California Sports Betting Updates 2023

California sports betting isn’t launching any time soon.

With California voters rejecting two initiatives in the 2022 election that would have legalized sportsbooks in the state in some capacity, interest groups now turn to the 2024 election for another attempt at legalization.

Translation: Those eager for legal sports betting apps in California need to be patient.

However, whether sports betting comes to California isn’t a question of it. It’s a question of when. There’e simply too much money to be made in a legal California sports betting market.

While Californians wait for legalization, they do still have some options. They can play DFS with any number of apps, including DraftKings and FanDuel. They can play Fliff, a promotional sweepstakes social sportsbook.

And they should also get familiar with what potential California sportsbook promos may come to their state.

For now, here’s a look at the future of sports betting in California.

Is Sports Betting Legal in California?

No, sports betting in California is not legal.

The only way to make it legal is it voters pass a measure legalizing it in an election, so interest groups are now looking ahead to the 2024 ballot for their second crack at legalization.

Until then, neighboring states Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona all offer legal sports betting, both retail and online. For much of California, those states are only a short drive away. Some sportsbooks literally sit minutes from the border.

How Can I Bet on Sports in California?

For those who want to stay in California, there is a legal, creative way to bet on sports. Fliff is a promotional sweepstakes sports betting app that has all the same feel of a traditional real-money sportsbook.

We’ll discuss Fliff later, but in a nutshell, you bet with fake digital money that can later be redeemed for real money.

California is also still a hot spot for DFS. You can play daily fantasy sports at any number of quality apps, including those offered by DraftKings and FanDuel.

There’s horse betting in California, too. You can do that in-person, off-track, or via any number of horse race betting apps. FanDuel Racing, formerly known as TVG, is your best bet.

California Sports Betting – Quick Facts

Retail sports betting?No ❌
Online sports betting?No ❌
Neighboring states with legal sports bettingNevada, Arizona, Oregon
Is daily fantasy sports legal?Yes ✅
Is Fliff legal?Yes ✅
Is horse race betting legal?Yes ✅
Where to bet on horse races?Santa Anita Park, Del Mar Racetrack, Los Alamitos Race Course, Golden Gate Fields
Latest sports betting legalization effortsProp 26 (retail sports betting) and Prop 27 (online sports betting) both failed in 2022 election
Any legislation currently being discussed?No ❌
Earliest California sports betting could launch?2025
Who has the leverage?California tribes
Estimated CA sports betting market size$2.8-3.1 billion revenue
State regulatorCalifornia Gambling Control Commission

When Will Sports Betting Launch in California?

Californians will have to wait until 2024 to vote for the next round of sports betting ballot initiatives. Then, if one is passed, things wouldn’t get into gear until 2025.

Here’s a timeline of all the sports betting legalization efforts in California.

  • May 14, 2018: Congress repeals the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA), opening the door for legal sports betting. It’s up to each individual state if it wants to make sports betting legal.
  • May 21, 2018: Assemblyman Adam Gray reintroduced a bill he’d first introduced in 2017 that would allow sports gambling if it was approved by voters in the election. It didn’t make it to the ballot.
  • June 2018: A proposal known as the Gaming Fairness and Accountability Act was filed to the state’s Attorney General. The act was mainly focused on legalizing sports betting. But that didn’t work either.
  • January 2020: A group of 18 California tribes began the process of collecting signatures to get a legal sports betting measure on the 2020 ballot. However, COVID-19 threw a wrench in those plans.
  • May 2021: After being granted two extensions on their signature-gathering deadlines due to the pandemic, the tribes successfully got approval to be on the November 2022 ballot.
  • August 2021: FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM began to spearhead effort to get online sports betting initiative on the November 2022 ballot.
  • May 2022: The private company-led initiative got enough signatures to appear on the November 2022 ballot.
  • November 2022: More than $450 million was raised in support and opposition of Prop 26 and Prop 27, making it by far the most expensive ballot battle in California history. Neither measure is expected to pass in the election. Meanwhile, Massachusetts became the latest state to legalize sports betting in August.
  • Nov. 8, 2022: California voters reject Prop 26 and Prop 27 in major landslide losses.
  • Dec. 27, 2022: Leaders of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, which owns the largest casino on the West Coast (Yaamava’ Resort & Casino), tell California Casinos that the only way they see US sportsbooks entering the California market is as tech providers for tribes — not as their own entities.
  • Jan. 31, 2023: Massachusetts becomes the latest state to legalize sports betting, with its three casinos launching retail sportsbooks. Online sports betting is expected to follow on March 10.
  • Feb. 6, 2023: Two Texas lawmakers introduce legislation that would legalize online sports betting. If it passes the state House and Senate, it will go to the general election in 2024. In terms of population, Texas is the second-largest state behind California.
  • Feb. 14, 2023: During a speech at the Western Indian Gaming Conference, CNIGA Chairman James Siva lauded the overwhelming defeat of Prop 27 and emphasized that “tribes are by far the better entities to offer sports wagering in California.”

Sports Betting News

Puig awaits trial as probe of Nix gambling ring expands.

California Gambling Ring Probe Expands As Yasiel Puig Awaits Trial

August 18, 2023
Investigation of the gambling ring involving former minor league pitcher Wayne Nix expands as former Dodger Yasiel Puig awaits trial.
Betr Picks has launched in California, a DFS prop bet platform that uses real money.

