If the gaming industry has to settle for state-by-state legalization, California signifies the Holy Grail of online gambling in the US. It’s the most populous country in the union with a $2 trillion market that could rank number 8 in the world when it had its own nation. International gambling websites have gone out of their way to obtain licenses in countries much smaller than California.
All eyes are on California as countries mull legalizing various types of online gambling. If California does go the method of legalization, it would by default be the standard by which gaming is measured from the United States. If the state does eventually dominate gambling and it is successful, other states will surely follow suit. We might even see something eventually happen at the federal level.
Various pieces of legislation have been released, shot down and reintroduced in recent years. We don’t have anything major to report yet, but most observers are cautiously optimistic that California will at some point make a significant move toward legalization. Here’s why:
The state has a pro-gambling culture The country has lawful casinos and card rooms
It’s home to numerous Indian tribes who are experienced in gaming California has a spending problem and the potential tax revenues must surely be tempting for state lawmakers
Present Collection of Betting Sites in California
We are going to discuss the different gaming choices in California in greater detail below, but I’d love to begin with a fast list of gambling sites that are available right now in California. If you came here searching for a place to bet online, these are the sites that will let you play with and wager real money today.
Sports Gambling:
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Fantasy Sports:
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Horse and Greyhound Betting:
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Online Lottery Tickets:
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Games of Skill:
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Sports Betting at California
Lawmakers in California have shown some interest in legalizing sports betting of late. A bill introduced in the 2017/18 session suggested amending existing gambling law to permit the California legislature to authorize sports betting contingent upon the Supreme Court overturning the federal sports betting ban (which it did).
ACA 18 itself didn’t seek to legalize wagering; it instead provided a constitutional amendment that would allow lawmakers to legalize and regulate sports betting later on. After he introduced the bill, Assemblyman Adam Gray stated,”The choice is not’if we have sports wagering or never have sports wagering.’ We all do have sports wagering.”
The point he was making is that sports betting is already a huge black market in California and throughout the United States. The American Gaming Association estimates Americans wager at least $154 billion each year on sports with internet sportsbooks and local bookies in contrast to regulations. The current condition prohibition is not 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 betting in 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 see in the next section, competing interests in the state have a propensity to complicate matters.
Assemblyman Gray introduced the same legislation in 2018 and 2019 as he continues to push the issue. Finding the tribal groups board has been exceedingly hard as they dominate an $8 billion gambling industry and therefore are highly reluctant to get on board with sports gambling at risk of starting their profitable compacts with the state to negotiation once more.
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 control internet poker have been released every year since 2007. None of those bills have made it all of the way through the legislative process because of vying factions on either side of the matter, but each year brings us closer to finding an agreement that satisfied all interested parties.
In fact, a lot of the difficulty can be attributed to competing interests in the state. It appears everyone has an agenda and it isn’t easy to find consensus among the Indian tribes, Cuban operators and present online brands. One group or another constantly feels left out or targeted by the wording of legislation. And to be fair, that is often a legitimate concern.
To add to the problem, there continue to be strong lobbying groups that actively fight the legalization of poker or any other kind of internet gambling in the united states. Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson has pledged to fight legalization across the nation. In California alone, he spent more than $300,000 to lobby against poker.
Not one of those bills introduced over the last decade-plus has made significant progress thanks to the various competing interests in the nation. The following bill is Only One of many attempts 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
Meeting Bill 2291 was introduced way back in February 2014 but never made it outside 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 procedure.
The bill sought to legalize online poker just and issue 10-year permits . The suggested fee for licensing has been initially set at $5,000,000, with that charge being used to offset future taxes. Lawmakers bumped that charge up several times until the fee hit a high of $12,500,000 without offsetting taxes.
Historical versions of AB 2291 included several clauses that have caused tension between various factions competing for a part of the poker pie. Most contentious one of them is a”bad actor” clause. AB 2291 originally sought to require potential licensees to get at least five years of gambling experience in California. Additionally, it required every aspect of an operation, by its employees to its equipment to its bank account to be held in state.
In essence, AB 2291 would have prevented all current internet poker providers and newer neighborhood casinos in California from competing. The wording of the bill very clearly favored a few established California casino groups at the cost of fair competition.
