If the gambling industry must settle for state-by-state legalization, California represents the Holy Grail of online betting in the united states. It is by far the most populous country in the union with a $2 trillion economy that could rank number 8 on earth if it was its own nation. International gambling websites have gone out of the way to acquire licenses in countries considerably smaller than California.
All eyes are on California as states mull legalizing various forms of online gaming. If California does go the way of legalization, it would by default be the norm by which gambling is quantified in the United States. If the state does finally dominate gambling and it is successful, other nations will certainly follow suit. We may even see something finally happen at the national level.
Different pieces of legislation have been released, taken down and reintroduced in the past several decades. We do not have anything major to report however, but many observers are cautiously optimistic that California will sooner or later make a significant move toward legalization. Here is why:
The state has a pro-gambling civilization The country already has legal casinos and card rooms
It is home to many Indian tribes That Are experienced in gambling California has a spending problem and the potential tax revenues must surely be enticing for state lawmakers
Present Collection of Betting Sites in California
We’ll go over the different gaming choices in California in greater detail below, but I’d like to begin with a quick list of betting sites which are available right now in California. If you came here searching for a place to gamble online, these are the sites that will let you play with and wager real money now.
Sports Gaming:
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100% up to $50
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Fantasy Sports:
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Up to 4 Free Entries
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Free Contest Entry
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Horse and Greyhound Betting:
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$20 Free + 100% up to $100
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100% up to $100
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Wager $500, Get $100
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Online Lottery Tickets:
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No Bonuses Offered
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Games of Skill:
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Daily Offers and Specials
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Sports Betting in California
Lawmakers in California have shown some interest in legalizing sports betting of late. A bill introduced at the 2017/18 session proposed amending existing gaming legislation to allow the California legislature to authorize sports betting determined by the Supreme Court overturning the federal sports betting ban (which it did).
ACA 18 itself didn’t seek to legalize wagering; it instead offered a constitutional amendment that would enable lawmakers to legalize and regulate sports betting later on. When he introduced the bill, Assemblyman Adam Gray said,”The decision is not’should we have sports wagering or never possess sports wagering.’ We all do have sports wagering.”
The point he was making is that sports betting is already a massive black market in California and throughout the United States. The American Gaming Association quotes Americans wager at least $154 billion each year on sports with internet sportsbooks and local bookies in contrast to regulations. The current condition prohibition isn’t working, the logic goes, so the wise thing to do is legalize it, regulate it and tax it.
A report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming published in 2017 considers California is likely to legalize sports gambling within five years from the date of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn PASPA. California has lots of potential to become a major sports betting market, but as you’ll read in another section, competing interests in the state have a tendency to complicate matters.
Assemblyman Gray introduced the exact same legislation in 2018 and 2019 as he continues to push the situation. Finding the tribal groups on board has been exceedingly hard since they dominate a $8 billion gaming industry and therefore are highly reluctant to get on board with sports gambling at risk of starting their profitable compacts with the condition to negotiation once again.
Online Poker in California
The pursuit for internet poker in California has been fought in the courtrooms because you read these words. Bills seeking to regulate internet poker have been released every year since 2007. Not one of these bills have made it all of the way through the legislative process due to vying factions on either side of the matter, but every year brings us closer to finding an agreement that satisfied all interested parties.
In fact, a lot of the problem can be attributed to competing interests in the state. It seems everyone has an agenda and it is difficult to find consensus among the Indian tribes, Cuban operators and present online brands. One group or another always feels left out or targeted by the wording of laws. And to be fair, that is often a legitimate concern.
To increase the difficulty, there are still strong lobbying groups that actively fight the legalization of poker or another form of online gambling in the united states. Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson has pledged to fight legalization across the nation. In California alone, he spent over $300,000 to lobby against poker.
Not a single one of the bills introduced over the previous decade-plus has made considerable progress due to the various competing interests in the nation. The following bill is just one of many efforts to make something happen in California, but it serves as a typical example of how complicated and difficult It’s to make progress in California:
AB 2291: Promising Start but Died in Committee
Assembly Bill 2291 was introduced back in February 2014 but not made it beyond the committee period. It was reintroduced in 2015 and 2016, but was still unable to gain the traction it needed to make it much in the legislative process.
The bill sought to legalize online poker just and dilemma 10-year licenses to operators. The suggested fee for licensing has been originally set at $5,000,000, with this charge being used to offset future taxes. Lawmakers bumped that charge up several times before the fee hit a high of $12,500,000 without offsetting taxes.
Early versions of AB 2291 included several clauses which have resulted in tension between different factions competing for a piece of the poker pie. Most controversial one among them is a”bad actor” clause. AB 2291 originally sought to require potential licensees to get a minimum of five decades of gambling experience in California. It also required every aspect of a procedure, from its own employees to its equipment to its bank account to be held in condition.
