It has been said that California is the state where people go to make dreams come true. While that isn’t necessarily the case for many who make their way to the Golden State, there is no denying the allure of the West Coast state. This is especially true in the online gambling world, where for years, many companies have tried to bring their products to the state with the highest population in the country.
The site is meant to give Californians all the information they need about the ever-changing online gambling landscape. From the rise and fall of online poker to the impending changes to sports betting legislation, our team has compiled the latest news and information Californians need to be informed on the industry as a whole.
The most talked-about change in the U.S. gambling industry for a long time is the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018. This opened the doors for states to regulate sports betting on an individual basis, and since the repeal, more than 15 states have passed such legislation.
In California, this has become a hotly-contested issue, with multiple attempts to get measures onto the November 2020 ballot in play. The one concern that many sports betting fans have in the state is whether or not the tribes and the government will be able to agree on how best to manage sports betting operations. The tribes are against players being able to play online or via a mobile device, and this could cause significant delays in getting any legislation passed.
The good news for Californians is that there is a very good chance legal sports betting is coming to the state soon. While it is unclear what form it will take, the state is full of sports teams and fans who are eager to place bets on their favorite teams and players. Our Online Sports Betting section is designed to have you ready for legal sports betting in the state when it is finally available. We cover everything from the basics of betting to a review of all the different bets you can make in a traditional sportsbook. We also show you how best to manage your money when betting on multiple sports and games to give you the best chance of walking away a winner.
The issues that are facing the potential sports betting legislation could have been foreseen if anyone looked at the battle to bring online poker legally to California. California is a unique state in that poker is considered a game of skill by the letter of the law. There are dozens of card rooms scattered all over the state, and the game is part of the culture.
When online poker sites came to prominence in the early 2000s, Californians flocked to these operators to continue playing the game they learned in the land-based card rooms. Online poker also brought in millions of new players to the market, growing the land-based game. Players were more confident than ever to play in major tournament festivals at some of the biggest casinos in the state.
When the federal government shut down the major online poker operators in the U.S. in 2011, many states started to put together a plan to legalize the game. This should have been a no-brainer in a state like California, but the tribes again got in their own way. There was never enough of a consensus at the tribal level to gain enough support for any of the multiple bills that were put forward, leaving poker players in the state without any legal online option to this day. The discussion around sports betting may, however, be enough to move the needle on regulating online poker.
There are some ways to play poker legally for money in California, and our Online Poker section explains how you can get involved. We also take you through the basics of every poker game variant there is, as many of you have likely only played Texas Hold ’em. Our experts break each game down so that you will be way more knowledgeable when you hit the tables.
Online casino games give players a chance to play their favorite slots and table games without having to go to a casino, and this is incredibly convenient for those who do not live close to a property. However, there are no legal online casino games available in California, once again due to the defensive nature of the tribal casino owners. Fearing that players wouldn’t come to their casinos anymore if they could play from home, the tribes have worked hard to lobby against any discussion of regulation.
Regardless of the legality of online casinos in California, you shouldn’t stop learning about how the games work, where to find the best odds in a casino, and what games and sites to play if you are traveling to another state where they are legal. Our Online Casino section covers all that and also gives you some tips on what games to avoid playing depending on your budget and risk levels.
Finally, some good news for online betting enthusiasts in California! The horse racing business continues to thrive in the state, despite dwindling numbers in the stands. This is because betting on horses has expanded from the track to off-track betting locations, and even further to online play. The sites where you can make a wager on the horses online are not based in California, but they are totally legal and safe.
In the Online Horse Racing section, we review the sites that are available in the market, as well as give you a primer on all the bet types you will see at these sites, so you are comfortable making a bet when you decide the time is right.
Online Bingo in California
Bingo continues to be a popular pastime in California. Many bingo halls are spread across the state, and a lot of them find themselves full on a Friday or Saturday night. However, online bingo is not legal in California, which means that players must grab a dabber and head to the closest hall to get their bingo fix.
In the early 2010s, Daily Fantasy Sports sites burst into the market, taking the industry bu storm. A perfect combination of sports betting and tournaments, it wasn’t long before sites like Draft Kings and Fanduel were offering seven-figure prize pools to players from California and across the United States.
There had always been a question about the legality of these games – they sit under the fantasy sports exemption from other gaming laws in the country. While attempts have been made to legalize or prohibit Daily Fantasy Sports in many states, today, they are still alive and well in California. Our experts will show you how the game works, why it can be fun for both the casual and serious gambler, and why it won’t go away even if traditional sports betting becomes legal in the Golden State.
Online Lottery in California
Games like Powerball and Mega Millions keep many Californians dreaming of what it would be like to become a multimillionaire overnight, making the California Lottery very popular indeed. However, California is one of many states that does not allow online ticket sales of any kind. This is very disappointing for those who don’t have the time to remember to make it to a retailer in advance of a draw.
California Online Gambling Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it taking so long to pass online gambling legislation?
Well, as we mentioned, there are many factors at play in California (and other states for that matter). The tribes were given the right to operate gaming facilities back in the 1980s, but back then, there was no idea that people would be playing casino games or poker on their computers or mobile phones. The change in technology made these gaming compacts more complicated, and with so many tribes in California, it is simply very difficult to get everyone to push in the same direction.
Aren’t there still offshore sites available to Californians?
Yes, there are many different ways to gamble online with offshore companies, despite the efforts of the government to control or prohibit that behavior. These companies operate outside the legal jurisdiction of California, which makes it difficult to prosecute them. There is nothing stopping someone in California from registering at one of these sites and playing. However, we do not recommend that you do so as there is no guarantee your money is safe with a company that is not bound to any U.S. laws.
Can I register for an online gambling site in another state where they are legal?
Yes, you can! For example, online poker is legal in Nevada, and you can drive or flu to the state border and play from your computer or mobile device. These games are geofenced, which means that as soon as you leave the state borders, your game will no longer be accessible.