If the gaming industry has to settle for state-by-state legalization, California signifies the Holy Grail of online gambling in the united states. It’s the most populous state in the union with a $2 trillion market that could rank number 8 in the world if it was its own nation. International gambling sites have gone out of the way to obtain licenses in countries considerably smaller than California.
All eyes are on California as countries mull legalizing various forms of online gambling. If California does go the way of legalization, it would by default become the standard by which gaming is measured in the USA. If the nation does finally regulate gaming and it is successful, other states will surely follow suit. We might even see something finally happen at the federal level.
Various pieces of legislation have been introduced, taken down and reintroduced in recent years. We do not have anything major to report however, but many observers are cautiously optimistic that California will at some point make a significant movement toward legalization. Here’s why:
The state has a pro-gambling civilization The country already has lawful casinos and card rooms
It is home to numerous Indian tribes That Are experienced in gaming California has a spending problem and the potential tax revenues must surely be enticing for state lawmakers
Current Collection of Betting Sites in California
We’ll go over the different gaming choices in California in greater detail below, however I’d love to start with a quick list of betting sites that are available right now in California. If you came here searching for a place to bet online, these are the websites that will let you play and bet real money today.
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Sports Betting in California
Lawmakers in California have demonstrated some interest in legalizing sports betting of late. A bill introduced at the 2017/18 session proposed amending existing gaming law to permit the California legislature to authorize sports gambling contingent upon the Supreme Court overturning the national sports gambling ban (which it did).
ACA 18 itself didn’t seek to legalize wagering; it instead offered a constitutional amendment that would allow lawmakers to legalize and regulate sports betting later on. After he introduced the bill, Assemblyman Adam Gray stated,”The choice isn’t’if we have sports wagering or never have sports wagering.’ We do have sports wagering.”
The point he was making is that sports gambling is already a massive black market in California and throughout the USA. The American Gaming Association quotes Americans bet at least $154 billion each year on sports with online sportsbooks and local bookies in contrast to the law. The current state prohibition isn’t working, the logic goes, so the smart thing to do is legalize it, regulate it and tax it.
A report by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming published in 2017 believes California is likely to legalize sports betting within five years from the date of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn PASPA. California has lots of potential to become a significant sports betting market, but as you’ll read in another segment, competing interests in the state have a propensity to complicate things.
Assemblyman Gray introduced the exact same legislation in 2018 and 2019 as he continues to push the issue. Getting the tribal groups on board has been exceedingly hard since they dominate an $8 billion gambling industry and are highly reluctant to get on board with sports gambling at risk of starting their profitable compacts with the state to negotiation once more.
Online Poker in California
The quest for internet poker in California has been fought in the courtrooms because you read these words. Bills seeking to regulate internet poker have been released annually since 2007. None of these bills have made it all the way through the legislative process due to vying factions on all sides of the matter, but every year brings us closer to finding an arrangement that satisfied all parties that are interested.
In reality, much of the difficulty can be attributed to competing interests in the state. It seems everyone has an agenda and it isn’t easy to find consensus among the Indian tribes, Cuban operators and present online brands. One group or another constantly feels left out or concentrated from the wording of legislation. And to be fair, that’s often a legitimate concern.
To increase the problem, there are still strong lobbying groups that actively fight the legalization of poker or any other form of internet gambling in the united states. Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson has pledged to fight legalization throughout the nation. In California alone, he spent over $300,000 to lobby against poker.
Not a single one of the bills introduced over the last decade-plus has made considerable progress due to the many competing interests in the state. The following bill is Only One of many attempts to make something happen in California, but it serves as a Normal example of how complex and difficult it is to make progress in California:
AB 2291: Promising Start but Died in Committee
Assembly Bill 2291 was first introduced back in February 2014 but never made it beyond the committee phase. It was reintroduced in 2015 and 2016, but was still unable to achieve the traction it needed to make it far in the legislative procedure.
The bill sought to legalize online poker only and dilemma 10-year licenses . The suggested fee for licensing has been initially set at $5,000,000, with this charge being used to offset future taxes. Lawmakers bumped that charge up several times until the fee hit a high of $12,500,000 without offsetting taxes.
Early versions of AB 2291 included several clauses which have resulted in tension between various factions competing for a piece of the poker pie. Most contentious one among them is a”bad actor” clause. AB 2291 initially sought to require potential licensees to get at least five years of gaming experience in California. Additionally, it required every facet of a procedure, by its own employees to its equipment to its bank account to be held in condition.
In essence, AB 2291 could have prevented all current internet poker suppliers and newer neighborhood casinos in California out of competing. The wording of this bill very clearly preferred a few established California casino classes at the cost of fair competition.
