Best Online Casinos in California 2022

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Is Online Gambling Legal in California?

Online casino gambling is legal in the state only for offshore casinos. Technically, players are not prohibited explicitly from gambling online, but there currently isn’t any coverage for local licences under the California Gambling Control Commission, so it would need to be an offshore casino outside of the United States. There are, however, a couple of exceptions.

Currently, local offline gambling is legal in tribe-owned casinos, as well as in cardrooms and charity gambling. For online gambling local to California, however, the state lottery is available on mobile which means players can log in and check the draw online. In addition to that, pari-mutuel betting on horse racing is allowed for advanced bets

Players who visit or play at licensed casinos on reservations will not be persecuted and will not face any legal action as long as they are of the legal gambling age. By meeting these two criteria, players are free to play at any of the tribe-owned casinos or other foreign-owned online casinos that accept players from California. 

Access to online slots, online poker, table games, daily fantasy sports and much more has become increasingly more user-friendly.

Minimum Legal age to Gamble in California

One of the stipulated regulations that license holders must follow and enforce is the age limit. In a similar manner to land-based casinos, online casinos must not allow anyone under the age of 21 to register an account or play any of the games. 

This is in contrast to the lottery where players must be 18 or older.

Responsible operators enforce this minimum age rule by verifying the identity of their members. This usually involves requesting documentary proof of ID such as driver's license, social security number and other commonly used documents. If players are found to be in breach of the site's T&Cs, their account will be closed immediately, any winnings will not be paid and legal action may be taken.

Who Regulates Casinos in California?

Gambling in the state of California is regulated and legislated for by the California Gambling Control Commission. They aim to act as a regulatory body over cardrooms and gambling establishments, third parties involved in the gambling industry, and tribal casinos following the extent they’re able to under the law. 

The integrity of the gambling scene in California itself is managed by the California Bureau of Gambling Control, an off-shoot of the Attorney General’s office. Together, they ensure that gambling in California is safe, secure, and follows the letter of the law.

The California Bureau of Gambling Control is responsible for conducting criminal background checks and investigations into gambling operations within the State, and the California Gambling Control Commission is responsible for handing out the appropriate licences and regulations.

Gambling establishments operating locally in California can be one of these types:

  • Cardrooms: Brick and mortar premises that host card games such as poker.
  • Tribal casino: A brick and mortar casino which operates in one of the federally-recognised tribal reservations.
  • Horse racing betting: Horse racing bets are taken pre-race and can be offered both in-person and online.

The California Gambling Control Commission and Bureau of Gambling Control are also devoted to assisting and guiding players who suffer from pathological or problem gambling

They make sure that all employees hired at an online casino have been trained to understand the effects of gambling and make sure casinos adhere to self-exclusion requests, as part of their responsible gambling strategy.

The Bureau of Gambling Control also maintains a list of excluded players who are not permitted to play at any casino in the state. This is a voluntary agreement that somebody makes to be banned from partaking in gambling activities in California and is irrevocable. This is a measure in place to help people who have developed a gambling problem avoid playing more.

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Loren Oller
Loren Oller Author (3 Years of Experience)
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I consider myself to be an avid guitar player, sports enthusiast, and a big fan of blackjack and social casinos. My task is pretty easy to resume.. make sure you are well informed on all US casinos that might interest you. I've been writing reviews based on my experiences for a while and I'm happy to say that my work will truly help you even if it's just by telling you the legal gambling laws of a state or the top games that are trending right now!
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Reviewed by Julia Attard, Senior Author