Betr Launches DFS Prop Bet Platform In California

August 7, 2023
Betr Picks has launched in California. Operators contend the real-money DFS prop bet platform is legal because of its entry fee system.
Golden Gate Fields set to close in December

Would Golden Gate Fields Have Been Saved By In-Person Sports Betting?

July 17, 2023
Prop 26 would have legalized California sports betting at racetracks. Had it passed, Golden Gate Fields could have built a sportsbook.
Fliff is being sued for $5 million over alleged illegal gambling practices

Man Sues CA Social Sportsbook Fliff For $5 Million

June 28, 2023
A man in California has sued online sweepstakes company Fliff, alleging illegal gambling practices and seeking $5 million.

What Online Sports Betting Sites Can I Use in California?

We strongly advise against using unregulated offshore sites such as Bovada and BetUS. You put your money and personal information at risk any time you use one of those sites.

Instead, for Californians eager to bet on sports right now, we suggest Fliff or DFS sites.

With DFS, you pick daily rosters and enter tournaments or head-to-head contests with cash on the line.

Although it’s not a real-money sports betting site, Fliff is a promotional sweepstakes site — just like the legal online casinos in California. That means you bet with two forms of fake digital currency, and you can redeem one of those types of fake digital currency for real cash prizes.

Best for Legal Play Right Now

at Fliff California

Available on: iOS, Android, Web browser

States Available: 41 states, including CA, OR, AZ

Best for Legal Play Right Now

Fliff Social Sportsbook California


100% Match Bonus Up to $100 Fliff Cash + 600,000 Fliff Coins

On Purchase — T&Cs Apply

Promo Code


Owned By

Fliff, Inc.

Although it doesn’t offer traditional real-money sports betting, Fliff can provide California bettors with a close-enough experience until the real thing gets legalized, perhaps in 2025. Via the promotional sweepstakes model, Californians can make moneyline picks on games from major leagues on any given day and potentially win enough game currency to be redeemed for real cash prizes.

Best for Contest Variety

at DraftKings DFS California

Available on: iOS, Android, web browser

States Available 44, including CA

Best for Contest Variety

DraftKings DFS California


$20 Free + 20% Deposit Match Up to $500

T&Cs Apply

Promo Code

None needed

Owned By

Crown Gaming Inc.

With the best variety of all DFS sites and the unique-to-DraftKings tiers system, DraftKings DFS is a must-have for any Californian looking to make some money while following their favorite teams. The platform is simple and streamlined. Payouts come quickly. And there are plenty of free contests for even the newest players to enjoy.

Best for New Players

at FanDuel DFS California

Available on: iOS, Android, web browser

States Available 44, including CA

Best for New Players

FanDuel DFS California


Play $1, Get a Free NBA Entry

T&Cs Apply

Promo Code

None needed

Owned By

Flutter Entertainment plc

The original daily fantasy operator, FanDuel DFS is the cream of the crop for fantasy sports bettors in California. Its one-of-a-kind beat the score feature stands out above all other apps. And its wide range of contest varieties make it appealing for novices and veterans alike.

Best for Predictions

at Boom Fantasy California

Available on: iOS, Android

States Available 24, including CA

Best for Predictions

Boom California


Bonus First Entry Up to $100

T&Cs Apply

Promo Code

None needed

Owned By

Boom Entertainment

Essentially, Boom offers California sports bettors an app via which they can place prop bets — or predictions. For example: You could pick LeBron James to score more than 30.5 points in the next Lakers game. You have to answer 4-8 questions for each game contest you enter. The less likely your selected player is to achieve the goal, the more money you stand to make. (Sounds an awful lot like betting odds, doesn’t it?)

Best for Props

at Monkey Knife Fight California

Available on: iOS, Android, web browser

States Available 30, including CA

Best for Props

Monkey Knife Fight California


$5 Free + 100% Deposit Match Up to $100

T&Cs Apply

Promo Code


Owned By

Bally's Corporation

Acquired by Bally Bet’s parent company in 2021, Monkey Knife Fight is one of the fastest-growing options for California sports bettors. It presents itself exactly like a real-money sportsbook would, but you can only make prop selections for a given game, much like Boom. If you’re looking for the top option outside the big two, Monkey Knife Fight could be it.

Best for Unique Features

at Jock MKT California

Available on: iOS, Android, web browser

States Available 34, including CA

Best for Unique Features

Jock MKT California


100% Deposit Match Up to $250

T&Cs Apply

Promo Code


Owned By

Jock MKT

Jock MKT differs from all the other apps in California because it offers an option called market games, where users can buy or sell players like they would on the stock market. There is truly no other sports betting experience out there like it.

Sportsbook Apps Projected to Launch in California

We obviously don’t know which sites would come to California.

However, we can make confident educated guesses about which sports betting apps and sites would flock to California given the opportunity. For instance, DraftKings and FanDuel already operate DFS apps in California. They would be two logical candidates for a license.

Here is the full list of potential California sportsbooks:

DraftKings California — Best for Sports Betting Options

FanDuel California — Best for App Experience

Caesars Sportsbook California — Best for Rewards Program

BetMGM California — Best for Ongoing Promos

BetRivers California — Best for Easy Cashout

PointsBet California — Best for Microbetting

Efforts to Legalize California Sports Betting

Two sports betting measures that would have legalized sports betting in some capacity made California’s 2022 ballot.

