Welcome to California Casinos

California has a wide variety of gambling options. Whether you are looking to play at land-based Indian casinos, card rooms or horse racing – California has it all.

California also has online offerings including Sweepstakes Online Casinos and Online Poker which gives players a chance to play online via their computer or phone for real cash prizes. For sports fans, Daily Fantasy Sports offered by Draftkings and FanDuel are popular options.

Trusted California Sites

We verify that sites listed on CaliforniaCasinos.com are safe and secure to play.

Top Rated California Online Gambling

2 Sweeps CoinsOn Sign-up – T&C’s Apply

Available in California

Pros

  • $30 Gold Coin Package for $10 + Bonus 2 Sweeps Coins on Sign-up
  • Best online casino for California players
  • Real Cash Prizes

Cons

  • Average Customer Service

Casino Rating
Chumba Review


Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Bonus Package 30
Banking Options


$20 Coin PackageOn Sign-up – T&C’s Apply

Available in California

Pros

  • $20 Gold Coin Package post verification + $40 Gold coin package for $20
  • Best online poker for California players
  • Real Cash Prizes

Cons

  • Average Customer Service

Poker Rating
Global Review


Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Bonus Package 20
Banking Options


CALIFORNIA LAND BASED GAMBLING

California Indian Casinos

California is home to the largest Indian casinos in the United States. They offer most popular casino games including slots and blackjack.

California Card Rooms

California card rooms are found throughout the state. They offer poker along with Cal games which are variations of Blackjack, Pai Gow, Baccarat and more.

California Race Tracks

There are 4 Race Tracks in California, 3 in Southern California and 1 in Northern Calfornia along with access to online horse racing across the United States.

CALIFORNIA GAMBLING INFO

California is a state of contradictions, at least where gambling is concerned. The state offers multiple types of gambling through legal technicalities. Generally, you can find most types of gambling somewhere within California’s borders.

Below we will break down the specifics so you know how to partake in different gambling activities within the Golden State.

California Sweepstakes Gambling

Online gambling is illegal in California with a few minor exceptions (i.e. horse racing and daily fantasy sports). However, sweepstakes gambling is legal because of a loophole.

Legality Of California Sweepstakes Gambling

Sweepstakes gambling technically does not have you play for real money. Instead, players compete for Sweeps Coins or other digital currencies. You can place money into sweepstakes gambling apps or sites to purchase Gold Coins or other premium currencies, which can be exchanged for other real prizes. But this just isn’t the same as actually playing for real money.

Where To Play

The best sweepstakes sites in California are Chumba Casino, Luckyland Slots, Funzpoints and Global Poker. Chumba is a phenomenal digital casino featuring hundreds of slot machines and lots of other online games, like electronic blackjack.

Global Poker is an ideal online poker resource that provides two main poker variants: Texas and Omaha Hold’Em. In Global Poker’s case, finding people to play with never takes too long since the site operates almost everywhere in the US. Global Poker’s player pool is quite full.

Until online gambling becomes legal in California, these types of sites are your only choice for online poker and slots games. Since online gambling is becoming legal in other states, California may yet change its stance over the next few years.

California Indian Casino Gambling

In California, tribal gambling enterprises are legal and provide the state government with significant revenue in return, either directly or through ancillary income streams. For instance, someone traveling a great distance to visit a famous casino may also stay at a local hotel, resulting in taxable spending for the state government.

At the time of this writing, there are 63 casinos currently running. These are largely concentrated in both the Riverside and San Diego Counties, which between them include 17 casinos.

Legality Of California Indian Casinos And Gambling Revenue

Tribal casinos are legal in California because of long-standing government pacts between the state government and Indian tribes. Basically, tribal casinos are legal because the casinos are technically not built on state-owned land.

The Indian tribal casinos in California collectively generate over $8 million in annual revenue every year. Casino themes, attractions, and offerings can vary dramatically from place to place. The largest casinos are near 200,000 ft.² and may feature thousands of slot machines in addition to dozens of restaurants and bars. Many of the best casinos also feature hotels with hundreds or thousands of rooms, plus expansive spas.

