Welcome to California Casinos

California has a wide variety of gambling options. Whether you are looking to gamble at Indian casinos, card rooms, or horse racetracks, California has much to offer. In the near future, expect California online gambling to expand with numerous sports betting options — depending on how the November 2022 election shakes out — and casino games available.

California also has online offerings including promotional sweepstakes online casinos and online poker, which both give players a chance to play online via their computer or phone for real cash prizes. For sports fans, daily fantasy sports offered by DraftKings DFS and FanDuel DFS 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

Bad news: California online casinos and California sports betting aren’t yet legal.

Good news: Sports betting will be legal soon, with tribal casinos-backed Prop 26 and mobile sportsbooks-backed Prop 27 on the November ballot. And, until then, there are still tons of online gambling activities to enjoy in California.

Below, we break down every single way you can gamble online legally in California. That includes promotional sweepstakes online casinos and poker, daily fantasy sports (DFS), and horse race betting. There are plenty of choices in California for all three of those gambling avenues.

For more information on California’s two sports betting initiatives — Prop 26 and Prop 27 — and what you should know ahead of the Nov. 8 election, head to our CA sports betting page.

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

Available in California

Pros

  • Small minimum purchases make this great for low-stakes participation
  • California’s top legal online casino
  • Excellent mobile functionality

Cons

  • Other legal online casinos have better welcome offers

Casino Rating
Chumba Review


Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Bonus Package 30
Banking Options


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

Available in California

Pros

  • Your bonuses get more rewarding the more you level up
  • Best legal online slots option in California
  • Easy sign-up process

Cons

  • Online and mobile products aren’t very streamlined

Casino Rating
LuckyLand Review


Payout Speed 3-5Days
Bonus Package 4.99
Banking Options


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

Available in California

Pros

  • Many novices use the site, so your competition will likely be at your level
  • Best legal online poker option in California
  • You don’t have to pay fees to redeem your real cash prizes

Cons

  • Cash prize redemption speed can lag behind other sites

Poker Rating
Global Review


Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Bonus Package 20
Banking Options


Funzpoints

250 Premium PointsOn Sign-up – T&C’s Apply

Available in California

Pros

  • Great ongoing promotions, including Premium Points giveaways
  • Excellent customer support
  • Features a low cash prize minimum to redeem

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a mobile app or table games

Casino Rating
Funzpoints Review


Payout Speed 1-2 Days
Bonus Package 4.99
Banking Options


2.30 Sweepstakes CoinsOn Sign-up – T&C’s Apply

Available in California

Pros

  • Can get extra promos if you get friends to sign up
  • Offers the most amount of games for California players (more than 300)
  • Enticing VIP rewards program with six levels

Cons

  • Wasn’t on the App Store until June 2022

Casino Rating
Pulsz Review


Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Bonus Package 9.99
Banking Options


California Land-Based Gambling

California Indian Casinos

California is home to the largest Indian casinos in the US. They offer most popular casino games, including slots and table games, such as blackjack and craps.

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 Horse Racing

There are four horse racetracks in California — three in Southern California and one in Northern California, along with access to online horse racing across the US.

California Gambling Info

Sports betting is on its way to California this November, when voters will choose between Prop 26 and Prop 27 to decide the state’s immediate sports betting future. If Prop 27 is passed, CA online sports betting could launch as soon as September 2023. Then, the thought is that could open the door for online casinos to come to California in the not-so-distant future, as well.

Until then, you can still find most types of gambling somewhere within California’s borders.

Below we will break down the specifics so you know how to partake in gambling in California.

Online Casinos in California

Online gambling is illegal in California with a few minor exceptions (i.e. horse betting and DFS). However, gambling at promotional sweepstakes casinos is legal because of a loophole.

Are California Promotional Sweepstakes Casinos Legal?

California promotional sweepstakes gambling technically does not have you play for real money. Instead, players compete for Sweeps Coins or other digital currencies. You can then exchange those Sweeps Coins for real cash prizes.

That may sound like the same thing, but according to the letter of the law, it isn’t.

You can place money into promotional sweepstakes gambling apps or sites to purchase Gold Coins or other premium currencies, which can later be exchanged for other real prizes. But this just isn’t the same as actually playing for real money.

A slight difference, sure, but one that major promotional sweepstakes sites across the country are taking advantage of. Currently, promotional sweepstakes gambling is legal in all US states except Washington and Idaho.

Best Online Casinos in California

The best promotional sweepstakes sites in California are Pulsz, Chumba Casino, Luckyland Slots, Funzpoints, and Global Poker.

The first four sites listed are casinos, with mainly slots and a small selection of table games.

Global Poker, meanwhile, is the best online poker site in California. It 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, slots, and table games. Since online gambling is becoming legal in other states, California may change its stance over the next few years, especially if and when sports betting becomes legal. That will likely happen soon, as Californians will vote between two sports betting initiatives — Prop 26 and Prop 27 — this November.