However, both failed in landslides.

Prop 26 would have legalized in-person sports betting at the 66 Indian casinos in California and the state’s four licensed horse racetracks. Prop 27 would have legalized mobile and online sports betting from private sportsbook companies partnered with California tribes.

A group of tribes also tried to get a measure on the ballot that would have legalized online sports betting offered directly by California tribes. But they eventually abandoned that effort to rally behind Prop 26 and against Prop 27.

Prop 26: Sports Betting at Indian Casinos

Prop 26
Type of sports betting allowed?In-person
Where?Indian casinos and four licensed horse racetracks (Santa Anita, Del Mar, Los Alamitos, Golden Gate Fields)
Tax rate?10% on racetrack sports betting
Projected tax revenue?Mid-tens of millions
Where would revenue go?40% to K-12 schools and community colleges

Of the rest:
70% General Fund
15% problem gambling programs
15% state regulator
Projected launch date?Depends on how quickly new tribal-state gaming compacts can be negotiated and approved
College sports betting?Not on in-state teams
Other info?Would also legalize roulette and dice games at Indian casinos and allow them to sue card rooms directly

In California, 58 tribes publicly endorsed Prop 26. Notable other support comes from the NAACP and various local political and business organizations.

Beyond the sportsbooks, Prop 26’s main opposition came from California card rooms and related entities.

Prop 27: Online Sports Betting

Prop 27
Type of sports betting allowed?Online and mobile
Tax rate?10%
Projected tax revenue?Mid-hundreds of millions
Where would revenue go?85% homelessness programs
15% non-participating tribes
Projected launch date?No later than Aug. 29, 2023
College sports betting?No restrictions
Other info?Would also allow betting on things such as award shows and pop culture events

FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, PENN Entertainment, Fanatics, Bally Bet, and WynnBET exclusively funded the Yes on 27 campaign. Prop 27 also had support from MLB, certain homelessness organizations, and top lawmakers from cities hit especially hard by homelessness.

Three California tribes also endorsed Prop 27.

Beyond most California tribes, Prop 27’s main opposition came from both the California Democratic and Republican parties, as well as state education organizations such as the California Teachers Association.

What’s Next for California Sports Betting?

The only way for sports betting to be legalized in California is via voter approval in a general election. The next general election is 2024. There are several ways for an initiative to reach a ballot.

Here are the three most likely options for the 2024 ballot.

  • Sportsbooks and tribes again collect signatures for two separate initiatives.
  • Sportsbooks and tribes compromise and collect signatures for one initiative.
  • The California Legislature, with assistance from lobbyists, writes and passes one ballot initiative.

Large California tribes made this clear in the weeks following the 2022 election: They are willing to work with sports betting companies, but only as technology providers. In other words, companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel could partner with tribes and make money, but they would only be the technology providers — their branding would not appear on the tribe’s sportsbook.

Opposing Ballot Measures

Because this route failed so miserably in 2022, it seems unlikely sportsbooks and tribes will go after each other again in 2024. But sometimes logic doesn’t prevail, especially in politics.

In this case, both interest groups would need to gather a certain required amount of verified signatures in order to appear on that ballot. That amount is equal to 8% of the votes cast for the governor in the most recent election. For the 2022 ballot, that number was 997,139.

Interest groups are given 180 days to collect the signatures, and they must be verified at least 131 days before the election to appear on the ballot.

Compromise in 2024

The consensus among industry experts is that sportsbooks and tribes can’t afford to try opposing each other again in 2024, because it so clearly didn’t work.

If the two interest groups can reach a compromise on one ballot measure, they’ll be able to combine their campaign energy. Collecting the minimum required number of signatures would likely be easy in this case.

If a random sample of the signatures indicates 110% of the required number, the measure automatically goes on the ballot

If it’s anywhere above 95% but below 110%, a full check is required. If it’s below 95%, the initiative will not appear on the ballot.

Legislative Route

If interest groups and lobbyists surrounding sportsbooks and California tribes don’t block it, the California Legislature can write what’s called a legislatively referred constitutional amendment.

Essentially, all that means is that lawmakers write the ballot proposal, and it needs to get 2/3 approval by the Assembly and Senate to appear on the next election ballot.

Lawmakers would need support from tribes. Large California tribes have said they are willing to work with sports betting companies, but only as technology providers. DraftKings and FanDuel could partner with tribes and make money, but their branding would not appear on the tribe’s sportsbook.

How to Start Betting in California

For now, the only regulated and legal sports betting app you can use in California is Fliff, which uses the promotional sweepstakes model to be 100% legal.

When it comes to regulated real-money sportsbooks, there is no way to legally use them in California.

You can use a VPN to hide your IP address and sign up for a US sportsbook from California. However, when it comes time to verifying your identity and address in order to place bets and withdraw money, security will quickly sniff you out and delete your sports betting account.

However, when sports betting does inevitably launch in California, here’s how you’ll be able to use sports betting apps.

How to Download

Most if not all California sportsbooks will give users the option to download their app on iOS or Android devices directly from their sportsbook website.

However, most bettors simply head to the App Store or Google Play Store to download the app. Be sure you’re downloading the company’s sportsbook app. Some, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, also have DFS apps.

