California Gambling Laws

Californian gambling laws have a long tradition dating back to the Gold Rush days of the 1840s-and-1850s. Today, gambling in California is in good condition. Most Californian residents are no more than a half-hour drive of a card club or tribal California casino. The State boasts Tribal Casinos, poker rooms, a lottery, fantasy sports and superb horse racing facilities.

If as expected, California, the U.S. state boasting the world’s 8th largest economy also adopts sports betting and online casino betting, they will supply a ‘legislative blueprint’ for many of the undecided states to follow.

California is likely to have fewer issues with the geolocation-technology due to its sheer geographical-size. California has no issue of adjacent mega-cities cities on their state borders as NJ did in developing New Jersey online gambling sites and will not need to develop state specific geolocation software.

California Casino Gambling

Being a progressive state in terms of its casino gaming culture, there is a vast choice in California’s casinos (the state’s casinos are exclusively on Tribal lands having been approved in the year 2000) covering slots and table games. Note, craps and roulette are not allowed in California (ball and dice games have specific prohibitions), although some casinos get around this by instituting hybrid rules using cards.

Between the state’s card clubs and Tribal Casinos, there are more than 170 casinos for California’s residents and its many visitors to choose from. Over 86000 slots and gaming machines are on offer, and minimum bets are as low as $0.01 to as high as a $5000 maximum in California’s Casinos.

Online Casinos in California

While there are no specific laws in California online casinos laws relating specifically to the legal status of casinos online in California, all online casino options are considered illegal under current general guidelines in the state.

While there are no specific laws in California online casinos laws relating specifically to the legal status of casinos online in California, all online casino options are considered illegal under current general guidelines in the state.

Don’t be fooled by the many recommendation sites into accepting that the many off-shore online casinos are legal for play in California. They are not.

We advise all potential online casino players in the state to obey the implicit interpretation of the California gambling laws that online casinos are considered to be illegal.

With the exceptions of legal DFS games, lottery and horse & greyhound racing, (and possibly soon online poker, see ‘Online Poker Laws in California’ below), other online gambling options are still illegal in California until deemed otherwise.

Poker Room Culture in California

California has the most developed ‘Poker Room Culture’ in the United States. There are more than 40 Poker Rooms (or ‘Card Clubs’ as they are colloquially known as in the Golden State). The State’s residents are never usually more than 20-minutes-drive from their nearest ‘card club’ and more than 1300 tables are available at Poker Rooms throughout California.

With that kind of poker culture, it’s hardly surprising that the state has the most poker variations outside of Vegas including; Pineapple Poker, Omaha Hi-Lo, Limit Hold’em, No Limit Texas Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, 7 Card Stud, and many others.

Online Poker Laws

With an advanced Poker Culture in California, it is no wonder that the state’s lawmakers are leading-the-way as proponents of Online Poker.

Whilst Online Poker is still illegal in California, it seems it is-only-a-matter-of-time until online poker is legalized. There has been a new online poker legalization bill introduced into the Californian State Legislature each year since 2007.

Assembly Bill 2291 was introduced in February 2014 and has gone through several stages of amendments as the lawmakers look to perfect the Bill they require to find in favor of legal Californian online poker. Once passed, with 38 million Californians and an existing land-based-Poker-Culture, online poker will no doubt be a huge success in the Golden State.

Benefits of Gambling to California

  • Legal Gambling is a source of additional state income and provides the state of California tax funds for better infrastructure-and-services for residents.
  • A regulated legal framework allows Californians to gamble in protected-and-safe environments monitored by government controllers.
  • Legal Californian gambling keeps children safe, with strict sign-up and account creation processes. Fewer consumer protections exist with offshore sites.
  • Future Californian online gambling will create jobs in technology, security, and customer services.
  • Legal Californian gambling increases the overall popularity, leading to more players at land-based card rooms and casinos.

History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in California

1933 – Racetracks first open for business in California.

1984 – State Lottery created.

2000 – Tribal Casinos created with full casino gambling legalized on Native American lands.

2010 – Online Horse Racing Betting Introduced.

2012-14 – Various Online Poker legalization bills debated by State’s lawmakers including Assembly Bill 2291

2017 – A bill was passed (ACA 18) in which sports betting would be legalized once the Supreme Court overturned the Federal ban (i.e. May 2018).

2018-2020? – California lawmakers debate and adopt legal sports betting?

Visit our California Online Sports Betting page for More information on the states Sports Betting Laws