California is the biggest daily fantasy sports hotspot in the US.
And there’s good reason, too.
California has the highest population in the country at just under 40 million. That’s nearly 10 million more than anywhere else. Add that to the fact that there are countless Division I colleges, 19 professional sports teams, and still no legal sports betting in California, and it makes total sense why California has the most DFS players in the US.
When it comes to playing DFS, there’s no shortage of high-end options to try in California. DFS is different from traditional fantasy sports in that it’s on a daily, rather than weekly, level. However, it’s easy to learn and have fun once you get the hang of it.
Below is a full breakdown of DFS, the top California DFS apps, and the best DFS welcome bonuses to get started playing legal daily fantasy sports in California.
Is DFS Legal in California?
Yes and no.
But, really, yes.
Like in many other US states, daily fantasy sports are allowed because there are no California laws specifically legalizing it or now allowing it. So, in essence, DFS operators run their lucrative California apps in a somewhat gray space, legally speaking. But that makes no difference to players.
Here’s what they need to know: Yes, DFS is legal in California. No, you won’t get in trouble for playing it.
Can You Play DFS in California Safely?
Yes. You can feel safe and secure playing on regulated DFS sites in California.
With DFS, there’s no good reason to use an unregulated site, because the activity is fully allowed with operators like DraftKings DFS, FanDuel DFS, Monkey Knife Fight, PrizePicks, and other well-reviewed DFS sites.
These regulated apps, to us, are really the only option to play your daily fantasy sports in California for three reasons:
- Regulated sites boast high-quality digital security systems.
- Regulated sites have strong, trusted reputations in more states than just California.
- Regulates sites protect your personal and financial information, and won’t steal it.
Offshore, unregulated DFS sites present a different story. These apps face zero oversight, so they were be no legal recourse if you have a complaint about how they handled your money or winnings. In addition, offshore DFS sites don’t offer customers the same type of digital protection that the regulated sites use. That means your personal and financial information will be more vulnerable to cybercriminals.
Best Daily Fantasy Sports Sites in California
While Californians have multiple choices of DFS platforms, only a handful are recommended and really worth your time and money. Let’s break down some of the most important DFS providers in California and the industry overall.
Tons of DFS contests are available from NBA and NFL to La Liga and Europa League
An excellent rewards program that provides you with site credit or special crowns, which can be redeemed for rewards
Frequently offers special tournaments and contest opportunities
A lot of expert players use the platform
Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Bonus Offer $20
You’d be hard-pressed to find anything better out there than DraftKings DFS.
If you’re a DFS fan, chances are DraftKings is on your phone, and has been for a long time. It boasts a deep menu of betting markets and contest variations for your picks, including head-to-head games. Its mobile interface is crisp and easy to use. And its rewards program is top-notch.
Extensive DFS markets for both professional and college sports
Beginner-friendly contests, which provide new users a low-pressure, low-risk options
Regular free contests for players to enjoy
Fewer high-reward contests
Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Bonus Offer Free Entry
When it comes to daily fantasy sports, DraftKings DFS and FanDuel DFS dominate the market. And it’s not even close. FanDuel DFS offers an excellent desktop and mobile experience, and its regular free contests and low-risk games are perfect for novice or casual DFS players making their first picks.
You get your winnings in a timely fashion, too.
DraftKings DFS vs. FanDuel DFS in California
|Promo Offer||$20 bonus credit + 20% deposit match up to $500||Register and get free NBA contest entry|
|Exclusive Contests/Game Types||Tiers||Beat the Score|
Very low-risk because you don't bet with real money
Has many traditional bets besides just player props
Adds a social element to sports betting
Need $50 in Fliff Cash before redemption
Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Promo Offer $100
If you are looking for more traditional sportsbook action in California, consider Fliff Sports Betting. Fliff offers spreads, moneylines, totals, and more on its bets — or picks, as it calls them. And you have the potential to win cash prizes, higher even than traditional DFS sites.
However, Fliff is completely legal in California. Why? Because you do not have to pay anything to play. Fliff uses fake currencies to play. One is just for fun, and one can be redeemed for cash prizes. But you can get both kinds for free by doing things like watching ads, winning contests, following Fliff on social media, and doing a mail-in request.
Fliff uses what’s called the promotional sweepstakes model to remain legal. It’s the same cash prize model used by popular online casinos, such as Pulsz, Chumba Casino, and LuckyLand Slots.
Lets players win with prop predictions, rather than building lineups
Bonus entry up to $100 is high-quality
$100,000 progressive jackpot has just a $3 buy-in
Desktop version lags well behind its mobile version
Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Bonus Offer $100
Boom Fantasy offers prediction games that are super easy to play. For example, you might be asked if a QB will throw for more or less than 274.5 yards. Make your predictions, and if you are correct, you win. Contests have anywhere from 4-8 questions. You can get more winnings if you pick a player less likely to succeed and they succeed, versus a player expected to succeed.
Market games let you buy or sell players like the stock market
High-quality app experience — use promo code SHARP
Limited selection of sports
Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Bonus Offer $100
Jock MKT provides a unique experience in a DFS landscape that can get monotonous at times. This DFS platform has what are called market games, where you can buy or sell players like brokers trading on the stock market. That adds a whole different level to the DFS experience, where “buy low, sell high” actually matters.