Most companies that also operate online casinos combine their sportsbook and casino apps into one. But, if they don’t, again, be sure you see the word “sportsbook” in whatever app you’re downloading.

How to Deposit Money

California sports betting apps will make it easy and pain-free to deposit money.

Simply connect your payment method of choice to the sportsbook — common methods include online banking, credit or debit card, e-check, and PayPal — and place funds into your account. Some sportsbooks, such as DraftKings, also allow you to fund your account with DraftKings gift cards.

How to Place a Bet

Once you have deposited money into your account, you’re ready to place a bet.

Peruse the sportsbook’s options of sports and leagues, select the game or contest you want to bet on, choose your type of bet (moneyline, spread, Over/Under, prop, future, parlay, etc.), and place your bet. Once you’ve done this, you’ll see your wager selection listed on your betslip, which should be easily accessible on the sportsbook app.

How to Cash Out

In order to withdraw winnings from your account, you’ll need to verify your identity.

Some online sportsbooks do this automatically during your registration. They will make sure all the information you provide matches up with public records. This process is usually quite fast and, again, happens before you even get started betting.

However, some online sportsbooks require further manual verification before you can cash out. Common documents needed for verification include a government-issued ID and proof of address (such as a utility bill).

Once you’ve verified your identity, you’re ready to withdraw money from your account. Common withdrawal methods include online banking, PayPal, or other e-wallets. But there are additional options, too.

We recommend online banking, as it’s usually the fastest and easiest method to get your sports betting winnings within a few business days.

How We Rate Sportsbook Apps

We pride ourselves on providing unbiased, detailed, and accurate reviews to help you pick your favorite sportsbook apps whenever California sports betting launches in the future. Although these apps, such as DraftKings California, aren’t live in California, their platforms will be the same whenever they can launch in California.

So, to help you understand how we rate sports betting apps, here’s a breakdown.


A sportsbook could have market-leading odds, a deep menu of sports and leagues to bet on, and a wide range of bets you can make. But if the platform isn’t fast and efficient, without bugs or glitches bugging things down, none of that matters.

A good sportsbook is a fast sportsbook — one that registers your bets immediately, updates odds consistently for live betting, and pays you quickly.

Bonuses and Promotions

We want a sportsbook to court us, to convince us to pick them over all the others. After all, we’re paying them our hard-earned money, right? That’s why welcome bonuses really do matter when it comes to rating a sports betting app. Same with ongoing promotions.

If two sportsbooks offer pretty much the same odds, betting menu, and deposit options, you’re going to pick $1,000 bonus bet over the $500 bonus bet.

Deposit and Withdrawal Options

Options are always a good thing, especially when it comes to depositing and withdrawing money with a sportsbook. If the sportsbook doesn’t offer direct online banking for both deposits and cashouts, don’t even consider it.

But sometimes online banking isn’t always the best option. Some people swear by PayPal or e-wallets like Skrill. It can’t possibly hurt a sportsbook to offer more deposit and withdrawal options. It can only help attract a wider range of bettors.

App Quality

Let’s be honest: Some of you might place your bets on a computer, but chances are you’ll use the sports betting app at least 80% of the time. So, even if a sportsbook has the best of the best of everything, if its app is bad, you’re probably not going to use it.

We look for apps that don’t have glitches or bugs, that are easy to navigate, that simply look nice, and that present information in a clean, easy-to-read fashion.

Live Betting

Live betting is huge nowadays. It’s a fast-paced, exciting way to bet on sports. But it can also be supremely frustrating if a sportsbook lags in any way. This ties in with a sportsbook’s speed. Does it perform well enough to give bettors a high-quality live-betting experience? Or is it more infuriating than fun?

Unique Features

What else can a sportsbook do to set itself apart? PointsBet offers PointsBetting, a one-of-a-kind way to bet on sports. Caesars Sportsbook has an excellent menu of international sports. WynnBET has great live stats. BetMGM California will offer its industry-leading MGM Rewards program.

Types of Bets in California

Here’s a breakdown of the most common ways to bet on sports in the US. We’ll also note which of these types are available on Fliff, the only legal sportsbook in California at the moment.

💸 Moneyline — Moneyline wagers are the bread and butter of sports betting. Simply pick a team or individual to win. If they win, you win your bet. If they lose, you lose the bet. Favorites are listed with negative odds (-100) and underdogs are listed with positive odds (+100). Available on Fliff.

💸 Spread — Spread bets revolve around the margin of victory. For instance, if the Lakers are favored by 4.5 points against the Clippers, betting on the Lakers to cover means they’d need to win by 5 or more points for your bet to win. If you take the Clippers to cover, you’d need them to lose by 4 or fewer points or win. Available on Fliff.

💸 Total — Totals, or Over/Under bets, deal with the combined total points, runs, or goals scored in a contest. For example, if the projected total in a Dodgers vs. Giants game is 9.5 runs, betting the over would mean you want the teams to combine for 10 or more runs, while taking the under would mean you’d want them to score 9 or fewer runs. Available on Fliff.

💸 Props — Prop bets focus on a specific outcome in a game. They can involve individual players or a team. A player prop could be betting on Anthony Davis to score 28 or more points in a Lakers game. A team prop could be betting on the Dodgers to hit three or more home runs as a team against the Padres. Available on Fliff.

