Online Gambling in California: Is it legal?

Gambling law in the golden state is the most liberal in the country, together with Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, where online gambling is already legalized. While it is safe and legal to gamble in California, no online poker laws have been passed over the past decade despite several attempts. As such, the online scene in California remains unregulated. Nonetheless, various reputable online platforms offer opportunities for online punters to wager on multiple sports such as horse races. You can also find sites that provide real interactive gaming experiences.

History of online gambling in California

California is a frontier state with a long history of regulated and unregulated gambling. Following the rapid population increase during the 20th century, California quickly ascended to become the most influential state in America. Its size, both population and area, also propels the golden state to become more liberal with its gambling laws. Online gambling, which includes casino games, poker and sports outcomes, became popular in the mid to late 1990s. By 1999, there were several hundred online platforms that allowed gamblers to wager on different sports and interactive games outcomes. However, the U.S unexpectedly prohibited all online gambling services in 2006. Nonetheless, many liberal states did not ban any online casinos or poker rooms. The state of California is yet to prosecute individuals who play online for real money. However, it is illegal to start an online gambling business. What’s more, all residents are required to pay taxes on all revenue they earn from online gambling.

California online gambling laws

While online gambling is highly unregulated in California, various fundamental rules apply. The two important areas include:

1. Legality

No California law bans, prohibits or regulates online gambling. As such, many online gambling sites and offshore online casinos, poker and sportsbooks accept Californians. California is yet to legalize or license online gambling. Currently, there is an active bill and pundits anticipate online poker bills to happen in 2020.

2. Age

The legal age for participating in the national lottery in California is 18. Also, you must be 21 years to wager in real money online gambling platforms that offer poker, casino games and sports bookies. This also applies to bingo halls and real-money interactive gaming sites.

Online bingo sites and daily fantasy sports

In the state of California, online bingo isn’t as popular as online sportsbooks, casinos, or poker rooms. Nonetheless, various safe and entertaining sites offer such experiences for those who enjoy them. Legal sports betting also exists in California. Back in May 2018, the U.S Supreme Court canceled the federal ban on sports betting. Internet fantasy sports games are also legal and protected under the 2016 IFSG protection act (AB 1437)

Online poker rooms

There are over 100 poker rooms in California, many of which you can effortlessly find through running a simple Google search. Since gambling is unregulated in the state, card rooms offer the closest home online gambling experience. Online gambling is perfectly legal in the golden state, but you will be playing on offshore sites.


Starting an online gambling business in the golden state of California is yet to be legal. While the state remains silent about online gambling regulations, CA officials do not prosecute punters that participate in online casinos. Apart from age restriction, anyone can wager real money on various online gambling opportunities. Nevertheless, it is crucial to review your option carefully before gambling in real money casinos online. You can refer to expert rating or casino review websites for insights about the quality of service, security features and overall credibility of a specific online gambling platform in California. Customer reviews also provide vital information about the different experiences to expect from a given gambling site.


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