Best DFS Sites In California

California is one of the best states to be for those interested in participating in 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 the Golden State.

Multiple great daily fantasy sports platforms are available to California residents. This is the case despite California state legislators not yet recognizing DFS as a form of gambling and not regulating it to any degree.

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 two of the most important DFS providers in the Golden State and the industry overall: DraftKings and FanDuel.

DraftKings DFS In California

DraftKings DFS and mobile app is one of the best in the industry — arguably the best. There are lots of reasons for this, including:

  • Tons of DFS contests are available from NBA and NFL to La Liga and Europa League. You can enjoy head-to-head matchups, tournament contests, and much more on DraftKings, making it the prime choice for most daily fantasy sports enthusiasts compared to the competition.
  • An excellent rewards program that provides you with site credit or special crowns which can be redeemed for rewards. A great rewards program is a incentivize to entice users to continue using that same DFS platform.
  • DraftKings frequently offers special tournaments and contest opportunities. Both those new to and familiar with DraftKings can be sure they will regularly have fresh contests to enjoy.
  • A quality interface and mobile app platform. Navigating through all the different options is quick and simple thanks to how well DraftKings DFS has laid everything out.

In general, most DFS enthusiasts will enjoy DraftKings serving 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 compete against your friends or family members.

FanDuel DFS In California

FanDuel DFS is DraftKings’ number one competitor and is considered No. 1 in the market by many. It offers a fantastic DFS experience on both its website and mobile app, primarily for reasons like:

  • Extensive DFS markets for both professional and college sporting activities. FanDuel’s users can enjoy contests from MLB and NHL to Premier League and Champions League.
  • Beginner-friendly contests, which provide new users a low-pressure, low-risk method through which to familiarize themselves with DFS and the FanDuel app. In this way, FanDuel DFS in California is one of the best mobile platforms to check out if you have yet to enjoy DFS.
  • An optimized mobile app that is continually updated to introduce new technological capabilities and features. The app is optimized for both iPhone and Android devices alike.
  • Regular free contests for players to enjoy, including contests for Super Bowl tournaments and similar big events.
  • A wide range of contest types, including but not limited to full-roster, single-game, and beat-the-score contests. In short, FanDuel does as good a job as DraftKings of providing numerous ways to enjoy DFS.

DraftKings Vs. FanDuel In California

ComparisonDraftKingsFanDuel
Bonus Offer$20 bonus credit + 20% deposit match up to $500One free entry upon signup; two more free entries with $10 deposit
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

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:

  • Monkey Knife Fight – 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 its easy-to-use interface.
  • 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 very secure mobile app with high-quality digital antivirus software and SSL certification. In addition to all these elements, PrizePicks offers special contest types during major sporting events like end-of-year tournaments, big matchups, and so on.
  • Outlast – Currently, the games available on Outlast are limited to two: an over/under solo game and Survivor Pool (DFS’s only over/under survival pool). The games are enjoyable and the app itself is easy to use.
  • 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 Explicitly Legal In California?

No, not explicitly. But like many other states in the United States, 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. Under the regulations stipulated by 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. As a result, 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 sometime 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 they 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 leverage exclusive bonus offers or free contests to draw new players and get people to try their apps. Some of the best bonus offers include:

  • DraftKings’ offer which provides all new players with $20 in DK Dollars, essentially site credit, just for creating a new account and depositing at least $5. You can use the bonus dollars in real money contests. Furthermore, you’ll get a 20% deposit match bonus up to $500 whether you are a new or existing player.
  • FanDuel’s free contests and opening bonus. FanDuel regularly offers free-to-play games tied to significant events throughout sports seasons, such as Big Game Bingo for the Super Bowl and Bracket Pick’em for March Madness. These free-to-play games are great ways to try out FanDuel’s app before depositing money. But FanDuel also offers special bonuses and promos. For example, for new players, FanDuel offers a free NBA contest entry. With a deposit of $10, they offer another two free contest entries. New FanDuel users can even check out beginner-exclusive contests, which are noted on the app’s lobby under a special category.
  • Monkey Knife Fight’s opening bonus offer is also stellar. New players can deposit at least $5 and instantly get a deposit match bonus worth up to $100 of site credit. This makes it easy to try out the DFS app before putting too much money down. Given MKF’s focus on prop daily fantasy sports contests, the relatively small amount from the opening bonus is still worthwhile since it gets players into the action more quickly.

As you can see, opening bonuses are plentiful in California’s DFS market. You can try out numerous apps and benefit from at least some kind of opening bonus offer for the free contest.

What Are The Top Contests For DFS Players In California?

One of the big reasons why 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 Contests

DraftKings is particularly well known for its NFL $3.5 million millionaire contest which only kicks off 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. These contests run from March 2 to March 20.

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

FanDuel Contests

FanDuel’s free contests, as noted above, are very 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.

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 the Golden State.

Is DraftKings legal in California?

Yes, but in the same way as FanDuel.

Can I join 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 passed.

About the Author

Craig Williams

Craig Williams is a Charlotte-based sportswriter who has worked professionally in the gaming, fantasy, 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.