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Can I Gamble Online in California?

As touched on briefly above, online gambling in California is still not allowed, however, there are still gambling sites that allow players from the state to join and play their games. Lawmakers have been working tirelessly, drafting bills to present to the state for a change in online gambling, starting with online poker and if successful, it will only be a matter of time until we see online sports betting and online casino being regulated too. 

Even though some sites are accepting Californians, we don’t recommend signing up to any of them until the market is fully regulated because player protection will be limited, meaning there won’t be a regulating body overlooking and controlling betting sites’ operations. The job of a regulating body is to ensure players are safe when gambling online and an unregulated market leaves players vulnerable to mistreatment and all sorts of abuse. 

Arguments in Favour of Gambling Online in CaliforniaCheckmark Icon

There are many advantages for both the state and the individual players to have online gambling full regulated within the state. The most obvious one for the state would be all the tax revenues generated from online gambling, which was proposed to be around the 20% region. California generates around $7 billion from land-based gambling, which comes as no surprise that there’s a huge interest in the market coming from online operators. The state is making around $1.4 billion in tax revenues from gambling and there’s potential to generate much more if the market is full regulated. 

From a players’ perspective, online gambling will make life much easier. For starters, there will be absolutely no reason to leave the house to access sports betting platforms or online casinos. Players will have an endless amount of betting options from the comfort of their own home and with the rapid improvement in mobile technology, all the games are also available on any mobile device without ever compromising on quality. The flexibility and ease of access is the main reason why land-based casino owners and stakeholders want to keep online gambling illegal in California, because of the obvious fact that they will lose many players to their online counterparts. 

A fully regulated online gambling market will create a competitive environment amongst operators which will result in players benefitting from promotions and bonuses which are usually not given by the traditional brick and mortar casinos. 

Arguments Against A Fully Regulated Gambling MarketIcon

Gambling has been around for eons and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Lobbyist against online gambling in California will undoubtedly argue of the social implications gambling brings to the individual and society as a whole. Their main argument is that gamblers have many venues and opportunities to gamble and introducing online gambling will only increase the likelihood of problem gambling amongst Californians. 

Lobbyists also argue that if the market had to be regulated, it would invite foreign, experienced operators into the market and create unnecessary leakages out of the economy. The state of California is well aware of this and if the market is regulated, it certainly won’t allow it to be a free-for-all, but will only let a handful of operators and make the conditions of obtaining an operator license hard to acquire. 

Types of Online Gambling Allowed in California

California is pretty lax with its land-based gambling operations and has loads of casinos where players can enjoy a huge range of casinos games. The following list contains all the betting types that are allowed to be wagered on in California:

Sports Betting

Sports Betting is still illegal in California and placing wagers will be at your own risk since there’s absolutely no control over regulation. There has been a lot of speculation regarding the introduction of sports betting and it will only beball icon introduced with certain conditions in place. Operators will need to be fully licensed in order to take bets and bets could be placed by telephone, computer, and electronic wagering. Players will need to be 21 or older and within the borders of California to be eligible to place bets and as always, there would also be licensing fees for operators and taxes on revenues.

       Casino Games 

Land-based casinos in California offer a wide variety of games to their players, including all the table classics with enough of a variety to suit all budgets. Slots are a huge part of casino culture in the United States and California is no exception. Most land-based casinos in California have thousands of slots and players are guaranteed to be entertained for hours on end. Players looking to get in on the action in California need to be 21 years of age. 

                               Poker poker icon

There are many poker rooms around the state of California, many of which are located within casinos themselves. The poker rooms hold a number of cash games, sit n’ go’s as well a number of tournaments, including satellites where the prize would be an entry to a much larger poker tournament. As explained in the sections above, online poker was the first out of all gambling games to be presented for a change in legislation but the bill didn’t go through. 


The California lottery started back in 1984 and it’s still around to this day. The main reason of allowing a state lottery was to generate money for schools without raising tax rates for Californians. Unfortunately, no tickets for any of the lotteries can be purchased online and can only be bought from authorised retailers. Some of the lotteries available to play in California include: Powerball, Megamillions, Hotspot, SuperLotto Plus, Fantasy Five and Daily Derby 

                       California Gambling RevenuesCalifornia icon

California is one of the states that generates the most tax revenue from gambling and if online gambling had to be regulated, it would push the envelope to the limits. Currently, the state controls 25% of all Indian Gaming revenues and the state has been recording year-on-year growth for the last couple of years and has recorded record revenues for four consecutive years. For instance, in 2014 alone, there was an increase of 4.4% and a total tax revenue of $7.3 billion, which is why the state has a vested interest that the industry will keep booming. 

Gambling in California 

The golden state has positioned itself strongly on the market with regards to the number of land-based casinos, whether tribal or otherwise and players looking to get in on the action have plenty of options and card rooms to choose from. There have been attempts at introducing new laws to allow online gambling in California but the first draft didn’t go through. That doesn’t mean that all hope should be lost. As more states around America are opening their doors to online gambling, other states will follow suit, but such a significant change to the industry requires more studies and research into the advantages and implications of what it can potentially bring.