💸 Futures — A futures bet involves an end-of-season outcome, and they’re most popular during the preseason for a given sport. These, too, can be player- or team-oriented. You could bet on the Kings to win the Stanley Cup, or you could bet on Mookie Betts to win NL MVP. Limited options available on Fliff.

💸 Parlay — Parlays involve multiple wagers combined into one bet. The more legs you include, the steeper the odds. All individual wagers need to win for the overall parlay bet to win. You can also make a parlay of bets from an individual game, called a Same Game Parlay. DraftKings and FanDuel also allow bettors to combine SGPs into an SGPx on DraftKings and an SGP+ on FanDuel. Available on Fliff.

💸 Teasers — A teaser bet happens when a gambler “buys” better lines, but they have to place that bet as part of a parlay. The standard buy in football betting is 6 points, for example. So you could move the spread from 8.5 points to 2.5 points with the same odds in a LA Rams game. But you’d have to place that wager as part of a parlay. Available on Fliff.

💸 Live betting — This type of sports betting is rapidly growing in popularity. Live betting, or in-game wagering, happens when bettors place bets on a game with fluctuating odds as the game progresses. For instance, if the Lakers are getting -250 odds to beat the Spurs one night but fall behind by 10 points at halftime and the odds lengthen to +150, you might place a live bet on the Lakers moneyline — because you still think they’re good enough to come back and beat the Spurs. Live betting has also opened the door to microbetting, a more second-by-second version of in-game betting that involves markets such as next team to make a field goal in basketball. Available on Fliff.

Banking Options in California

The main question regarding banking options for California sports betting, whenever it’s legalized, will be whether residents will be able to use credit cards to make deposits and withdrawals.

Most states allow credit cards.

However, a handful — including Massachusetts, Iowa, New York, Tennessee, and Connecticut.

For now, we’ll include credit cards in this projection. And since Fliff is the only legal sportsbook now, we’ll note which of these options are allowed on that app.

OptionDepositWithdrawalOther InfoAvailable on Fliff?
Credit cardYes, but some charge feeYesNot recommended. Why pay extra to deposit money?Yes (deposit)
Debit cardYesYesBetter option than credit card.Yes (deposit)
Online bankingYesYesOur favorite option. Quick, easy transactions.Yes
PayPalYesYesTrusted e-wallet for fast, safe transfers.Yes (withdrawal)
VIP Preferred e-checkYesYesNo fees. Much safer than using paper checks.No
SkrillYesYesNewer e-wallet, but similar to PayPal.Yes (withdrawal)
PayNearMeYesYes (only at ATMs)Secure and convenient for deposits, but not convenient for withdrawals.No
Apple Pay/Google PayYesNoLimited availability. Would recommend other options first.Yes
Play+ CardYesYesGreat method if you want to keep your sportsbook finances completely separate from other finances.No
Sportsbook gift cardsYesNoWho doesn't like free money?No
Wire transferYesYesGood for large sums of money, but high fees and longer processing times.No
CashYesYesThis only works if you're at a retail sportsbook.No

Legal Sports Betting in Bordering States

Although you can’t legally bet on sports online or in-person in California, you can in its three neighboring states.


As of February 2023, there were 17 online sportsbooks operating in Arizona:

  • DraftKings Sportsbook
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • BetMGM
  • BetRivers
  • Betfred
  • FanDuel Sportsbook
  • Unibet
  • WynnBET Sportsbook
  • Barstool Sportsbook 
  • Sahara Bets
  • Desert Diamond Sports
  • Golden Nugget
  • Bally Bet
  • Betway
  • SuperBook Sports
  • Hard Rock
  • TwinSpires

If Californians are looking for retail sportsbooks near the California-Arizona border, there is one option:

  • Paradise Casino in Yuma, just 9 miles from the California-Arizona border, has a retail Unibet Sportsbook.


As of February 2023, there were 13 online sportsbooks operating in Nevada:

  • Atlantis
  • BetMGM
  • B-Connected Sports
  • Circa Sports
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • Golden Nugget NV
  • Rampart Sports (Nevada Sports)
  • South Point (Nevada Sports)
  • STN Sports
  • TI Sports
  • Westgate Superbook
  • William Hill
  • WynnBET

Las Vegas is just about 50 miles from the California border, and Lake Tahoe and Reno are directly next to it. So many Californians won’t have to drive far to use the above-mentioned online sportsbooks. For in-person sports gambling:

  • There are 17 retail sportsbooks in and around Reno.
  • There are six retail sportsbooks around Lake Tahoe.
  • There are eight retail sportsbooks in and around Carson City.
  • There are 87 retail sportsbooks in Las Vegas.
  • There are 13 retail sportsbooks in cities on the California-Nevada border, including three in Primm.


As of February 2023, there was only one online sportsbook operating in Oregon: DraftKings. There are also retail sportsbooks at four Indian casinos, but the closest one is 136 miles above the California-Oregon border.

California Sports to Bet on

With the largest population in the US at just under 40 million people, California also boasts arguably the biggest selection of sports to bet on. Here’s a quick look.

California Professional Sports

There are 19 major professional sports teams in California, spanning across the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, and WNBA. That’s not even counting the pro sports teams in some of the more niche sports like women’s soccer, lacrosse, and rugby, or lower-league level action for the NBA (G League) and MLB (minor leagues).

