California is the country’s hottest hotbed when it comes to daily fantasy sports (DFS).
At just shy of 40 million residents, California is by far the largest state in the US. And there isn’t yet legal sports betting in California. So, yeah, it makes sense why the Golden State is the DFS capital of the world.
There’s a strong handful of quality California DFS apps available to interested players. DFS is different from traditional fantasy sports, so it can be a bit overwhelming for new players just starting DFS. So, scroll down to get a breakdown of what to expect from DFS, as well as the top California DPS apps we think you should consider using.
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
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
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||$5 free + 20% deposit match up to $500|
|Exclusive Contests/Game Types||Tiers||Beat the Score|
|League Partnerships||NFL, MLB||NHL, NBA|
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
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
Risk-free first entry up to $100 is a high-quality bonus
$100,000 progressive jackpot has just a $3 buy-in
Desktop version lags well behind its mobile version
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.
100% deposit match is an excellent promo offer
Includes esports DFS contests
High-quality customer support
Deposit and withdrawal methods lag behind competition
Now we’re getting into the other apps fighting for a share of the DFS market. Monkey Knife Fight is a fast-growing DFS platform that focuses on prop games. In fact, prop games are the only contests offered on MKF, so this app could be perfect for you if you’re a props fan.
Market games let you buy or sell players like the stock market
High-quality app experience
Limited selection of sports
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.
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.
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.
We strongly recommend against using offshore DFS sites. These platforms don’t answer to any regulatory body, so they can really do whatever they want with your money. Also, offshore DFS sites often lack quality digital security, leaving your personal and financial information vulnerable to hackers and cybercriminals.
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||$5 free on sign-up + 20% deposit match up to $500||Yes|
|Boom Fantasy||Risk-free first entry up to $100||No|
|Monkey Knife Fight||$5 free + 100% deposit match up to $100||Yes|
|Jock MKT||100% deposit match up to $250||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 Fantasy Football Millionaire contest, which only happens during the NFL season, so be sure to enjoy it while it lasts. It has a $5 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.
Currently, DraftKings is offering various contests for the WNBA playoffs, including the WNBA Showdown $15K Fadeaway for individual playoff games. First-place winners get $1,000.
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. 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.
California DFS FAQs
Since DFS technically isn’t legal or illegal in California, it isn’t regulated. But 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.