Prop 26 would allow sports betting only in-person at California’s Indian casinos. Prop 27 would allow online sports betting via mobile sportsbook operators partnered with California tribes.

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California Indian Casino Gambling

Gambling at California tribal casinos is 100% legal. In addition to giving patrons the opportunity to legally play slots and table games, California’s Indian casinos also provide the state government with plenty of revenue. For example: If someone stays at a local hotel or eats at a local restaurant while visiting a casino, that spending gets taxed and funds the state government.

As of August 2022, there are 66 casinos run by 63 California tribes. More are on the way, however, as California has also signed tribal-state gaming compacts with an additional 12 tribes. The casinos are largely concentrated in both the Riverside and San Diego Counties, which between them include 22 casinos. Those 66 casinos bring in close to $9 billion in revenue every year.

The state’s newest casino, Sky River Casino in Elk Grove, just opened Aug. 16. It was originally set to open in early September, but it had a surprise opening at midnight on Aug. 16. Sky River Casino is located 15 miles southeast of Sacramento.

Legality of California Indian Casinos and Gambling Revenue

California tribal casinos are legal 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 $9 billion in annual revenue every year. The National Indian Gaming Commission announced in August that California and northern Nevada tribal casinos had generated $11.9 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2021.

Casino themes, attractions, and offerings can vary dramatically from place to place. The largest casinos are near 200,000 square feet 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 of rooms, expansive spas, entertainment venues, pools, golf courses, and more.

Games Available at California Indian Casinos

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 feature California 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.

And, yes, jackpots do happen. There was just a $1.5 million jackpot at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Aug. 5 after one gambler had the lucky pull of a lifetime on a penny slot. (Ironically, this is the same casino that, in 2004, gave away a $12 million jackpot, which was the largest jackpot in CA history at the time.)

New games are constantly being added, too. For instance: Win-River Resort & Casino in Redding is soon adding three Jackpot Blitz electronic table games — dealerless poker ETGs that can play 10 people at a 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 in California is 18.

Best California Indian Casinos

Some of the best California Indian casinos include:

CasinoLocationDetails
Pechanga Resort CasinoTemecula (60 miles north of San Diego)Features 5,000 slot machines, nearly 200 table and poker games, and 188,000 square feet of gaming space — plus 20 restaurants and bars, over 1,000 guest rooms, and 13 pools and spas.
Thunder Valley Casino ResortLincoln (30 miles north of Sacramento)Along with four-diamond hotel, features 3,400 slot machines, 110 gaming tables, a poker room/bingo hall, and 144,500 square feet of gaming space.
Table Mountain Casino ResortFriant (20 miles north of Fresno)New 600,000-square-foot casino and hotel complex opened in July 2022. It features a 110,000-square-foot casino gaming floor, bingo hall, restaurants, event center, and the hotel.
Yaamava' Resort Casino (formerly San Manuel Casino)San Bernandino (10 miles north of Riverside)The largest casino in California. Features 6,500 slot machines, 135 table games, 38 poker tables, and 121,300 square feet of gaming space, plus eight restaurants and bars.

California Card Rooms

Some of the best card rooms in the country are California card rooms. As of August 2022, there are 59 card rooms operating in the state. An additional 25 have licenses but are inactive. Most feature 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.

Card rooms in California strongly favor Prop 27 and oppose Prop 26. This is because a provision in Prop 26 that expands the Private Attorneys General Act. That would allow tribes to hire private attorneys to sue card rooms in potentially costly lawsuits that card rooms worry could put them out of business.

As a result, San Jose lawmakers urged residents to vote against both Prop 26 and Prop 27. San Jose is home to two of the state’s most prominent card rooms, Bay 101 Casino and Casino M8trix. San Jose is California’s third-largest city behind Los Angeles and San Diego.

Poker Tournaments in California

Another 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 the one at California’s Commerce Casino, host the LA Poker Classic, which is held from January to March.

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

Special Games Available at California Card Rooms

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

Best Card Rooms in California

Card RoomLocationDetails
Bicycle Hotel and CasinoBell Gardens (13 miles southeast of Los Angeles)185 poker tables, daily tournament schedule with buy-ins ranging from around $30 to above $90, hosts LA Poker Series tournaments
Commerce CasinoCommerce (7 miles southeast of Los Angeles)Largest card room in the world with more than 270 tables, free poker lessons Tuesdays and Wednesdays, hosts Los Angeles Poker Classic
Hollywood Park CasinoInglewood125 poker tables, Poker Stash Cash promo every week with $50,000 prize pool, daily poker tournaments
Hawaiian Gardens CasinoHawaiian Gardens (20 miles southeast of Los Angeles)More than 110 poker tables, yearly World Poker Tour poker festival, expanded to 200,000 square feet in 2016

California Racetracks

California horse race betting is arguably the best of any state in the US, 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 in California.