Another issue with AB 2291 was that it might have prohibited California from entering arrangements with other nations to combine player pools and enhance liquidity. To put it differently, you would only see other Californians at the table however many sates legalize poker. To top it all off, the bill would require the state to opt out of any legislation passed at the national level permitting online poker.
Some progress has been made in 2016 with a proposed amendment that would significantly alter the lousy actor clause. Previously, the bill would have barred all online poker companies that functioned after the passing of the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Such restrictions would have banned established brand for example PokerStars from entering the marketplace.
The last amendment proposes to rather transfer the chalk date to the awful celebrity clause up towards the end of 2011. To put it differently, sites like PokerStars that operated after the UIGEA but subsequently left the marketplace following the Black Friday indictments at 2011. This would 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 suggestion .
Looking back in 2018: The Good and Bad
The Poor Lawmakers and tribal groups have been stuck in stalemate for about four years now. It is wonderful to see some progress on this front, but it is also discouraging to find that the stubbornness on the part of varying factions. Poker players would be better served by an open and competitive marketplace and player-sharing arrangements with other states.
Worse than that, online poker seems to have taken a step back in 2018. For the first time in over a decade, no bills trying to legalize online poker have been introduced. Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sayer told Online Poker Report that he’s giving up on online poker laws for this year since there’s 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 that which we have seen in other states that have already legalized online poker. Besides the fact that 38 million people call California home, the state has a poker civilization already as a result of its many brick-and-mortar card rooms.
California is very likely to have fewer issues with geolocation of players because of the sheer size. New Jersey had all types of problems verifying players were actually located within the nation. This ended up with loads of possible players being unfairly barred in the state-sanctioned websites there. California does not need to compete with congested cities piled up on country borders.
Fantasy Sports
When the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in 2006, it supplied two notable exceptions to online gambling: horse racing and fantasy sports. The UIGEA didn’t just exempt those forms 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 those. If you have a thing for sports gambling but would rather do it in a protected and regulated manner, fantasy sports is the thing to do. You draft a staff just like in regular dream leagues but now you get paid actual cash if you win.
FanDuel.com and DraftKings.com will be the two biggest 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 pleasant things about online fantasy sports is each contest only lasts for a day or week in the most. You are not stuck with a single group all season. Instead, your team racks up stats over the duration of a single week. You can play in heads-up competitions against other gamers or test your ability in enormous tournaments that sometimes give away more than a million bucks to the first place winner.
You can read more about dream sports gambling here.
Legislative Efforts for Daily Fantasy in California
2016 was an important year for the daily fantasy sports industry in California. In January of 2016, lawmakers introduced AB 1437 in an attempt to create a regulatory framework for everyday fantasy sports websites. If enacted, the bill would require DFS websites to obtain a license, enforce a minimum age of 21 for all clients, maintain all clients’ funds in a segregated account and offer self-exclusion applications for players.
The bill advanced previous three important votes with a total of 101 for and 2 against. This is an important bill for California and it appears increasingly likely to be passed to law. On the other hand, the bill itself will not really legalize online fantasy sports competitions; it only places the conditions where the business would be controlled.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris is expected to issue a ruling on whether or not fantasy competitions constitute illegal gambling under state law. If she rules favorably, AB 1437 will have all set up to license and controlled dream sites instantly. The AG’s judgment was expected for more than a year today. Meanwhile, California dream sports websites continue to operate freely.
As of 2019, advancement on the bill seems to have completely stalled. The good news is fantasy sports sites continue to be active through the state. Legalizing fantasy sports in California would essentially be a formality at this point.
Online Casinos
There are not any online casinos in California. The state has not even tried to pass laws in this regard so it’s going to likely be years before we see legitimate gambling websites open to CA residents.
Do not be fooled by the countless other websites that are currently recommending”legal” internet casinos. These are actually offshore gambling sites that have no legal existence whatsoever in the USA. They are unlicensed and completely unregulated.
Although to be honest, there aren’t any state or national laws that prohibit playing at offshore casinos. If you do decide to play online, nobody is going to come kick in your front door. The biggest risk is financial — you never know for sure who you are dealing with on the other side of the display. Some offshore casinos may be safe while others are definitely outright scams. But no matter where you play, you don’t have any legal recourse if things go belly up.
