Legal sports betting will come to every state in the nation, meaning it’s only a matter of time until residents and tourists in California can engage in the practice that’s sweeping the nation.
The Golden State will have at least two ballot initiative for legal sports betting this fall, backed by multiple sportsbooks, meaning retail and mobile wagering could be coming to the largest market in the nation in a matter of months.
If that’s exciting to you as a Californian but aren’t sure what’s next, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Can I Bet on Sports in California?
Sort of. Gambling on horse racing is allowed, and bettors may play games of chance at casinos that exist on native lands, but at the moment betting on games and matches in the Golden State isn’t allowed just yet.
The state may have passed on legal sports betting for now, but there will be two different initiatives available for residents to vote on in November 2022. One is a retail-only sports betting initiative that would enable the state’s native lands to cash in on the practice.
The other measure, which is backed by Penn National Gaming, BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings, would enable online sports betting within California’s borders.
Given the fact states are loathe to pass up on the lucrative tax revenue that online sports betting can bring, it is highly probable that online gambling is coming soon.
Do I Have to be a Resident of California to Bet Online?
No. As with other states, online betting on sports in California will be confined to those with accounts inside the state’s borders, meaning both tourists and residents alike will be able to gamble on sports.
Sportsbooks use geofencing to determine your location within seconds of logging in, which means they will enable gambling or disable it based on your location.
What Is the Legal Betting Age in California?
The legal age for betting in California is 18, both in-person and online, which is another reason it is such a highly sought-after market for retail and online sportsbooks. However, certain native casinos across the state require those to be 21 and older to place wagers in California.
Gamblers at retail casinos will check for proof of ID, but bettors who are interested in placing bets online will have to provide proof of identity and age upon sign-up. All personal info is secure and used to affirm identity.
When Will Online Sports Betting be Legal in California?
It is likely to be coming soon. Proposition 27 will be on the ballot for voters in November, which would enable both online and retail sports betting inside California’s borders. Given the appetite for legal sports betting and the fact both retail and online sports betting is allowed in both Arizona and Nevada, border states, it is only a matter of time until it is legalized in California as well.
However, there is also a ballot Proposition 26, which would only allow retail sports betting on native lands and at the state’s horse-racing tracks. If that legislation passes over Prop 27, it could stand in the way of online sports betting being enacted, at least in the short-term.
If both measures pass, it could be decided in court or determined by which measure received more votes.
Still, if the retail-only bill is the only measure passed that would not necessarily spell the end of online sports betting in California. Many states have enacted native-only online betting but have skirted the requirements by placing their servers on native lands, thus funneling all online gambling and funds through the territories.
If Prop 27 passes, the legislation still requires sportsbooks to partner with natives for online sports betting revenue. Since 2000, California has restricted all casino games to native lands.
As many as two dozen online sportsbooks will be in the mix to launch if and when sports betting is enacted.
Why Should I Join an California Betting Site?
Because joining a betting site comes with a huge assortment of perks, and you can take advantage of each online sportsbook’s best offer. Here’s a list of reasons why to join an online sports betting site:
- Welcome Offer: Online betting sites all provide new users with exceptional welcome offers like risk-free bets, first-deposit matches, bet and gets and more. These are one-and-done promos, and the best ones will be available at the very start of an online site’s launch.
- Promotions: Whether you take advantage of a welcome bonuis, online sportsbooks always provide bettors with promotions like odds boosts, parlay profit boosts and parlay insurance — plus individual sportsbooks offer sport-specific weekly promotions that cater to your betting style.
- Security: It may seem like you have to divulge a lot of information upon signing up with an online sportsbook, but that’s all to affirm your identity and it’s all secure. Unlike offshore betting sites, online sportsbooks give users the most robust security — think of a casino’s security measures.
- Support: If you have an issue with a legal, regulated sportsbook it will likely have a plethora of ways to resolve it. Most sportsbooks provide email and live-chat options as well as a phone bank, and most customer support is available 24/7/365.
- Fair Odds: With offshore betting sites, getting fair odds can be a challenge. With legal, regulated books you can get fair-market odds on every market you wish to bet — and even boosted ones as well.