Another issue with AB 2291 was that it would have prohibited California from entering agreements with other nations to combine player pools and enhance liquidity. In other words, you’d only see other Californians at the table no matter how many sates legalize poker. To top it all off, the bill would require the state to opt out of any legislation passed at the federal level allowing internet poker.
Some progress was made in 2016 with a proposed amendment that would significantly alter the lousy actor clause. Previously, the bill would have barred all online poker companies which operated after the passage of the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Such restrictions would have prohibited established brand for example PokerStars from entering the marketplace.
The previous amendment proposes to instead transfer the chalk date to the awful actor clause up to the end of 2011. To put it differently, sites like PokerStars that operated after the UIGEA but left the marketplace following the Black Friday indictments at 2011. This could stop the most egregious violators from entering the sector but afford PokerStars an opportunity to provide online poker lawfully in California. You may read more about the suggestion here.
Looking back in 2018: The Good and Bad
The Bad Lawmakers and tribal groups are stuck in stalemate for going on four years now. It’s wonderful to see some progress on this front, however it’s also discouraging to see the outright stubbornness on the portion of varying factions. Poker players are better served by an open and competitive marketplace and player-sharing arrangements with other states.
Worse than all that, online poker seems to have taken a step back in 2018. For the first time in more than a decade, no bills seeking to legalize online poker have been introduced. Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sayer advised Online Poker Report he’s giving up on online poker legislation for this season because there’s simply no progress being made in reaching a compromise between the tribes, local card rooms and other interested parties.
The Great There are some positive things to say about most of this. If poker is really legalized in California, the potential player pool will much larger than what we’ve seen in other nations that have already legalized online poker. Aside from the fact that 38 million people call California home, the state has a poker culture already as a result of its numerous brick-and-mortar card rooms.
California is very likely to have fewer issues with geolocation of players due to its sheer size. New Jersey had all kinds of problems verifying players were actually located within the nation. This ended up with plenty of possible players being barred in the state-sanctioned websites there. California does not need to compete with congested cities piled up on country boundaries.
When the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) has been passed in 2006, it provided two noteworthy exceptions to online gambling: horse racing and fantasy sports. The UIGEA did not just exempt those kinds of gaming; it essentially gave operators the go-ahead to offer their games to clients right here in the united states.
Some countries have since passed laws banning online fantasy sports but California is not among those. If you have a thing for sports betting but would rather do it at a protected and regulated manner, fantasy sports is the way to go. You draft a staff like in regular dream leagues except now you get paid real money if you win.
FanDuel.com and DraftKings.com will be the two largest players in this market. They both accept clients from CA and offer single-day fantasy leagues for your NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college basketball and college football.
One of the nice things about online fantasy sports is every contest only lasts for a day per week at the most. You are not stuck with a single group all season. Rather, your team stands up stats over the course of one week. You can play in heads-up competitions against other gamers or test your ability in enormous tournaments that occasionally give more than a million dollars to the first place winner.
You can read more about fantasy sports betting here.
Legislative Efforts for Daily Fantasy at California
2016 was an important year for the daily fantasy sports industry in California. In January of 2016, lawmakers introduced AB 1437 in a bid to make a regulatory framework for daily fantasy sports sites. If enacted, the bill would require DFS sites to obtain a license, apply a minimum age of 21 for all clients, hold all clients’ funds in a segregated account and offer self-exclusion applications for problem gamblers.
The bill advanced past three major votes with a total of 101 for and two against. This is an important bill for California and it looks increasingly likely to be passed into law. On the other hand, the bill itself will not really legalize online fantasy sports contests; it only sets the conditions by which the industry would be controlled.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris is expected to issue a judgment on whether or not fantasy contests constitute illegal gambling under law. If she rules favorably, AB 1437 will have everything in place to license and controlled fantasy sites immediately. The AG’s ruling has been anticipated for at least a year today. Meanwhile, California fantasy sports sites continue to operate freely.
As of 2019, progress on the bill seems to have completely stalled. The fantastic news is fantasy sports websites continue to be active throughout the state. Legalizing fantasy sports in California would basically be a formality now.
There are not yet any lawful online casinos in California. The state has not even tried to pass laws in this regard so it will probably be years before we see legitimate gaming websites open to CA residents.
Don’t be tricked by the countless other websites which are currently recommending”legal” internet casinos. These are actually offshore gambling sites that have no legal presence whatsoever in the United States. They’re unlicensed and completely unregulated.
