Best DFS Sites in California

California is one of the best states for those interested in playing daily fantasy sports (DFS). In fact, over 120,000 active DFS players call California home, and around 10% of all DFS contest entries occur in California.

Multiple great daily fantasy sports platforms are available to California residents. It can be intimidating for sports fans and fantasy enthusiasts to venture into a new form of virtual gameplay. However, we’re here to break down everything new users need to know in order to get started in the growing world of DFS.

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.

$20 Free + 20% Deposit Match Up to $500On First Deposit — T&C's Apply
DraftKings DFS California

4.8

Best for DFS Players

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • A lot of expect players use the platform
Legal in California
Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Bonus Offer $520
Banking Options

DraftKings DFS is one of the best in the industry — arguably the best. In general, most DFS fans will enjoy DraftKings as a fixture within their rotations. It has one of the best spreads of contest markets and game types available, including head-to-head games where you can compete against your friends or family members.

$5 Free + 20% Deposit Match Up to $500On Sign-up — T&C's Apply
FanDuel DFS California

4.8

Best for $5 Free

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • No deposit match bonus
Legal in California
Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Bonus Offer $505
Banking Options

FanDuel DFS is DraftKings’ No. 1 competitor and is considered the top option in the market by many. It offers a fantastic DFS experience on both its website and mobile app, and the $5 free just for signing up is a sweet perk.

DraftKings DFS vs. FanDuel DFS in California

ComparisonDraftKingsFanDuel
Promo Offer$20 bonus credit + 20% deposit match up to $500$5 free + 20% deposit match up to $500
Exclusive Contests/Game TypesTiersBeat the Score
Exclusive League OfferingsWNBA, UEFA Europa League soccerEuroleague Basketball, CFL, UEFA Champions League soccer, PGA European tour
League PartnershipsNFL, MLBNHL, NBA
$5 Free + 100% Deposit Match Up to $100On First Deposit — T&C's Apply
Monkey Knife Fight DFS California

4.8

Best for DFS Props

Pros

  • 100% deposit match is an excellent promo offer
  • Includes esports DFS contests
  • High-quality customer support

Cons

  • Deposit and withdrawal methods lag behind competition
Legal in California
Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Bonus Offer $100
Banking Options

Monkey Knife Fight is a relatively new DFS platform, but it’s well worth it thanks to its streamlined interface and focus on prop games. In fact, MKF only provides prop daily fantasy sports contests, so consider checking this out if prop games are your favorites. As a new platform, MKF’s mobile app may not be as sharp as DraftKings or FanDuel yet, but its users can enjoy an easy-to-use interface.

100% Deposit Match Up to $100On First Deposit — T&C's Apply
Jock MKT DFS California

4.8

Best for Unique Features

Pros

  • Market games let you buy or sell players like the stock market
  • Guaranteed payouts
  • High-quality app experience

Cons

  • Limited selection of sports
Legal in California
Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Bonus Offer $100
Banking Options

Jock MKT is a newer addition to the DFS scene, and it offers an innovative experience. Jock MKT has market games, where you can buy or sell players like the stock market. Though DFS players are always thinking about whether a player’s stock is rising or falling, having to actually place a bet on those feelings adds an extra layer of challenge.

Other DFS Sites in California

Aside from DraftKings and FanDuel, there are plenty of other daily fantasy sports 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.

Is DFS Legal in California?

No, not explicitly. But like many other states in the US, daily fantasy sports are still allowed to be offered in California because there aren’t any laws against it.

There aren’t any fees, taxes, or other legal frameworks associated with DFS operators. This isn’t due to a lack of trying. In fact, the California assembly passed a 2016 bill that would have legalized regulation and taxation for DFS. With this bill, DFS would require a minimum player age of 21, and DFS operators would have to offer self-exclusion programs or controls available.