Games Available

Tribal casinos in California offer three types of games ranging from Class I to Class III. These include but are not limited to:

  • Bingo
  • Poker
  • Lottery games
  • Slot machines
  • Blackjack
  • Electronic games
  • Roulette

There’s almost always something new to try at these resorts. Most of the Indian casinos in California feature poker tournaments or private games. For example, the Morongo Casino Resort Spa offers private poker tables for high-stakes games or work retreats, which can be reserved ahead of time.

You need to be 21-years-old to enter many (but not all) California Indian casinos since most of them serve alcohol on their premises, even though the legal gambling age is 18.

Where To Play

Some of the best California Indian casinos include:

  • Pechanga Resort Casino, with 4,500 slot machines, 20 restaurants/bars, and an expansive hotel with over 1,000 rooms
  • Thunder Valley Casino Resort, which features 2,800 slot machines, 114 gaming tables, live poker games, and a 145,000 ft.² space.
  • Table Mountain Casino, 20 miles north of Fresno, which features 2,000 gaming machines plus 40 table games
  • San Manuel Casino, a former bingo-only casino that now has tons of games, a new hotel, and a spa under construction that is set to be fully completed by 2021.

California Card Rooms

California is home to some of the best card rooms in the entire country. As of 2019, there are 66 card rooms active in the state. An additional 21 have licenses, but not for poker, which is one of the biggest draws for card rooms. All California card rooms are well-regulated to ensure fair play.

You can find most major types of poker within these card rooms, including Texas and Omaha Hold’Em and Seven-Card Stud.

Tournaments

Another big advantage of going to California card rooms is the ability to participate in a wide range of tournaments. For example, The Bicycle Hotel and Casino offers tournaments attached to the World Series of Poker, which normally run from November to December. Other card rooms like California’s Commerce Casino host the LA Poker Classic, which is held from January to March.

Regardless of your skill level, it’s easy to find tons of poker tournaments for beginners and experts and with plenty of prize pools.

Special Games Available

Additionally, most California card rooms include special “Cal Games”, which are variations of regular casino card games that feature rules that are modified to fit within existing California gambling laws. Most California card rooms offer special variants of blackjack, Chinese Poker, Pai Gow, and more.

Where To Play

Some of the best California card rooms include the aforementioned Bicycle Hotel and Casino, the Commerce Casino, Hollywood Park Casino, and Hawaiian Gardens Casino. Most California card rooms are attached to casinos or include hostel. These hotels can be a fantastic base of operations for touring the local area and attractions.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to be 18-years-old or older to play in any California card room. Both Southern California and Northern California have tons of card rooms available. Overall, there are more in the state’s southern counties.

California Race Tracks

California is actually one of the best states for horse racing, especially because it has some of the oldest tracks in the country. The first track was built in 1858. However, these days, there are four main race tracks that host the majority of racing events across the territory.

Where To Go

  • Santa Anita Park, built in 1907, later found a new and permanent home at the border of the San Gabriel Mountains. Famous horses like Seabiscuit and Zenyatta have raced at this track before. Santa Anita Park has a long history of hosting famous World Cups or other tourneys.
  • Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, built in 1936, recently hosted the Breeders’ Cup in 2017. Beyond horse racing, it’s a big part of the local community since it hosts summer concerts, county fairs, and other local events all the time.
  • Golden Gate Fields, built in 1941, features a new tapeta racing surface and an abundance of entertaining and fine dining options. All-American tournaments and breathtaking views of the Bay Area make it a wonderful track to visit at least once.
  • Los Alamitos Race Course, an old race track that recently underwent renovation in 2014, is another landmark site. Nighttime Quarter Horse racing and thoroughbred daytime racing are both offered throughout select months of the year, and notable events like local derbies and high-stakes tournaments are commonplace

Legality Of California Horse Race Betting

Horse race betting has been legal in California ever since 1933, though low attendance has caused most tracks, except for the above four, to either collapse or significantly reduce their offerings. Online horse betting is also legal, which is notable since most other online gambling activities are illegal in California.