Although to be fair, there are no state or national laws which prohibit playing at offshore casinos. Should you choose to play with online, nobody is going to come kick in your front door. The biggest risk is financial — you never know for certain who you are working with on the opposite side of the screen. Some offshore casinos could be secure while some are definitely outright scams. But regardless of where you play, you don’t have any legal recourse if things go belly up.
Your very best option is to look at some of the other legal, licensed and secure types of gambling that can be found right now in California. Between horse racing, fantasy sports and also most likely online poker very soon, there are still plenty of other ways to play real money games online at safe, accredited sites based in the US.
Online horse racing is alive and well in California. The horse betting situation here isn’t nearly as complicated as the poker scenario. California does allow residents to play US-licensed horse wagering websites for example TwinSpires, BetAmerica and TVG.
All the major US-based horse gambling sites accept customers from California. The country also enables off-track betting (OTB) facilities. OTB facilities operate as brick-and-mortar betting shops where people may walk in, put bets on races and collect their winnings in person.
Five racetracks run across the country and they also allow for real cash wagering. In total, you can bet online at any one of the accepted horse gaming sites, off-track at an OTB place or in-person at any of the monitors listed below. California is also home to county and state fairs that hold races at various times annually.
The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) oversees all horse racing and wagering inside the country. The CHRB’s mission is to guarantee the integrity, viability and safety of the nation’s horse racing industry. They manage wagering, breeding, physical safety as well as the promotion of horse racing.
The California Exposition and State Fair functions a yearlong harness racetrack that runs every day at around 5:20 PM.
1600 Exposition Drive
Sacramento, CA 95815
Website Golden Gate Fields
This track is situated in Berkley with races and simulcast events weekly.
1100 Eastshore Highway
Berkley, CA 94710
Site Santa Anita
Santa Anita is one of the most widely recognized racetracks in the USA and home to Significant events such as the Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Handicap and occasionally the Breeder’s Cup.
285 W. Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007
Site Del Mar
Del Mar started in 1937 with a famous race between Seabiscuit and Ligaroti. Seabiscuit barely took the race became a legend of his own. Today, Del Mar plays host to racing festivals, events, family fun days and more.
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd..
Del Mar, CA 92014
Site Los Alamitos
Los Alamitos Race Course is home to daylight thoroughbred racing and night quarter racing. The track is home to some of the largest quarter horse bets races in the US.
4961 E. Katella Ave.
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Site OTB Locations
There are 31 off-track betting facilities in California. OTB facilities are seen in fairgrounds, racetracks, specialty OTB shops, casinos and fairgrounds. You may see a full list of addresses and locations .
There appears to be no motive to specifically legalize online bingo in California. The only realistic possibility I see online bingo coming to California is whether it gets caught up in some future online casino legislation.
Ca lottoThe California state lottery isn’t licensed to sell tickets on the internet or through telephone. For many years, the federal Wire Act prohibited states from selling lottery tickets on the net. This may not be the case forever. In 2009, New York and Illinois asked the Department of Justice to clarify its position on the Wire Act and clarify exactly which types of online gambling were prohibited.
The DOJ reacted in 2011 with a choice that had far-reaching effects beyond just the lottery. Back in September of 2011, the DOJ issued a statement the official interpretation of the Wire Act only applies to sports betting on the internet. This gave countries the go-ahead to sell tickets on the internet if they choose.
Lottery Subscription Websites California has not yet joined the growing list of states that sell lottery tickets on the web. But, there are a range of messenger services that can go buy lottery tickets at face value for a monthly subscription fee. You may log into all those sites, pay face value for your tickets and then the corporation will go and buy tickets on your name.
As an example, LottoGopher.com is a California-based membership website that offers this exact service. The website is registered in California, its owners are background-checked by lottery commission officials and it abides by all state and federal laws. They are not legally allowed to sell lotto tickets for more than face value, therefore that they instead charge users a subscription fee.
A membership at LottoGopher allows you to purchase tickets online, pick certain numbers as well as form lotto pools with different members. If you win less than $600, Lotto Gopher will credit the winnings to your account that you may then draw straight to the bank. Should you win more than $600, Lotto Gopher will claim the prize on your behalf in person then send you a check for the complete amount.
The website doesn’t require a cut of your winnings. They only way they make money is by charging clients a flat subscription fee. At this time, LottoGopher is only available in California. You can learn more and give it a try here:
Is Lotto Gopher legit?
Yes. They’re based in California and state lottery officials know who they are. It is good for you to ask though because there are a ton of online lotto sites which feel and look untrue but are not. Lotto Gopher really is lawful and 100% legit.
They’ve been all over the media in recent years as well. Forbes and ABC have written articles about the ceremony.
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