasing what platforms are the best fit for your needs.

Top 3 Online Bookmakers in California, CA, USA

For California residents or you are in the state visiting, you can place sports bets through a variety of offshore platforms. Here are three of the best choices for this purpose available to today:

  • Slot Title
  • Pay Back
  • Key Features

  • Min. Deposit: $10
  • Payout speed: 48 hours
$20 free betPlay NowOur score:
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  • Min. Deposit: $10
  • Payout speed: 15 minutes
50% first deposit bonus up to $250Play NowOur score:
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  • Min. Deposit: $20
  • Payout speed: 48 hours
50% first deposit up to $1,000Play NowOur score:
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Is online sports betting in California legal? No

Currently, there is no form of legal sports betting in the state of California. Since the federal law banning sports betting (PASPA) came to an end in May 2018, there have been a number of sports betting bills to bring legalization to the fore. This has included a number of petitions through these California sports betting bills seeking for the issue of sports betting in California to go on the public November ballot for a vote. The main obstacle to legal sports betting in California are the Native American tribes. online sports betting in California

They have a strong hold over gambling in the state and they do not want to dilute this position by allowing other parties to start offering California sports betting. While they would be happy if only tribal casinos could offer sports betting, they are hesitant to allow the likes of card rooms and other parties also being able to operate sportsbooks. Therefore, it seems like legal sports betting in California will not become a reality in the near future.

Other forms of gambling in California

While there is no legal sports betting in California, there are dozens of tribal casinos, as well as many card rooms where you can play a lot of your favorite casino games. There is no regulated online casino market, so people use offshore online casinos.

You can take part in the state lottery and pari-mutuel horse racing betting. There are also some bingo halls around the place, but there are strict rules about social gambling. Currently, there is no form of online gambling allowable in California.

Our Recommended Online Sportsbook in California

Our Rating

  • Very fast withdrawals
  • Great reputation
  • Large range of markets
  • $20 welcome bonus offer
Intertops Online Poker

Top 3 online sports betting sites that accept players from California

If you are looking to take part in sports betting in California, you have a lot of out-of-state platforms to check out. While there are some exciting new options, it is usually best to stick with the tried and tested. These sites give you the chance to place bets on your favorite teams and get your hands on some great free bet offers. Here are three of the best sports wagering sites in California today:

1. Intertops - Most trusted online sportsbook ($20 welcome free bet)

Intertops’ claim to fame is that it is the oldest online sportsbook in the world having supposedly started its operations many years ago. If a platform has lasted this long, then you know that it can be trusted or else it would be long out of business. Its origins date back to 1983 before the internet was around before it started an online sportsbook in 1996. It also was the first sportsbook to launch a mobile offering, doing so in 2000. Intertops continues to bring innovation into all aspects of its platform these days, enhancing the bettor experience as much as possible.

You have access to a lot of different betting markets, with the main focus being on US sports, such as the NFL. There is a nice selection of betting types and prop bets for you to check out. The odds are pretty competitive and you won’t come across many complaints about slow withdrawals, as Intertops always pays on time.

Showcasing their dedication to their customers, the support staff is some of the best around, always being available if you have a question or an issue that needs resolving. For those people who are signing up to an Intertops account for the first time, you can get your hands on a $20 free bet. This is the ideal way to kick off your new account.

Our Rating

  • Very fast withdrawals
  • Great reputation
  • Large range of markets
  • $20 welcome bonus offer
  • Not the biggest welcome bonus

2. Bovada - Ultra-fast withdrawals (50% deposit bonus up to $250)

Bovada is not just a sports betting platform, it also offers casino games, poker and horse racing betting. This operator has been around for almost two decades, previously being called Bodog. The sports betting offering caters only to customers in the US and it has developed a strong reputation over the years. There is a massive range of markets, particularly for all of the major US sports. The withdrawals are some of the fastest around, so you will always get your funds on time but mainly cryptocurrency payout options are offered. There are some withdrawal fees that you need to keep in mind.

With 24/7 customer support, Bovada always strives to look after its base of bettors. In general, the odds offered are good and you have decent betting limits if you are not a professional sports bettor. For new signups, there is a welcome offer that allows you to get a 50% first deposit bonus up to $250. There are also a lot of regular promotions for bettors, particularly when the NFL season is in full flow. If you are looking for a platform that looks after US bettors, Bovada is for you.

Our Rating

  • Great range of US betting markets
  • Competitive odds
  • Deposit bonus up to $250
  • Very fast withdrawals
  • Mainly crypto withdrawals

3. BetOnline - Very competitive odds (50% first deposit bonus up to $1,000)

BetOnline is one of the biggest offshore sports betting sites in the sports betting market today. It has been catering to bettors since 2001, with particularly high betting limits on American sports. As well as being popular among online poker players, the sportsbook at BetOnline has been seen as a reliable choice for many years. While in the past, withdrawal times could be a bit slow, this issue was resolved and bettors have no more issues in this regard. There are plenty of different seasonal promotions for you to avail of, as well as most American betting markets having competitive odds, being the ideal fit for people in California.

For example, there were a lot of great promotions for local sports teams during the World Series win of the Los Angeles Dodgers or during the NBA Finals which the Lakers won. Another great advantage is that BetOnline is always quick off the mark to post their odds, doing so before most other sportsbooks. For those people who are signing up for a BetOnline sports gambling account for the first time, there is a welcome offer whereby you can get a 50% first deposit bonus up to $1,000. There is also a separate welcome offer if you want to deposit using Bitcoin to your new account.

