Best DFS Sites In California

When it comes to daily fantasy sports, California is one of the best states to get your fix. In fact, over 120,000 active DFS players call California home, and around 10% of all daily fantasy sports game entries occur in the Golden State.

Unsurprisingly, you can find lots of great daily fantasy sports providers in California. This is all true even though California state legislators do not yet recognize daily fantasy sports as a form of gambling and don’t regulate it to any degree.

Interested in giving some of the DFS sites in California a try? Let’s break down everything you need to know about DFS sites in California in detail.

Best Daily Fantasy Sports Sites In California

As noted above, there are dozens of different DFS sites you can check out. However, only a handful are really worth your time and money. Let’s break down two of the most important DFS providers in the Golden State: DraftKings and FanDuel.

DraftKings DFS In California

DraftKings’ DFS platform and mobile app are some of the best in the industry, bar none. There are lots of reasons for this, including:

  • Tons of DFS contests are available. 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 you can redeem for rewards after you accumulate enough of them. This makes it a great DFS platform to come back to time and time again
  • Special tournaments and contest opportunities, which crop up all the time. These special tournaments and contests ensure that there’s always something new to check out on DraftKings
  • A stellar 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 want to check out DraftKings for long-term DFS action. 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 is DraftKings’ number one competitor, and for good reason. It offers a fantastic daily fantasy sports experience on both its website and mobile app, primarily for reasons like:

  • Extensive daily fantasy sports markets for both professional and college sporting activities
  • Beginner-friendly contests, which are clearly labeled and which serve as an introduction to DFS activities. In this way, FanDuel DFS in California is one of the best mobile platforms to check out if you haven’t enjoyed daily fantasy sports before
  • 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, and you can customize or edit your lineups after you have entered DFS contests already
  • Regular free contests for players to enjoy, including contests for Super Bowl tournaments and similar big events
  • A good range of contest types and ways to play, ranging from full roster contests to single-game tournaments to beat the score contests and much more. In short, FanDuel does as good a job as DraftKings of providing numerous ways to enjoy DFS

Like DraftKings, FanDuel is one of the top daily fantasy sports apps in California overall.

DraftKings Vs. FanDuel In California

ComparisonDraftKingsFanDuel
Bonus Offer$20 bonus credit + 100% deposit match up to $500$5 free bonus for making a new account
Exclusive Contests/Game TypesTiersBeat the Score
Exclusive League OfferingsWNBAEuroleague Basketball, CFL, 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. Note, unfortunately, that MKF doesn’t have a mobile app quite yet. MKF is one of the easiest DFS apps to get into thanks to its slick and basic 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.

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.

You see, 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, plain and simple. That said, there are still less safe and more safe DFS sites in California to check out.

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 DFS 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 only if you use common sense and use your money on worthwhile sites.

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:

  • The offer from DraftKings. All new players for their DFS app get $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 the DFS app from FanDuel before putting a lot of money down. But FanDuel also offers special bonuses and promos, like a $5 free bonus just for signing up. 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 any app you imagine 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 millionaire contest. Called the NFL $3.5 million fantasy football millionaire contest, it 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 football season. The first-place finisher gets a prize of $1 million. The second-place finisher gets a prize of $150,000, and so on all the way to the fifth-place and $30,000.

As you can see, getting in the top five can still net you a massive payday. On the downside, winning one of these exclusive NFL contests is not very easy. But since the entry fee is so minimal, many players give it a shot anyway since the risk is so low.

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. Simply fill out your brackets for the entire tournament and see how far you get and whether you win a cash prize!

Ultimately, whether you like to play contests for basketball, football, baseball, or any other sporting event, 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

Amber Hoffman

Amber is the Managing Editor of California Casinos. She writes for a variety of websites in diverse industries, including gaming and travel and is a fan of international football (not "soccer") and Gaelic sports.