Gambling has been a part of California since it drafted its state constitution and became an official state in 1850. It’s one of the only states in the country to consider poker a game of skill instead of a game of chance, and it was the birthplace of the famous slot machine, which was developed in San Francisco in 1894.
Additionally, California was where the tribal casino trend started, after a landmark Supreme Court ruling in 1987 (480 US 202) removed federal restrictions barring such operations. This was a direct result of a challenge by the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians. Clearly, California is one of the original American gambling states.
Voters in the state have been consistently shown to approve of state-sanctioned gambling, and the next step is to get online gambling on the 2022 ballot. However, California online gambling is actually legal today, as long as players use reputable casino, sports betting, and poker sites located outside of US jurisdiction.
Is Online Gambling Legal In California Right Now?
There are no California state gambling laws or federal US gambling laws that directly prohibit placing real money bets with online gambling sites, provided those sites are based outside of the United States. While there are no domestic online gambling options in CA, these offshore sites remain safe and legal to use for all California residents aged 18 and up.
Legal California Online Gambling Sites
Each of the legal CA gambling sites mentioned in the table below is regulated and properly licensed in their jurisdictions outside of the US. This allows them to be legally accessed by US players.
Each operator is legitimate and trustworthy, and these particular brands have developed reputations over the course of many years to be consistent and reliable in their deposit options, payout speeds, and compliance certifications.
Plus, all their casino games and gambling markets are regularly audited for fair play, giving you the same (or better!) chances to win as you’d find in any of the best brick-and-mortar casinos in Las Vegas and beyond.
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Other California Gambling Pages
Can I Play Real Money Casino Games Online In California?
Yes, you can! While there are no domestic state-licensed or regulated online casino gambling options at this time, there are multiple legally sanctioned and licensed offshore casinos accepting players from California. These sites deliver strong selections of hundreds of casino games, attractive bonus offers, and boast secure US friendly banking options.
Online, CA players can access the same types of games they would find in traditional retail casinos. The most popular RNG (random number generation) games include slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker, baccarat, keno, bingo, various specialty games, and even live dealer games.
To learn more, check out our guide on California online casinos, where you will find information about the legal status of online casino gambling in CA, as well as what gaming options are legally available to you.
Can I Play Online Poker In California?
California does not provide any domestic Internet poker gambling platforms, as the state has yet to pass laws regulating this form of online gambling. However, California players will find plenty of real money online poker games available through licensed offshore poker sites.
At these venues, the cash tables and tournaments on offer allow you to choose from the most popular poker game types, including Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo.
Best of all, CA online poker sites offer an interactive gaming experience allowing you to play against other live players from around the state, the country, and even the world. This isn’t video poker (which is also available), this is real poker against real opponents.
The feature-rich interface solutions used by these poker sites allow multi-hand and multi-table options (i.e. multitabling), as well as access to around-the-clock poker tournaments featuring small-scale Sit ‘N’ Gos and large-scale events with thousands of players and hundreds of thousands of dollars up for grabs.
Visit our page covering California online poker for more information.
Can I Bet On Sports Online In California?
Yes, but not domestically. That is, there are no CA online sportsbooks (or, in fact, any sportsbooks whatsoever) that operate within the state. And even though nearby Nevada offers online sports betting, the Federal Wire Act (1961) prevents these books from accepting wagers across state lines.
Of course, online sportsbooks operating overseas are not bound by the Wire Act or any other US laws, and they are able to offer CA residents a robust sports betting experience that is both legal and safe.
Best of all, given CA’s popularity in many major sports markets, you’ll always get better odds offshore because these books serve all of the United States. That means there’s no home-town skew to drive down payouts for local teams!
In the future, due to the Supreme Court overturn of PASPA in 2018, it is likely that CA online sportsbooks will be available at the domestic level. Due to the shelving of such legislation in 2020, the next time such an initiative will be on the ballot is in 2022.
Until then, California players can access legal offshore online sportsbooks to enjoy wagering on their favorite players, teams, and leagues. For more information, please check out our California online sports betting guide.
Can I Play Bingo Online In California?
If the online bingo hall that you intend to use is legally licensed and regulated by a legitimate governing jurisdiction outside of the US, then you are completely within your rights as a Californian to play as much real money online bingo as you like.
However, since the California government has not authorized state-licensed online bingo, domestic sites offering the pastime are considered illegal and should not be accessed.
To gain more insight into how you can legally and safely enjoy playing bingo online at reputable international betting sites, our page on California online bingo sites should be the next ball out of your hopper.
What is the Legal Minimum Gambling Age in California?
Domestically, players who are 18 and up can participate in state-licensed bingo, lottery, pari-mutuel wagering (i.e. horse racing betting), poker at California card rooms, and some tribal Class II casino gambling.
However, many (if not most) of these venues serve alcohol, which makes their standard age of entry 21. In other words, legitimate domestic gaming opportunities for players aged 18-20 are few and far between in the Golden State.
Fortunately, if you’re 18 and older, you can legally gamble online with international betting sites operating outside of USA borders (see below).
What is the Legal Minimum Online Gambling Age in California?
The reputable and legitimate offshore online gambling sites featured on this page all accept CA residents at just 18 years of age, and players do not violate any state or federal gambling laws for signing up if they’re under 21. Californians aged 18-20 may visit and enjoy any of the online gambling sites listed above without fear of violating any CA gambling laws.
Will California Legalize Online Gambling In The Near Future?
Probably not. The earliest time this could be done is in 2022, because any modifications to California gambling laws – including gambling expansion – requires a voter referendum. If such a bill makes its way to the ballot, the legislature would then need to craft rules and regulations for the industry, and the state would have to revise all its many tribal compacts, as well.
As of yet, no agreements have been reached that satisfy all parties involved. Discussions have been taking place for several years, so nobody is holding their breath for an outcome favorable to supporters of online gambling.
A conservative estimate suggests that the best case scenario for domestic CA online gambling would put its launch somewhere into 2024 or later. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait. You can gamble online right now – legally and safely – by signing up at a legit CA gambling site operating offshore.