Our Rating

  • Competitive odds
  • Great betting limits
  • Focuses on US sports
  • First deposit bonus up to $1,000
  • Track record with slow withdrawals

How we rate the best California online bookmakers

There are a lot of different ways in which we rate California bookmakers. They come in a lot of different shapes and forms, so some research is needed to find the best fit for your needs. There is a general set of criteria that we look at in order to develop a shortlist of options. Some of the items on this list include:

  • Range of sports on offer
  • Types of betting markets
  • Selection of events per sport
  • Live betting offering
  • Competitiveness of odds
  • Platform ease of use
  • Range of payment options
  • Quality of customer support
  • Licensing and security

What to consider when choosing a betting site?

If you have developed a shortlist of potential sportsbooks to sign up for, you can then narrow down this list until you have a single option to use. The best way to do so is by deciding what your priorities are in a sports betting site and sticking to platforms that tick these boxes. You might prefer a strong mobile offering or a certain betting market. Here are some useful criteria to look at when trying to make this decision:

Legal standing

While there is no legal sports betting in California at the moment, there are out-of-state platforms with good reputations that you can use. You want to make sure that your data is kept safe and that your withdrawals will be honored.

Customer support

If you run into a problem when using a sports betting site, you want to be sure that you will be able to get it resolved nice and quickly. Look at the different contact options, response time and quality for a given platform.

Promotions

Welcome offers are a great aspect of signing up for an account with a new sportsbook. You will also come across promotions for existing players, as well as loyalty rewards programs.

Competitive odds

You want to be dealing with a sports betting site that will have competitive odds for your favorite sports. This means that you will be able to maximize your returns when you win a bet.

Payment methods

It is vital that a given sports betting site has a payment method that fits your needs. You should look at any attached fees and the processing times for transactions on the platform.

Live betting offering

A lot of people love placing in-play sports bets, allowing them to take advantage of something they see while watching a game. Look to see if live streams are available and the range of markets for live betting.

The future of online gambling in California

At the moment, the future of online gambling in California does not look very realistic. There have been numerous attempts over the years to legalize online poker in the Senate and to push for online sports betting. However, each of these legality attempts have been met with significant resistance.

Assemblyman Adam Gray is one of the main proponents for sports betting in California alongside Bill Dodd and is pushing for a constitutional amendment (SCA-6) that would need two-thirds support. He has pointed to the success of sports betting in the likes of New Jersey as a glaring example of the possibilities if legalized.

With the California tribes fiercely opposing gambling expansion in the state, it looks like online gambling in a regulated manner won’t be in the Golden State for some time. With a population of over 40 million people, the Californian market would be massively lucrative with the tax revenue, which may tempt lawmakers/legislators in the future to introduce some legislation.

Where else is online gambling legal in California?

If you are a fan of online gambling, there are many states that have different types of online offerings. Some will just offer online sports betting or sell lottery tickets online, while others will have everything from online poker to online casinos.

The ending of the federal ban on sports betting in 2018 was the catalyst for a lot of states to start embracing sports betting, with this trend set to continue for some time. To have a look at the online gambling situation in any state, you can check out the interactive USA map below:

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

Bottom Line

While California sports betting is not yet a legalized reality, you still have options. You can access out-of-state platforms to get access to a wide range of betting markets for your favorite sports. To get started today and get your hands on a sports betting welcome bonus, you can sign up for one of our recommended online sportsbooks in California.

FAQs

What is the legal gambling age in California?

If you want to gamble online in California, you have to be at least 21 years old. The same goes for if you are looking to gamble at a casino that serves alcohol. Some casinos will allow you to enter if you are 18 years old and you can also buy lottery tickets at this age.

Are there Indian casinos in California?

Currently, there are dozens of tribal casinos dotted around California operated by different Indian tribes. These offer most of the standard casino games (recently adding roulette) and garner a lot of revenue each year. They hold a lot of political influence in the state due to their presence. You won’t find too many of these casinos in or around Los Angeles. However, coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic closures have emphasized the advantage of online operations. There are no Las Vegas-style commercial casinos in the state.

Is there mobile sports betting in California?

If you want to place sports bets when you are on the go in California, most offshore platforms will have an app you can download to place sports bets. Otherwise, you can place wagers directly through your mobile's web browser. Some people like to go to Nevada to use the state’s sports betting apps.

Are daily fantasy sports (DFS) legal in California?

Currently, there is no legislation in place regarding daily fantasy sports in California. However, many Californians use popular DFS platforms such as FanDuel and DraftKings without facing any consequences.

Is sports betting legal in California online?

There is no law or regulatory body in place in California that makes online gambling illegal in the state. It is only illegal to operate an online gambling platform.

Can you bet on teams from California?

Yes, you can place bets on all major sports teams in the state that are involved in the likes of the NBA, MLB, NFL and so on, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Giants, 49ers, Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, Sacramento Kings, Rams and Chargers.

Andrew O'Malley

About Andrew O'Malley

Alex has been writing about the gambling industry for more than five years, covering everything from sports betting to casinos and poker. With the sector constantly evolving, he loves nothing better than staying up to date with the latest movers and shakers in the space.