Other DFS Sites in California
Aside from DraftKings and FanDuel, there are plenty of other DFS websites you can and should check out. Specifically, we recommend:
- PrizePicks – PrizePicks is another great choice for California DFS enthusiasts, as it offers an intuitive and well-designed mobile app for both major operating systems and several different game types. It’s also a secure mobile app with high-quality digital antivirus software and SSL certification. PrizePicks offers special contest types during major sporting events like end-of-year tournaments, big matchups, and so on.
- WinView – This app offers a clean and easy-to-use interface along with multiple gameplay options. Like other apps, it adds a social emphasis to the games, allowing for a more interactive experience.
- ThriveFantasy – A great option for beginning bettors, ThriveFantasy allows users to set up their teams using star players without the added effort of having to research lesser-known players for their team lineup. The app interface and deposit/withdrawal options are competitive and on par with other options on the DFS market.
- OwnersBox – OwnersBox certainly offers traditional DFS contests, but its claim to fame is offering games that can go longer. For example, you can have head-to-head bracket tournaments that can last up to several weeks. You can also do multi-day tournaments where the person who accumulates the most points in the week is the winner. This new wrinkle is in addition to other innovations on the traditional daily games, such as Lightning Lineups and SuperFlex games.
What Are the Best Bonus Offers and Free DFS Contests in California?
Many of the top DFS sites in California have exclusive bonus offers or free contests to draw new players and get people to try their apps. Some of the best bonus offers include:
|Daily Fantasy Sports Site||Promo Offer||Free Contests?|
|DraftKings DFS||$20 free on deposit + 20% deposit match up to $500||Yes|
|FanDuel DFS||Register and get free NBA contest entry||Yes|
|Fliff||100% match bonus up to $100 Fliff Cash + 600,000 Fliff Coins||Yes|
|Boom Fantasy||Bonus entry up to $100||No|
|Jock MKT||100% up to $100 on deposit||Yes|
What Are the Top Contests for DFS Players in California?
One of the big reasons California’s DFS market is so popular is because its mobile apps have tons of quality contests for players to enjoy. Let’s take a look at the top contests for DFS players who use both of California’s most popular DFS apps.
DraftKings DFS Contests
DraftKings DFS is particularly well-known for its NFL $5 Million Main Event Millionaire contest, which only happens during the NFL season, so be sure to enjoy it while it lasts. It has a $2,222 entry fee, and the contest lasts throughout the regular season. The grand prize: $1 million. Second place gets $200,000, third place gets $100,000, and fourth-through-10th place prizes range from $50,000 to $10,000.
With such a high entry fee, only 529 players have entered this season.
The NFL $2.5 Million Fantasy Football Millionaire contest costs just $20 to enter, and the winner still gets $1 million. And 8,934 players have entered that this season.
Currently, DraftKings is offering various contests for the NBA, too, including the NBA $400K Giveaway, with winner getting $100,000.
FanDuel DFS Contests
The free contests at FanDuel DFS, as noted above, are high-quality and perfect opportunities to try out the app before putting too much money down. Some of these free options include Super Bowl and March Madness contests, so basketball and football fans also have a lot to like from this DFS app.
Basketball is even better represented on FanDuel’s contest roster with the Bracket Pick’em contest. This takes place during March Madness and gives players the opportunity to win real money prizes without putting any money down. Users simply need to fill out their brackets for the entire tournament, and then they can sit back and see how far they advance.
FanDuel really sets itself apart with its contests specifically geared toward beginners and intermediate players. Experts aren’t even allowed in these contests, giving newer players better opportunities to win money while learning the best ways to construct DFS rosters.
California DFS FAQs
For all intents and purposes, yes, daily fantasy sports is legal in California. Technically, it’s not legal or illegal, as it’s not regulated by any California laws. In the eyes of DFS operators, this “legal gray area” is the same thing as “legal.” California has the largest percentage of DFS players across the US, and that isn’t going to change any time soon.
Yes. There is nothing prohibiting anyone above the age of 18 from playing daily fantasy sports in California. There are a number of high-quality apps to choose from, including DraftKings DFS, FanDuel DFS, and Boom Fantasy.
The legal age for California DFS is still 18 years old, as that’s how old you need to be to place money into your account and make purchases on the DFS app.
In essence, yes. If we’re getting technical, it’s not legal or illegal. But, again, in effect, that means it’s legal, as FanDuel DFS and other major DFS operators offer their platforms in California without issue.
In the same way as FanDuel DFS, yes, DraftKings DFS is legal in California essentially because it isn’t illegal. There doesn’t seem to be any rush to create legislation to regulate DFS in California, so don’t expect any changes in the near future.
Yes. California residents can participate in DFS contests for all NFL teams, and any other team in leagues offered by DFS apps. There are no restrictions.
Yes. While some states with legal sports betting restrict betting on college sports, no such restrictions exist in the DFS world. USC, UCLA, Stanford, you name it — you can play DFS for any college sport offered by your DFS app of choice.
No one. Other gambling activities are regulated in California, but DFS technically doesn’t count as a normal form of gambling. An existing regulatory organization may eventually oversee DFS if legislation is ever passes.