- Markets: Online sportsbooks provide betting options for every sport around the globe every day. If you hate football and basketball but want to wager on hockey, tennis, soccer, rugby or anything else, there’ll be a betting market for you.
Why to Avoid Offshore Sportsbooks
Offshore sportsbooks used to be the only option for bettors in the United States, but with more states legalizing the practice each year that is no longer the case. Why go with an offshore sportsbook, with its questionable customer support, unfair betting lines and lack of welcome bonuses and boosts when there are dozens of legal, safe options for bettors here at home?
What Online Sportsbooks are Coming to California?
Though this isn’t confirmed, these are the sportsbooks that we expect to be operational when online sports betting rolls out in California.
DraftKings is the most widely available sportsbook in America, with a presence in more than a dozen states plus Ontario in Canada as well. DraftKings, which started as a daily-fantasy site in 2012, is now one of the most popular online sportsbooks as well, with elite odds, terrific boosts and an awesome welcome bonus.
Bettors interested in same-game parlays will be in luck with DraftKings, as the site/app has one of the most robust selections of SGP options in sports betting. Simply toggle an icon and choose the slew of available props, spreads and totals that DraftKings has to offer.
FanDuel Sportsbook is the No. 1 rated online sportsbook in the United States, thanks to its innovation and wide availability in the U.S. FanDuel, like DraftKings, got its start as a DFS site but quickly pivoted to sports betting when the practice became legal in 2018.
FanDuel has elite odds and a ton of available betting markets — plus it’s the only app to offer Venmo as a deposit and withdrawal option — but it mostly changed the game due to its rollout of same-game parlays in 2018. FanDuel has upped the ante further by rolling out Same-Game Parlay+ in 2021, which empowers bettors to combine markets from multiple games to take advantage of crazy odds and huge payouts.
BetMGM is one of the best and most reputable names in casino gaming and sports betting thanks to the legendary MGM brand and its wide availability. BetMGM is regularly among the first to go live when a new state legalizes sports betting, and it is operational in more than a dozen states, and will undoubtedly be among the first when online sports betting goes live in the Golden State.
BetMGM has a bunch of terrific features, including markets on every game every day, plus a terrific loyalty rewards program that bettors can use at various MGM and Hyatt properties as well as the Thunder Valley Casino Resort outside of Sacramento.
Caesars is synonymous with casino gambling as one of the most reputable brands in gaming nationwide. It has grown into an industry titan in the sports-gambling space after completing its purchase of the popular British sportsbook William Hill in 2021.
The Caesars Online Sportsbook has great odds and a slew of boosts and promos each day on the sports that bettors want to gamble. Plus, every wager comes with Caesars Rewards, the sportsbook’s loyalty program that gives perks and credits that can be redeemed at Caesars properties around the world.
PointsBet Sportsbook is native to Australia but is making inroads in the United States with its partnership with NBC Sports and its innovative PointsBetting-style of gambling that rewards successful bettors for being right and punishes them for being wrong. There is great risk for PointsBetting but huge upside if you are confident and correct.
For those who are more conservative bettors PointsBet also gives gamblers fixed-odds betting with odds and boosts that are competitive in the online sports gambling space. Plus, PointsBet has an elite welcome offer that enables new users to test out both fixed-odds betting and PointsBetting risk-free.
BetRivers Sportsbook is one of the best online sportsbooks in the nation, especially for new and novice bettors, thanks to its unique glossary that explains and spells out terms for bettors who might be intimidated by things like minus-money, point spreads, totals, teasers and more.
BetRivers, and its partner SugarHouse, are growing in popularity thanks to its user-friendly interface and exceptional new-player bonus. The BetRivers Online Sportsbook also has unique features like a live-stream option for some events and betting markets on a plethora of games and matches in the United States and abroad.
The WynnBet Online Sportsbook is an offshoot of the reputable Wynn casino brand that is well-established in Las Vegas. WynnBet created its online sportsbook in November 2020 and is growing as new states legalize online sports betting around the country.
