As of 2024, the landscape of online gambling in California remains largely restrictive. Here are key points regarding the legal status of various forms of online gambling in the state:
Online Casinos and Poker
Real money online casino gambling and poker are not legal in California.
Californians have access to social and sweepstakes casinos as legal alternatives. These platforms, such as Pulsz, WOW Vegas, BetRivers.net, Gambino Social Casino, Winstar, and B Spot Online Casino, offer a variety of casino games using virtual currencies. High 5 Casino and WOW Vegas are examples of popular sweepstakes casinos in the state, offering games where players can potentially win real cash prizes using sweeps coins.
Currently, sports betting is not legally available in California. Efforts to legalize sports betting, including online sports betting, have faced challenges, including the failure of Proposition 26 and Proposition 27 on the ballot. There’s no clear indication of when sports betting might become legal in the state. For legal betting, Californians would have to go to any of the neighbouring states such as Arizona, Nevada or Oregon.
Online horse betting in California is legal and widely embraced. Bettors in the Golden State can access several authorized online platforms such as TVG and DRF that offer horse race betting.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)
Daily Fantasy Sports contests are popular and legally accessible in California. This form of gaming has seen a surge in popularity despite the general restrictions on other types of online betting.
The California Lottery does not offer extensive online play options. However, it provides an “Advance Play” option for purchasing advance tickets for select games.
Risks of Offshore Gambling Sites
It’s crucial to note that many offshore gambling sites operate in a legal gray area. These sites may pose risks such as identity theft, dishonest business practices, lack of responsible gaming features, and no contribution to local tax revenue. Californians are advised to be cautious and avoid these unregulated platforms.
Responsible Gaming Resources
Despite the restrictions on online gambling, California provides resources for responsible gambling, including support groups and helplines such as California Gamblers Anonymous, the California Department of Public Health, Office of Problem Gambling, and the National Problem Gambling Helpline.
In summary, while real money online gambling remains largely illegal in California, social and sweepstakes casinos offer a legal alternative for enthusiasts. Efforts to legalize sports betting have been unsuccessful so far, and the state provides resources to promote responsible gambling.
California Legal Gambling FAQs
Is it legal to gamble in CA?
No, despite many competing voices demanding action on online sports gambling. California could have its first legal online sportsbooks by 2025, if the state vote on the topic at the 2024 election.
Where can I get help with problem gambling in CA?
If you are worried about your own gambling, or a friend or relative is struggling to cope, help is available. California – National Council on Problem Gambling (ncpgambling.org).