California College Sports

The availability of college sports betting varies by state. Some have no restrictions. Some don’t allow it at all. Some only allow wagers on teams not from the state. Time will tell what kind of college sports betting California will permit.

There are 26 colleges in California with Division I sports programs:

  • Cal Baptist
  • Cap Poly
  • Cal State Bakersfield
  • Cal State Fullerton
  • Cal State Northridge
  • Cal
  • Fresno State
  • Long Beach State
  • Loyola Marymount
  • Pacific
  • Pepperdine
  • Sacramento State
  • Saint Mary’s
  • San Diego
  • San Diego State
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose State
  • Santa Clara
  • Stanford
  • UC Davis
  • UC Irvine
  • UC Riverside
  • UC San Diego
  • UCLA
  • USC

California also has 21 Division II colleges, 11 Division III colleges, and 18 NAIA colleges.

Other Sports in California

A wide range of other sports take place in California each year, headlined by NASCAR and MMA events. California is also a hot spot for esports competitions, although we don’t know if esports betting will be allowed whenever California launches sportsbooks.

California Teams to Bet on

Los Angeles Lakers

League: NBA

Stadium: Arena

Betting partnerships: FanDuel

Notable players: LeBron James, Anthony Davis

Los Angeles Dodgers

League: MLB

Stadium: Dodger Stadium

Betting partnerships: None

Notable players: Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw

Golden State Warriors

League: NBA

Stadium: Chase Center

Betting partnerships: None

Notable players: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson

San Francisco 49ers

League: NFL

Stadium: Levi’s Stadium

Betting partnerships: None

Notable players: Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffrey

San Diego Padres

League: MLB

Stadium: Petco Park

Betting partnerships: Circa Resort and Casino Las Vegas

Notable players: Juan Soto, Manny Machado

Los Angeles Rams

League: NFL

Stadium: SoFi Stadium

Betting partnerships: None

Notable players: Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp

Sacramento Kings

League: NBA

Stadium: Golden 1 Center

Betting partnerships: DraftKings

Notable players: De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Harrison Barnes

Los Angeles Kings

League: NHL

Stadium: Arena

Betting partnerships: Betway

Notable players: Anže Kopitar, Jonathan Quick

Los Angeles Chargers

League: NFL

Stadium: SoFi Stadium

Betting partnerships: ThriveFantasy

Notable players: Justin Herbert, Joey Bosa

Los Angeles Clippers

League: NBA

Stadium: Arena (Intuit Dome in 2024)

Betting partnerships: DraftKings

Notable players: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George

San Francisco Giants

League: MLB

Stadium: Oracle Park

Betting partnerships:Cache Creek Casino Resort

Notable players: Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt

Los Angeles Galaxy

League: MLS

Stadium: Dignity Health Sports Park

Betting partnerships: DraftKings

Notable players: Chicharito, Douglas Costa

Los Angeles Angels

League: MLB

Stadium: Angel Stadium

Betting partnerships:Pechanga Resort Casino

Notable players: Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout

San Jose Sharks

League: NHL

Stadium: SAP Center

Betting partnerships: Cache Creek Resort

Notable players: Erik Karlsson, Timo Meier


League: MLS

Stadium: BMO Stadium

Betting partnerships: None

Notable players: Maxime Crépeau, Diego Palacios

Anaheim Ducks

League: NHL

Stadium: Honda Center

Betting partnerships: San Manuel Casino

Notable players: Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry

Oakland A’s

League: MLB

Stadium: RingCentral Coliseum

Betting partnerships: Cache Creek Casino Resort

Notable players: Esteury Ruiz, Shea Langeliers

Los Angeles Sparks

League: WNBA

Stadium: Arena

Betting partnerships: None

Notable players: Nneka Ogwumike, Brittney Sykes

San Jose Earthquakes

League: MLS

Stadium: PayPal Park

Betting partnerships: None

Notable players: Jeremy Ebobisse, JT Marcinkowski

California College Football Betting Odds and Updates

USC Football Futures Odds

SportsbookTrojans 2024 CFP National Championship Odds
PointsBet California+1200
Caesars Sportsbook California+800
BetMGM California+700
FanDuel California+1600

Depending on which sportsbook you use, USC football odds for the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship are anywhere from third-best to fifth-best in the country.

With reigning Heisman Trophy winner QB Caleb Williams back, as well as a loaded transfer class and the No. 11 overall 2023 recruiting class, the Trojans have high expectations in 2023-24.

UCLA Football Futures Odds

SportsbookBruins 2024 CFP National Championship Odds
PointsBet California+8000
Caesars Sportsbook California+10000
BetMGM California+10000
FanDuel California+10000

Most major US sportsbooks peg UCLA football odds for the 2024 CFP title at +10000 immediately following the 2023 title game. The Bruins will miss QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and RB Zach Charbonnet dearly, but they’ll still likely challenge for a spot in the Pac-12 title game.

The +10000 line is just outside the top 20, so UCLA is still expected to be a top-25-caliber team.

California NBA Betting Odds and Updates

Los Angeles Lakers Odds and Updates

SportsbookLakers NBA Finals Odds
FanDuel California+6000
BetMGM California+4000
Caesars Sportsbook California+3500
PointsBet California+5000

The Lakers finished 43-39 in 2022-23, but got on a roll in the playoffs. They advanced all the way to the Western Conference finals, where they were swept by the Denver Nuggets (who eventually won the championship).