WynnBet has an easy-to-use interface, a plethora of payment options and a slew of promos. Plus, it offers betting advice through its unique blog. WynnBet has also gained greater credibility with partnerships with pro teams like the Detroit Pistons and Cincinnati Reds as well as NASCAR.
How do I Fund my Account?
Depositing to a sportsbook account is as easy as paying a bill online or purchasing something from your favorite online retailer. Withdrawing money is slightly less straightforward but not difficult.
Here’s a list of the steps for each:
- Create an online sportsbook account, remember to click through our custom link to take advantage of the best new-user bonus
- Log into your account
- Click “Deposit" or the deposit icon
- Choose your preferred payment method — if it is through a third-party method like PayPal be sure to log into link those accounts
- Enter the amount you wish to deposit
- Begin playing
- Log into your account
- Click on the “My Account" section
- Click “Withdraw"
- Pick your preferred withdrawal method — keep in mind that credit-card withdrawals are rarely allowed and that e-withdrawals typically need to be to an account that has already been used to deposit
- Enter the amount you’d like to withdraw
- Typically your funds will arrive within 72 hours
Retail Sports Betting in California
Retail sports betting in California will be live if and when either of the two initiatives is enacted. Expect many of California’s casinos, plus its assortment of horse-racing tracks, to offer in-person, retail sports gambling whenever sports gambling is passed in the Golden State.
Here are some of the locations where betting in-person will be if either measure passes in November.
- Bear River Casino Resort, Loleta
- Cache Creek Casino, Brooks
- Chumash Casino, Santa Ynez
- Del Mar Racing, Del Mar
- Eagle Mountain Casino, Porterville
- Golden Gate Field, Berkeley
- Harrah’s, Ione
- Harrah’s, Valley Center
- Pechanga Resort Casino, Temecula
- Santa Anita Race Track, Arcadia
- Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Lincoln
- Tortoise Rock, Twentynine Palms
- Viejas Casino & Resort, Alpine
- Yaamava Resort & Casino, Highland
How to Download a California Betting App
Every online sportsbook has a mobile app, and they make betting online easy and convenient. Here’s how you can add your preferred sportsbook’s app to your mobile device.
- Click on the App store icon
- Search for the sportsbook app you’re interested in downloading
- Download it
- Sign into your account
- Begin wagering
- Visit the Google Play store
- Enter the preferred sportsbook you’d like to download
- Down load it
- Sign into your account
- Start gambling
What Sports Can I Bet on in California?
A world of sports betting is at your fingertips. Here are the likely betting options in California:
- Football (NFL)
- Basketball (NBA)
- Baseball (MLB)
- Hockey (NHL)
- College Basketball (NCAAB)
- College Football (NCAAF)
- Soccer (MLS, EPL, Bundesliga)
- Auto Racing
Both California ballot initiatives would prohibit bettors from gambling on in-state collegiate games as well as games featuring colleges and universities from the Golden State. Betting on high school sports would also be prohibited, as is the standard around the country, and bettors could not wager on dog races either.
Local Sports Teams I can Bet on
Despite the likely limitation on college-sports betting, California has the most pro teams of any state in the U.S., which means residents and tourists will have a ton of teams to bet on, including:
- Los Angeles Chargers
- Los Angeles Rams
- San Francisco 49ers
- Golden State Warriors
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Sacramento Kings
- Los Angeles Angels
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Oakland Athletics
- San Diego Padres
- San Francisco Giants
- Anaheim Ducks
- Los Angeles Kings
- San Jose Sharks
- Los Angeles Galaxy
- Los Angeles Football Club
- San Jose Earthquakes
California Sportsbook Bet Types
Bettors will have multiple bet types to choose from when sports betting in California. Here is a list that includes explanations.
Moneyline bets are simply wagers on which team will win. They are the simplest wagers since they pay out if the team you wager on wins and do not if the team you bet on does not win.
Because sometimes betting on a team to simply win does not come with lucrative enough odds, sportsbooks have made betting on/against the spread a popular option. Though it may appear complicated, betting on/against the spread is easy. Simply wager on the team you want to either win by at least the amount listed or wager on the underdog to lose by fewer than the number listed as the spread.