But the bill has yet to pass, despite its early introduction. Since that time, there haven’t been any major public statements about DFS, its legality, or regulations for operators. So each of the above operators and all other DFS providers are technically operating in a legally gray area.

For the time being, you can enjoy DFS legally, so to speak. But keep in mind that laws could change some time in the future, requiring operators to change what they provide in order to stay legally safe.

Is It Safe to Play DFS in California?

Yes, DFS is safe to play in California. That said, the range of safety and security ranges across the available apps in the market.

For your money’s sake, it’s a good idea to only play DFS in California using a well-established site run by a trustworthy operator. DraftKings, FanDuel, Monkey Knife Fight, PrizePicks, and other well-reviewed DFS sites are great places to play for a number of key reasons:

  • They include high-quality digital security.
  • They have excellent reputations and operate in many other states.
  • They will not steal your money or personal information.

If you try to play on an offshore or untested DFS site, you could run into several problems. The site could try to steal your money or personal information, or it may provide subpar gaming events. Ultimately, DFS gaming in California can be safe, but players need to make sure they’re making sound decisions in terms of which platforms they use.

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 SitePromo OfferFree Contests?
DraftKings DFS$20 free on deposit + 20% deposit match up to $500Yes
FanDuel DFS$5 free on sign-up + 20% deposit match up to $500Yes
Monkey Knife Fight$5 free + 100% deposit match up to $100Yes
Jock MKT100% deposit match up to $100Yes

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 is particularly well-known for its NFL $3.5 million millionaire contest, which only happens during the NFL season, so be sure to enjoy it while it lasts.

In a nutshell, players have to kick in an entry fee of $10. The tournament is available every week throughout the NFL season. The first-place finisher wins a prize of $1 million.

Even finishing in the top 20 can net a four-figure payday. However, with hundreds of thousands of entries, winning one of these exclusive NFL contests is extremely difficult. But since the entry fee is so minimal, many players find the risk worthwhile.

DraftKings also has regular special contests for NBA games. For example, the NBA 25-point hunt runs during basketball season and only requires players to correctly draft a 25-point scorer from each team and win 1500 crowds. 

Basically, if you’re a football or basketball fan, DraftKings offers lots of top DFS contests for you to enjoy.

FanDuel DFS Contests

FanDuel’s free contests, as noted above, are high-quality and perfect opportunities to try out the app before putting too much money down. These are for the Super Bowl and March Madness, 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 prices 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.

Ultimately, whether you like to play contests for basketball, football, baseball, hockey or soccer among other sporting events, DraftKings and FanDuel have you covered for DFS in California.

DFS Alternative in California

If you are looking for more traditional sportsbook action in California, consider Fliff Sports Betting. Fliff offers spreads, moneylines, totals, and more. And you have the potential to win cash prizes, higher even than 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.

California Daily Fantasy Sports FAQs

How old do I need to be to play DFS in California?

Since DFS is not fully regulated in California, you only need to be 18 years of age or older, as that’s what the apps require for you to fund your account and make purchases.

Is FanDuel DFS legal in California?

Technically, yes. But it operates in a legally gray area since DFS is neither legal nor illegal in California.

Is DraftKings DFS legal in California?

Yes, in the same way as FanDuel. In other words, it exists in a legally gray area because DFS is neither legal nor illegal in California.

Can I join DFS contests for all NFL teams in California?

Yes. California doesn’t have any restrictions on contests for NFL teams on DFS apps.

Can I play DFS contests for college sports in California?

Absolutely. In fact, many of the above top DFS platforms have college DFS markets for you to check out right now.

Who regulates daily fantasy sports sites in California?

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.

About the Author

Craig Williams

Craig Williams is a Charlotte-based writer for CA Casinos, who has worked professionally in the gaming, fantasy sports, and sports business industries. He’s an avid fantasy football player, managing over 100 leagues across multiple formats. When he’s not pouring over Vegas odds and statistics, he’s indulging in soccer and enjoys anything from LigaMX to Champions League.