Your very best option would be to look at any of the other authorized, accredited and secure forms of betting that can be found at this time in California. Between horse racing, fantasy sports and many likely online poker very soon, there are still lots of different ways to play real money games online at protected, accredited sites based in the united states.
Horse Betting
Online horse racing is alive and well in California. The horse gambling situation here isn’t nearly as complicated as the poker scenario. California does permit residents to play at US-licensed horse wagering websites for example TwinSpires, BetAmerica and TVG.
All the significant US-based horse betting sites accept customers from California. The state also enables off-track betting (OTB) facilities. OTB facilities operate as brick-and-mortar gaming stores where people may walk in, put bets on races and collect their winnings in person.
Five racetracks operate upon the state and they too allow for real cash wagering. In total, you are able to bet online at any one of the approved horse gambling websites, off-track at an OTB location or on site at some of the monitors listed below. California is also home to state and county fairs that hold races in various times each year.
The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) oversees all horse racing and wagering inside the country. The CHRB’s assignment is to ensure the integrity, ethics and security of the nation’s horse racing industry. They oversee wagering, breeding, bodily security as well as the promotion of horse racing.
California Racetracks
The California Exposition and State Fair operates a year-round harness racetrack that runs every day at approximately 5:20 PM.
1600 Exposition Drive
Sacramento, CA 95815
Site Golden Gate Fields
This track is situated in Berkley with races and simulcast events every week.
1100 Eastshore Highway
Berkley, CA 94710
Website Santa Anita
Santa Anita is one of the most widely recognized racetracks in the United States and home to Significant events like the Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Handicap and sometimes the Breeder’s Cup.
285 W. Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007
Site Del Mar
Del Mar opened in 1937 with a famous race between Seabiscuit and Ligaroti. Seabiscuit hardly took the race and became a legend of his own. Today, Del Mar plays host to racing festivals, events, family fun days and more.
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd..
Del Mar, CA 92014
Website Los Alamitos
Los Alamitos Race Course is home to daylight thoroughbred racing and nighttime quarter racing. The track is home to a number of the largest quarter horse bets races in the US.
4961 E. Katella Ave.
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Website OTB Locations
There are 31 off-track betting centers in California. OTB centers can be seen at fairgrounds, racetracks, specialty OTB shops, casinos and fairgrounds. You may see a complete list of addresses and locations here.
Internet Bingo
There seems to be no motivation to especially legalize online bingo in California. The only realistic possibility I see of online bingo coming to California is whether it gets caught up in some upcoming online casino legislation.
Lottery Games
Ca lottoThe California state lottery is not licensed to sell tickets online or via telephone. For many years, the federal Wire Act banned states from selling lotto tickets on the net. 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 forms of online gambling were illegal.
The DOJ responded in 2011 with a decision that had far-reaching consequences beyond just the lottery. In September of 2011, the DOJ issued an announcement the official interpretation of the Wire Act only applies to sports betting over the internet. This gave states the go-ahead to sell tickets online if they choose.
Lottery Subscription Websites California has not yet joined the growing list of countries that sell lottery tickets on the web. However, there are a number of messenger services which will go buy lottery tickets at face value for a monthly subscription fee. You may log into those sites, pay face value for your tickets and then the corporation is going to go and buy tickets in your name.
For example, LottoGopher.com is a California-based membership site that offers this exact support. The website is registered in California, its owners have been background-checked by lottery commission officers and it abides by all federal and state legislation. They aren’t legally allowed to sell lotto tickets for more than face value, therefore that they rather charge users a subscription fee.
A membership at LottoGopher allows you to purchase tickets online, select certain amounts and even form lotto pools with different members. If you win less than $600, Lotto Gopher will credit the winnings to your account which you may then withdraw right to the bank. Should 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 doesn’t take a cut of your winnings. They only way that they make money is by charging customers 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 untrue?
Yes. They are located in California and state lottery officials know they are. It is great that you ask though because there are a ton of online lotto websites which feel and look legit but are not. Lotto Gopher really is legal and 100% legit.
They have been all over the media in the past few years too. Forbes and ABC have written articles about the service.

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