California Online Sports Betting

California Gambling Laws

As the online sports betting industry goes forward with state-by-state sports betting legalization, the eyes of many state legislators nationwide are watching the Western State closely to see which way California finally settles as the procedure unfolds and if the industry-leading style of NJ online sportsbooks can eventually become a reality on the West Coast.

All eyes will be on California in November 2022 when competing propositions will be on the ballot during the midterm elections. Prop 26 legalizes retail sports betting while Prop 27 legalizes online sports betting. 

With an economy larger than most countries (the world’s eighth-largest economy), the State of California potentially represents online betting’s single largest U.S. State market. If California legalizes online sports betting, with an existing gaming culture with many and varied gambling options (casinos, card rooms, Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS], Horse Racing, Lottery and Charitable Gaming), the Golden State is set to be the standard bearer for other states to follow if lawmakers legalize sports betting.

Legality of Sports Betting VS Gambling

California has just about all gambling types covered other than sports betting and online casinos.

Options exist for players with DFS, Horse Racing, Charitable Gaming, a State Lottery, Casinos and numerous poker rooms and card clubs..

Gambling TypeLegal Land-BasedLegal Online
Sports BettingNoNo
Fantasy Sports (DFS)N/AYes
Horse RacingYesYes
Charitable GamblingYesNo


California Gambling Tax Rate

In California, there is a no state tax on gambling winnings.

Large gambling wins over $600, however, may possibly incur Federal taxes. Contact your tax attorney for full details if you have a big win.

Sports betting Age VS Gambling Age in California

California has quite liberal minimum ages when it comes to gambling. Most gambling types have a minimum age of 18 in the state. Minimum Casinos ages vary from 18 (those casinos that don’t serve alcohol – some Tribal Casinos), through to the age of 21 for Casinos that serve alcohol.

If introduced first into Casinos, expect the minimum sports betting age to reflect that of each casino.

Gambling Type Age
Casinos18-19 (varies)
Horse Racing18
Charitable Gambling18


Betting on Sports in California

Despite the May 2018 ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court (when betting on sports became legal in the U.S. at the Federal level), California still has no legal land-based sportsbooks at this early stage of the legalization process.

New Jersey led the fight to allow sports betting and they put regulations in place and began sports betting within weeks of the Supreme Court ruling, California, on the other hand, is only beginning the process that is required for state regulatory approval and there are two referendums on the topic on the ballot in November 2022.

California Online Sports Betting Laws

Members of California’s State Legislature and state lawmakers in general have made it no secret that the state is looking to legalize sports betting in California sooner rather than later.

In the 2017-18 fall session of the California Legislature, a bill was passed (ACA 18) in which sports betting would be legalized once the Supreme Court overturned the Federal ban.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 2018 decision to rule in favor of sports betting, U.S. sports betting laws now offer the Californian lawmakers little to no impediment to legalize the practice.

Californian State lawmakers are committed to the legalization process and adopting the framework for where-and-how Californians can place wagers on their favorite sports.

Moving on to June 2020, a partisan 9-3 vote in the State House helped to pass a state constitutional amendment bill (Bill SCA-6) to legalize sports betting in California. While the bill was removed due to a lack of sufficient time to process the required regulations before a proposed November 2020 referendum, the Tribal Casinos are moving forward with plans of their own.

Now there are the two propositions on the ballot in November 2022 for the state’s voters to decide on the future of sports betting in California. While the state has not yet ruled for online casinos in California, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and online horse & greyhound racing betting are completely legal, whilst it is also possible to play the California State Lottery online.

Online Fantasy Sports in California

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) have been determined by U.S. Federal legislators to be fully-exempt from any Federal gambling bans. This is because at the Federal level, DFS is determined to be contest of skill, rather than a gambling game of random chance.

In 2015, California was one of the first states to propose legislating on the legality of DFS competitions by introducing Bill AB 1437 into the State Legislature for debate and consideration. The bill would simply set California-specific regulatory standards for DFS companies, and it has no impact on the legality of the betting. There has been little-to-no movement on this or similar pieces of legislation, so DFS is still widely unregulated in the state by the state’s regulatory bodies.

Esports Online Betting Laws

Legalized sports betting markets worldwide already offer a range of betting markets on all the major eSports tournaments. When sports betting becomes legal in California, eSports betting will become a new fun-and-fascinating way for players to win and a driver of economic prosperity-and-development.

What are ‘eSports’?

‘eSports’ (short for electronic-sports), has transformed video game play at its highest-level into a full-time professional sport played in packed stadiums where champion players sign multi-million-dollar contracts to compete for glory. Interestingly, rather than competing for individual honors, eSports are usually played by teams and in tournament formats.

The collection of games themselves in the overarching concept of eSports are roughly equivalent to different sports types. In eSports, the games, Fortnite and Starcraft compare to NFL and NBA for example.

Betting on eSports is growing enormously in popularity and the amounts wagered on eSports is experiencing exponential growth each year. Sportsbooks worldwide offer a range of betting markets and tournaments have been transformed into global betting events with the advent of live streaming technology.

Stay tuned for updates on sports betting becoming legalized in California soon, to enjoy legal eSports betting in the Golden State ASAP.

Horse Racing in California

Horse Racing Betting (Horse racing in California is administered by the California Horse Racing Board – CHRB) for residents of the state of California and its visitors.
Horse racing wagers can be made on live races, at off-track betting facilities and online, and as a result, all of the popular horse and dog racing betting websites that operate across the United States have a presence in the state of California.

Trackside Betting

Five racetracks operate across California allow for real money wagering for players. In addition, California is also home to state and county fairs that hold races at various times each year, where race betting is also perfectly legal.

Off Track Betting (OTB) in California

California is one of the most well-developed states in the Union in terms of off-track betting bureaus (OTBs) with an extensive network of more than 100 outlets where it is possible to place a wager on horse and greyhound racing. Betting on races in California, most major racing locations worldwide and across the United States are all available.

Online Horse Racing in California

In California, as horse racing is one of the only three forms of legal online betting in the largest state economy in the United States, it is no surprise that all the major U.S. online horse racing betting sites operate in the state. All customers from the state of California can place real money bets online on horse racing (Triple Crown, Kentucky Derby etc.) 100% legally.

Visit our Gambling in California page for more information on the states online gambling laws