In essence, AB 2291 would have prevented all of present online poker providers and newer neighborhood casinos in California from competing. The wording of the bill very clearly favored a few recognized California casino groups at the expense of honest competition.
Another problem with AB 2291 was that it would have prohibited California from entering arrangements with other states to combine player pools and improve liquidity. To put it differently, you’d only see other Californians at the table however many sates legalize poker. To top it all off, the bill will require the country to determine of any laws passed at the federal level allowing internet poker.
Some progress has been made in 2016 with a suggested amendment which would significantly alter the bad actor clause. Previously, the bill would have barred all online poker firms which operated after the passing of the national Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Such limitations would have prohibited established brand such as PokerStars from entering the marketplace.
The last amendment proposes to rather move the cut-off date to the bad actor clause up towards the end of 2011. In other words, sites like PokerStars that operated after the UIGEA but subsequently left the marketplace following the Black Friday indictments at 2011. This could stop the most egregious violators from entering the market but afford PokerStars a chance to provide online poker lawfully in California. You may read more about the proposal .
Looking Back at 2018: The Good and Bad
The Poor Lawmakers and tribal groups have been stuck in stalemate for about four years now. It’s wonderful to see some improvement on this front, but it is also discouraging to find that the outright stubbornness on the part of varying factions. Poker players would be better served by an open and competitive marketplace and player-sharing agreements with other nations.
Worse than that, online poker seems to have taken a step back in 2018. For the first time in over a decade, no invoices seeking to legalize online poker have been introduced. Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sayer advised Online Poker Report that he’s giving up on online poker legislation for this season since there is simply no improvement being made in reaching a compromise between the tribes, local card rooms and other interested parties.
The Good There are a number of positive things to say about most of this. If poker is indeed legalized in California, the potential player pool will much bigger than what we’ve seen in other states that have legalized online poker. Aside from the fact that 38 million people call California home, the state has a poker civilization already thanks to its numerous brick-and-mortar card rooms.
California is likely to have fewer problems with geolocation of gamers because of its sheer size. New Jersey had all kinds of issues verifying players were really located within the nation. This ended up with plenty of possible players being barred in the state-sanctioned websites there. California doesn’t need to contend with congested cities piled up on country boundaries.
Fantasy Sports
Whenever the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in 2006, it provided two noteworthy exceptions to internet gambling: horse racing and fantasy sports. The UIGEA did not just exempt these kinds of gambling; it basically gave operators the go-ahead to provide their games to customers right here in the US.
Some countries have since passed laws banning online fantasy sports but California is not one of these. If you have a thing for sports gambling but would rather do it at a protected and controlled fashion, fantasy sports is your thing to do. You draft a staff just like in regular fantasy leagues except now you get paid real cash if you win.
FanDuel.com and DraftKings.com are the two largest players in this market. They both accept customers from CA and offer single-day fantasy leagues such as the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college basketball and college football.
One of the nice things about online fantasy sports is each competition only lasts for a day or week at the most. You’re not stuck with one team all season. Rather, your team stands up stats over the duration of a single week. You can play in heads-up competitions against other gamers or test your ability in massive tournaments that sometimes give more than a thousand bucks to the first place winner.
You may read more about fantasy sports gambling here.
Legislative Efforts for Daily Fantasy in California
2016 was a significant year for the daily fantasy sports business in California. In January of 2016, lawmakers introduced AB 1437 in a bid to make a regulatory framework for daily fantasy sports websites. If enacted, the bill would need DFS sites to obtain a license, apply a minimum age of 21 for many customers, maintain all clients’ funds in a segregated account and extend self-exclusion programs for problem gamblers.
The bill advanced previous three major votes by a total of 101 for and 2 against. This is a significant bill for California and it looks increasingly likely to be passed into law. On the other hand, the bill itself will not really legalize online fantasy sports contests; it only sets the states where the business would be controlled.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris is expected to issue a ruling on whether or not fantasy contests constitute illegal gambling under state law. If she principles favorably, AB 1437 will have all in place to license and regulated dream sites instantly. The AG’s judgment has been anticipated for at least a year now. Meanwhile, California fantasy sports sites continue to operate freely.
As of 2019, advancement on the bill appears to have completely stalled. The fantastic news is fantasy sports sites are still active throughout the state. Legalizing dream sports in California would basically be a formality at this point.
Online Casinos
There aren’t yet any lawful online casinos in California. The nation has not even tried to pass laws in this regard so it will probably be years before we see legitimate gambling sites open to CA residents.
Don’t be fooled by the hundreds of other sites which are recommending”legal” online casinos. These are actually offshore gaming sites that have no legal existence whatsoever in the United States. They’re unlicensed and completely unregulated.