Horse racing enthusiasts can bet with both straight and exotic-type bets, either on-track or by using online apps. Off-track horse betting is also pretty commonplace throughout the state. You can find casinos, businesses, or even gas stations that allow off-track horse race betting, allowing you to place wagers on horse races that are occurring elsewhere. It’s an ideal solution if you don’t want to use an app, but still want to bet on a race you can’t personally attend. There are 27 satellite locations in total that offer off-track betting to some extent.

You have to be 21-years-old to place any horse racing bet, including if you want to use one of the mobile apps. Of the apps, TVG and Twin Spires are particularly good choices, as they feature easy-to-navigate interfaces and 24/7 horserace streaming for both California races and races around the world.

Sign-Up Bonuses For New Players

Both apps feature excellent welcome bonuses. TVG provides a risk-free bet up to $300, while Twin Spires offers its new players $100 in site credit if you wager $500 within the first 30 days of creating your account.

California Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)

The daily fantasy sports situation in California is a bit complex. In a nutshell, daily fantasy sports legislation has been in the works since around 2015. However, no bill has been passed, either fully legalizing or outlawing daily fantasy sports operation within the state.

Legality Of California DFS

As a result of the lack of legislation, there isn’t any daily fantasy sports regulation. Also, in the absence of any legislation that explicitly declares DFS illegal, major DFS operators like DraftKings and FanDuel continue to operate within California borders. They do this by referencing a clause in the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Act. In brief, this allows both operators to provide DFS gambling since DFS can technically be seen as a game of skill instead of a game of chance.

Since both DraftKings and FanDuel have offered DFS in California, there have been no major attempts to shut them down or prevent them from operating. Both of these operators have the majority of DFS players shared between them, and the DFS market in California is actually the largest in the US overall.

California has easily over 130,000 DFS players at this time. This number may even grow since there aren’t any taxes, fees, or legal frameworks to regulate DFS operation at this time. Until the California state legislature firmly decides one way or the other whether DFS operation should be legal or illegal, things are likely to remain this way.

Sign-Up Bonuses For New Players

Both DraftKings and FanDuel are excellent DFS operators to go with, but you can actually use both apps. This is recommended since you can try both apps to figure out which interface you like best or which lineups are more to your liking.

Opening bonuses are:

  • $500 deposit match for DraftKings and $20 free credit with your first deposit
  • $5 and $5 more with your first deposit on FanDuel

The DraftKings bonus is a lot better at first glance. When you dig into both apps, you’ll find that the interfaces for both are pretty similar, with rosters on the right and different selectable sports on the left-hand side of the screen. You’ll be able to choose from all the staple sports like NFL, NBA, MLB, and so on without trouble.

However, FanDuel has a few more sports lines available, like international and championship soccer leagues and European league sports. On the other hand, DraftKings offers WNBA betting.

Both apps are also pretty similar in terms of the bets you can place. All in all, DraftKings and FanDuel are likely to stay legal in California for quite some time, even if legislation trends toward making them illegal over the next few years. Now’s a great time to try both apps out and see which one you like best.

CALIFORNIA GAMBLING FAQ

Can you enjoy legal sports betting in California?

No. This is largely because of disagreements between the tribal casinos and state government. At this time, tribal casinos are looking to monopolize sports betting by limiting it at their brick-and-mortar casinos. Online sports betting is, thus, unlikely to appear in the near future.

How is gambling regulated in California?

The National Indian Gaming Commission regulates most of the tribal casino games, while daily fantasy sports operators aren’t really regulated at all. The California Horse Racing Board takes care of regulating all horse racing activities within the state.

Why are so many forms of gambling illegal in California?

It’s because of anti-gambling legislation that swept across the United States decades ago. In a nutshell, gambling that takes place within games of pure chance is illegal if money is involved. This ostensibly prevents people from being taken advantage of.

Why is card room gambling legal in California?

Card rooms are legal since players wager against one another instead of the house. Card rooms make a profit by charging players fees to use their facilities.

How do horse racing tracks make a profit?

Through pari-mutuel betting, which means that the tracks take a cut of the winnings from each wager. Again, this keeps this type of wagering legal since players bet against each other.