Where to Watch Horse Racing in California

Race TrackLocationDetails
Santa Anita ParkArcadia (20 miles northeast of Los Angeles)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 tournaments.
Del Mar Thoroughbred ClubDel Mar (20 miles north of San Diego)Recently hosted the Breeders’ Cup in 2017. Beyond horse racing, it’s a big part of the San Diego-area community since it hosts summer concerts, county fairs, and other events all the time.
Golden Gate FieldsBerkeley (5 miles north of Oakland)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 this venue a wonderful track to visit at least once.
Los Alamitos Race CourseCypress (25 miles southeast of Los Angeles)Renovated in 2014, it features nighttime quarter horse racing and thoroughbred daytime racing throughout select months of the year, and notable events like local derbies and high-stakes tournaments are common.

Is Horse Race Betting Legal in California?

Horse race betting has been legal in California 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 in CA 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. You can find casinos, businesses, or even gas stations that have off-track horse race betting, allowing you to place wagers on horse races that are occurring elsewhere. 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 on the mobile apps. Of the apps, TVG Racing and Twin Spires are good choices, as they feature easy-to-navigate interfaces and 24/7 horse race streaming for both California races and races around the world.

Here’s all the best advice on Del Mar horse betting this weekend. And here’s the top horse races across the country for California horse bettors to wager on via simulcast or mobile betting.

Sign-up Bonuses for Horse Race Betting Apps

Both apps feature excellent welcome bonuses. TVG provides a risk-free bet up to $200, while Twin Spires offers its new players $200 in site credit if you wager $800 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, DFS legislation has been in the works since around 2015. However, no bill has been passed to either fully legalize or outlaw DFS operation within the state.

Is DFS Legal in California?

Without a bill, there is no daily fantasy sports regulation in California.

So, major DFS operators like DraftKings DFS and FanDuel DFS 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.

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

Sign-up Bonuses for New DFS Players

Both DraftKings and FanDuel are excellent DFS operators to go with. We recommended you try both apps to figure out which interface you like best or which lineups are more to your liking. There are other smaller options too, such as Monkey Knife Fight, Jock MKT, and Outlast.

The August 2022 opening bonuses for DraftKings and FanDuel are:

  • 20% deposit match up to $500 for DraftKings and $20 free credit with your first deposit
  • 20% deposit match up to $500 and $5 free credit with your sign-up on FanDuel

The DraftKings bonus is better at first glance. When you dig into both apps, you’ll find the interfaces are pretty similar, with rosters on the right side of the screen and different selectable sports on the left. You’ll be able to choose from all the staple sports with both apps, like NFL, NBA, MLB.

Both apps also feature international and championship soccer leagues and European league sports, as well as WNBA.

Both apps are also pretty similar in terms of the bets you can place. All in all, DraftKings DFS and FanDuel DFS are likely to stay legal in California for quite some time — especially if and when overall sports betting is legalized in California.

What’s the Latest With California Casinos?

For all news related to California gambling, casinos, sports betting, legislation, and everything in between, head to our California gambling news page.

Below, we’ll have a running updates section on what California’s tribal casinos are up to. These will be brief updates, though. Again, for all details and more information, head to our news section.

California Gambling FAQs

Is there online gambling in California?

Technically, yes. While online casinos and online sports betting is not legal in California (that could change with sports betting thanks to Prop 27), there are still several CA online gambling options. You can bet on horse races online. You can play DFS online, using apps like DraftKings DFS and FanDuel DFS. You can also play online poker and online slots via promotional sweepstakes sites in California.

Can you enjoy legal sports betting in California?

No. But you will soon. In November, California voters can choose between two CA sports betting initiatives. Prop 26, backed by California tribes, would allow for only in-person sports betting at tribal casinos and racetracks. Prop 27, backed by mobile sportsbooks, would allow for online sports betting. There’s basically zero chance neither passes, and there’s a decent chance both pass. Either way, sports betting is inevitably coming to California.

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. The state government targets operators that offer illegal gambling activities moreso than the players who get involved.

Why are so many forms of gambling illegal in California?

It’s because of anti-gambling legislation that swept across the US 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. Card rooms and horse betting are legal because bettors are technically competing with each other, instead of the house.

Why is card room gambling legal in California?

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. This is somewhat unique as the card rooms do not have a built-in house edge. There are currently 59 active card rooms in California — 35 in Southern California and 24 in Northern California. There used to be well over 100.

How do horse racetracks make a profit?

Through pari-mutuel betting, which means that the California horse racetracks take a cut of the winnings from each wager. Again, this keeps this type of wagering legal since players bet against each other. With four of the country’s best horse racetracks all in one state, California is one of the horse betting capitals of the US.