Los Angeles Clippers Odds and Updates

SportsbookClippers NBA Finals Odds
FanDuel California+1200
BetMGM California+1000
Caesars Sportsbook California+1100
PointsBet California+1100

The Clippers finished 2022-23 at 44-38. After a shaky February, the team finished by winning five of their last seven games to make the playoffs, where they bowed out in the first round. The Phoenix Suns dispatched the Clippers in five games.

Golden State Warriors Odds and Updates

SportsbookWarriors NBA Finals Odds
FanDuel California+1900
BetMGM California+1600
Caesars Sportsbook California+1200
PointsBet California+1600

An up-and-down season for the Warriors concluded with the squad holding a 44-38 record. Golden State topped the Sacramento Kings in a thrilling seven-game series to open the playoffs, but fell to the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals.

Sacramento Kings Odds and Updates

SportsbookKings NBA Finals Odds
FanDuel California+13000
BetMGM California+10000
Caesars Sportsbook California+6000
PointsBet California+12500

The Kings had a massive turnaround in 2022-23. In their first season under head coach Mike Brown, Sacramento won 48 games and finished atop the Pacific Division. The Kings fell to the Warriors in the playoffs, but the future looks bright.

California NHL Betting Odds and Updates

Los Angeles Kings Odds and Updates

SportsbookKings Stanley Cup Odds
PointsBet California+2000
FanDuel California+3500
Caesars Sportsbook California+3000
BetMGM California+3500

The Kings won 47 games in 2022-23 and were riding high heading into the playoffs. However, they were bounced in six games by the Edmonton Oilers.

San Jose Sharks Odds and Updates

SportsbookSharks Stanley Cup Odds
PointsBet California+100000
FanDuel California+50000
Caesars Sportsbook California+200000
BetMGM California+100000

It was another long season for the Sharks, who struggled to a 22-44-16 record in 2022-23. The Northern California squad hasn’t made the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2018-19.

Anaheim Ducks Odds and Updates

SportsbookDucks Stanley Cup Odds
PointsBet CaliforniaNA
FanDuel California+50000
Caesars Sportsbook California+500000
BetMGM California+100000

The Ducks also struggled, finishing at 23-47-12. Their goal differential of -129 was the worst in NHL history since the 1999-2000 Atlanta Thrashers.

Projected California Sports Betting Market Size

As the most populous state, California could become one of the largest sports betting markets in the US. For example, the state of Nevada generates an estimated $9 billion in revenue annually. California Indian casinos already generate about an equal amount of revenue annually without having online or in-person sports betting.

Nevada generates about $450 million in revenue via sports betting. California, with its larger size and population, could potentially dwarf that amount if sports betting is legalized.

The Los Angeles Times reported that one 2019 study estimated illegal sports bets placed in California were worth $15.7 billion. Logic says a fully legal market would lead to a much higher California sports betting handle.

An August 2022 report published by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, an independent research and consulting firm, projected sports betting revenue in California to reach $3.1 billion if both Prop 26 and Prop 27 pass. Even if only Prop 27 passes, the firm predicted annual would be $2.8 billion — a reflection of just how popular online sports betting is compared to retail sports betting across the US.

If the retail-only option is passed, experts estimate it would generate a $356 million in revenue in five years.

It’s a staggering amount of money that sportsbooks want to command large slices of. This projected market size is the reason sportsbooks have banded together to try to legalize online sports betting.

Where Is Sports Betting Legal in the US?

As of February 2023, 35 states and Washington D.C. have legal sports betting in some form or have legalization pending. California is one of 15 states with nothing currently available or pending

Alabama ❌Alaska ❌Arizona ✅Arkansas ✅California ❌
Colorado ✅Connecticut ✅Delaware ✅Florida ❌Georgia ❌
Hawaii ❌Idaho ❌Illinois ✅Indiana ✅Iowa ✅
Kansas ✅Kentucky ❌Louisiana ✅Maine - PendingMaryland ✅
Massachusetts ✅Michigan ✅Minnesota ❌Mississippi ✅Missouri ❌
Montana ✅Nebraska - PendingNevada ✅New Hampshire ✅New Jersey ✅
New Mexico ✅New York ✅North Carolina ✅North Dakota ✅Ohio ✅
Oklahoma ❌Oregon ✅Pennsylvania ✅Rhode Island ✅South Carolina ❌
South Dakota ✅Tennessee ✅Texas ❌Utah ❌Vermont ❌
Virginia ✅Washington ✅West Virginia ✅Wisconsin ✅Wyoming ✅

Don’t Use Offshore Sportsbooks

As tempting as it may be, we strongly recommend against using unregulated offshore sports betting sites that are technically available to use in California. It’s better to use Fliff or wait for California to legalize real-money sports betting and offer regulated sportsbooks for many reasons.

Some of those reasons?

  • Offshore sportsbooks often lack high-end digital security.
  • Offshore sportsbooks have a track record of issues with payouts, including not paying customers at all.
  • Offshore sportsbooks don’t face any regulation, meaning they can do whatever they want.
  • Offshore sportsbooks tend to offer much less favorable odds than legal sportsbooks.

Bottom line: Your information is vulnerable to cybercriminals with offshore sites, and you will have no legal recourse if you feel the offshore sportsbook has wronged you in any way.