For instance, if you’re betting on the Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors game and think Sacramento will keep the game close but not win, you can bet the Kings to cover, or lose by fewer than, 7.5 points. If you think the Dubs will win in a rout, bet them -7.5, or to win by at least eight.
The total, or over/under, is betting on the number of points/runs/goals scored in the game you’re betting. If you are betting on the Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers game and believe it will be low scoring, take under 45.5 points. If you think it’ll be a shootout, take the over. The winning bet will be if the total number of points is the over if there are 46 points or more and the under will hit if there are 45 or fewer.
Props are wagers that aren’t tied to a game’s outcome. There are multiple types of prop bets, including player props, which requires users to choose whether a player will finish over or under a statistical threshold — like rushing or receiving yards, total bases, points and rebounds/assists.
Game props include whether an individual team will finish with more or less than a certain number of runs/points/goals or whether the game will go to overtime.
A futures bet is when a bettor chooses a team to win a championship or player to win an individual award. There are multiple variations of future bets, including betting a team to make the playoffs, win its conference or to finish with over or under a certain win threshold.
For instance, the Los Angeles Dodgers preseason over/under win total might be 101.5, which means if the Dodgers finish with 102 wins or more that bet will hit. If you bet the under to be successful, LA would need to win 101 games or fewer.
Straight bets are simply bets that are listed on the sportsbook’s line. For instance, if you’re betting a straight spread, you are wagering on the team to cover the amount listed with no teasers or alternate lines/totals.
Live betting is betting while a game is ongoing and is exclusive to online sports betting. Live betting can be a great way to get great odds on a sporting event that is in progress, since come-from-behind wins happen in every game every night.
For instance, if the Los Angeles Rams opened as a -190 moneyline favorite against the San Francisco 49ers, but the 49ers build a 21-10 lead midway through the second half, the Rams odds may move to +200, which is far more lucrative than betting them at -190. Simply bet the Rams to win, same as you would before the game, and root for it to succeed.
Parlays are a in extremely popular type of betting where users combine multiple markets from different events an effort to get better odds.
For instance, if you like the Rams and Chargers to both win, and each is a -200 favorite in its game, you can combine the two teams to win and the odds go to +125, meaning you’ll net $125 in profit on a $100 bet instead of needing to wager $200 to win $100 in profit.
There are multiple varieties in parlay betting, including the fledgling same-game parlay, which enables users to combine bets from the same game. FanDuel invented the practice in 2018, and it has spread quickly through the online betting space due to its popularity and it making parlay bets possible during single-game days — thus empowering users to place multi-leg bets during the playoffs, championship series and even the Super Bowl.
FanDuel upped the ante by rolling out Same-Game Parlay+, which enables bettors to combine multiple markets from multiple events, which is perfect for baseball and football betting. That practice will probably spread to other sportsbooks, as well.
California Sports Betting Timeline
- July 2017 - Democratic state representative Adam Gray introduces a constitutional amendment that would allow legal sports betting in California.
- May 14, 2018 - After a long and uphill battle, the Supreme Court rules in favor of New Jersey and declares the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) unlawful. This allowed all states to legalize sports betting.
- June 27, 2019 - Gray, and fellow Democrat Bill Dodd, once again pushes ahead with ACA 16 that would allow California residents to vote on whether they would support legal sports betting.
- November 13, 2019 - 18 of California’s tribes put forth their own proposal to legalize sports betting in California
- June 23, 2020 - Gray withdraws his amendment recommendation a day before a crucial state-senate vote due to a lack of pledged support caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The tribes’ initiative also fails to get on the ballot due to the pandemic.
- October 2021 - Gray and Dodd again put forth amendments to legalize sports betting in California with the goal of it appearing on the 2022 ballot.
- June 2022 - Both initiatives, Proposition 26 (sports betting at native lands and racetracks) and Proposition 27 (online sports gambling), qualify for the November 2022 ballot, generating the necessary signatures before the deadline.