Although to be honest, there aren’t any state or federal laws that prohibit playing at offshore casinos. If you do choose to play online, nobody is going to come kick in your front door. The largest risk is financial — you never know for sure who you’re dealing with on the other side of the display. Some offshore casinos could be safe while others are definitely outright scams. But no matter where you play, you have no legal recourse when things go belly up.
Your best option is to look at some of the other legal, accredited and safe forms of gambling that are available right now in California. Between horse racing, fantasy sports and also many likely online poker very soon, there are still lots of different methods to play real money games online at protected, accredited websites based in the US.
Horse Betting
Online horse racing is alive and well in California. The horse betting situation here isn’t nearly as complicated as the poker situation. California does permit residents to perform at US-licensed horse wagering sites for example TwinSpires, BetAmerica and TVG.
All the significant US-based horse gambling sites accept clients from California. The country also enables off-track betting (OTB) facilities. OTB facilities function as brick-and-mortar betting shops where people can walk in, put bets on races and collect their winnings in person.
Five racetracks operate upon the state and they also allow for real money wagering. In total, you are able to bet online at any of the accepted horse betting websites, off-track at an OTB place or in-house in any of the monitors listed below. California is also home to county and state fairs that hold races at different times annually.
The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) oversees all horse racing and wagering inside the state. The CHRB’s assignment is to ensure the integrity, viability and safety of the state’s horse racing industry. They manage wagering, breeding, bodily safety and the promotion of horse racing.
California Racetracks
The California Exposition and State Fair operates a yearlong harness racetrack that runs daily at around 5:20 PM.
1600 Exposition Drive
Sacramento, CA 95815
Website Golden Gate Fields
This track is located in Berkley with races and simulcast events weekly.
1100 Eastshore Highway
Berkley, CA 94710
Website Santa Anita
Santa Anita is among the most widely recognized racetracks in the USA and home to major events such as the Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Handicap and sometimes the Breeder’s Cup.
285 W. Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007
Website Del Mar
Del Mar opened in 1937 with a famous race between Seabiscuit and Ligaroti. Seabiscuit barely took the race became a legend of his own. Now, Del Mar plays host to racing events, concerts, family fun days and more.
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd..
Del Mar, CA 92014
Site Los Alamitos
Los Alamitos Race Course is home to daytime thoroughbred racing and nighttime quarter racing. The trail is home to a number of the largest quarter horse bets races in the united states.
4961 E. Katella Ave.
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Site OTB Locations
You will find 31 off-track betting facilities in California. OTB centers are seen in fairgrounds, racetracks, specialty OTB shops, casinos and fairgrounds. You can see a complete list of addresses and locations .
Internet Bingo
There appears to be no motive to especially legalize online bingo in California. The only realistic possibility I see of online bingo coming to California is if it gets caught up in some upcoming online casino legislation.
Lottery Games
Ca lottoThe California state lottery isn’t authorized to sell tickets on the internet or via phone. For many years, the federal Wire Act banned states from selling lotto tickets on the internet. This might not be the case forever. In 2009, New York and Illinois asked the Department of Justice to clarify its position on the Wire Act and clarify exactly which types of online gambling were illegal.
The DOJ responded in 2011 with a decision that’d far-reaching consequences beyond just the lottery. Back in September of 2011, the DOJ issued a statement the official interpretation of the Wire Act only applies to sports gambling on the net. This gave countries the go-ahead to sell tickets on the internet if they select.
Lottery Subscription Websites California has not yet joined the growing list of states that sell lottery tickets on the web. However, there are a number of messenger services that can go buy lottery tickets at face value for a monthly subscription fee. You may log into those websites, pay face value for your tickets and the company will go and purchase tickets on your title.
As an example, LottoGopher.com is a California-based membership website that offers this exact support. The website is registered in California, its owners are background-checked by lottery commission officers and it abides by all state and federal laws. They aren’t legally permitted to sell lotto tickets for more than face value, so that they instead charge users a subscription fee.
A membership at LottoGopher allows you to buy tickets online, select certain amounts as well as form lotto pools with other members. If you win less than $600, Lotto Gopher will credit the winnings to your account that you can then withdraw straight to the bank. If you win more than $600, Lotto Gopher will maintain the prize on your behalf in person then send you a check for the complete amount.
The website does not take a cut of your winnings. They only way they make money is by charging clients a flat subscription fee. At this time, LottoGopher is only available in California. You can learn more and give it a try here:
lotto gopher
Is Lotto Gopher legit?
Yes. They’re based in California and state lottery officials know they are. It’s great that you ask though because there are a ton of online lotto websites that feel and look legit but are not. Lotto Gopher really is legal and 100% untrue.
They’ve been all over the media in the past few decades too. Forbes and ABC have both written articles about the ceremony.

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