So, yes, sites like Bovada, BetUS, BetOnline, MyBookie, everygame, and BetNow offer their sports betting platforms in California. But it’s just not worth the risk.

History of Sports Betting in California

Nevada legalized sports betting in 1949.

But, outside that state, California and the rest of the US had a bubbling ecosystem of illegal sports gambling, mainly run by organized crime.

Various pieces of legislation — the Federal Wire Act (1961), Travel Act of 1961, Interstate Transportation of Paraphernalia Act of 1961, Sports Bribery Act of 1964 — tried to curtain illegal sports gambling. But these were all bandaid efforts to get anything done.

Then, in 1992, the US Congress banned any state from legalizing sports betting with the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. In 2006, Congress went after online sports betting with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

However, on May 14, 2018, Congress repealed PASPA.

Since then, 35 states and Washington D.C. have either legalized sports betting or have legalization pending. There were two sports betting initiatives on California’s ballot in the 2022 election, but both failed miserably. Now, interest groups look ahead to the 2024 election.

California Sports Betting FAQs

When will sports betting be legal in California?

Mid- to late-2025, at the earliest. Voters rejected both California sports betting ballot initiatives in the November 2022 election. So the next opportunity to legalize will come in the November 2024 election. And if sports betting is approved then, it will take until mid- to late-2025 for things to launch.

Why is sports betting illegal in California?

According to California law, any game of pure chance where real money is wagered is illegal. Sports betting falls under that category. California voters emphatically voted down two initiatives that would have legalized sports betting in landslide losses in the 2022 election.

For California sports betting to be legalized in the future, it would need near-unanimous support from the state’s tribes. California tribes proved their political strength in the 2022 election, as their efforts to tank Prop 27, sportsbooks’ attempt to legalize online sports betting, worked to perfection. If California tribes aren’t on board with future sports betting initiatives, they will likely fail as well.

How do you do sports betting in California?

The only way to legally bet on sports in California is with Fliff, a social sportsbook that follows the promotional sweepstakes model. What does that mean? It means players use fake digital tokens for their sports bets, and those tokens can be redeemed for real cash prizes.

Fliff has all the feel of a real-money sportsbook without actually being one. It’s a great, legal way to bet on sports until real-money California sports betting becomes legal.

Why don't the California gaming tribes have sports betting?

In order for California gaming tribes to offer sports betting, sports betting must be legalized on tribal land. Although there is leeway for Indian casino gambling when it comes to California’s anti-gambling laws, that leeway does not exist for sports betting.

If Prop 26 had passed in the 2022 election, there would have been in-person sports betting at the California gaming tribes’ casinos. However, that prop failed in a landslide.

What sports betting apps are legal in California?

Fliff is the only legal and regulated sports betting app in California. It’s fully legal because it follows the promotional sweepstakes model. That means the digital sportsbook coins you use don’t have any real-world value, but they can be redeemed for real cash prizes.

Daily fantasy sports apps, including DraftKings DFS, FanDuel DFS, and Monkey Knife Fight, are also 100% legal in California.

How close is California to legalizing sports betting?

If you just look at the margins of defeat for Prop 26 and Prop 27 in the 2022 election, not close at all. However, most industry experts believe the landslide losses of California’s two sports betting initiatives happened due to the campaigns’ incessant attack ads, not due to a population averse to sports betting.

Still, in order for sports betting to be legalized in the 2024 election, there would likely need to be just one sports betting initiative — with support from the state’s tribes. As of February 2023, that wasn’t close to happening. But there is still time.

When will DraftKings have sports betting in California?

In 2025, at the earliest. And that’s only if a California sports betting initiative gets passed in the 2024 election. Both sports betting measures in California failed miserably in the 2022 election.

When will California sports betting be on FanDuel?

FanDuel Sportsbook won’t launch in California until 2025, at the earliest. And that will only happen if a California sports betting initiative gets approved by voters in the 2024 election. That feels like a big if, at the moment.

How old will I have to be to use California sportsbooks?

More than likely 21 years of age. It’s the most common sports betting age in the US, and California hasn’t offered any reasons it would deviate from that convention. There are various forms of 18+ gambling in California, but sports betting won’t be one of them.

Will online sports betting be available in California?

Not until 2025, at the earliest. California voters showed no current need for online sports betting in the November 2022 election, with more than 80% voting to reject Prop 27. However, this could have also been due to California tribes rallying against Prop 27 — not so much due to a lack of desire. In fact, voters showed slightly more willingness to legalize only in-person sports betting.

There’s no doubt online sports betting will some day launch in California. It’s just a matter of when — and who eventually is able to offer it.

Who will regulate sports betting in California?

The California Gambling Control Commission. The CGCC regulates gambling at Indian casinos and card rooms, so it would more than likely regulate California sports betting as well.

About the Author

Matthew Bain

Matthew Bain started as News Editor and Content Manager at California Casinos in 2022. Before that, he spent six years as a sports reporter and then deputy sports editor for the Des Moines Register, during which time he won nine statewide journalism awards, including the Genevieve Mauck Stoufer Outstanding Young Iowa Journalists Award. As deputy sports editor, Matthew oversaw the Register's recruiting coverage while also innovating the outlet's high school sports coverage. Matthew graduated from San Diego State and grew up in California, but he's somehow a Boston Celtics fan. Long story.