If the gambling industry must settle for state-by-state legalization, California signifies the Holy Grail of online betting in the united states. It’s by far the most populous state in the union with a $2 trillion market which would rank number 8 in the world when it was its own nation. International gambling sites have gone out of their way to obtain licenses in countries much smaller than California.
All eyes are on California as states mull legalizing a variety of types of online gambling. If California does ever go the way of legalization, it would by default become the standard in which gambling has been measured in the United States. If the nation does eventually dominate gambling and it’s successful, other states will surely follow suit. We may even see something finally happen at the federal level.
Various pieces of legislation have been released, shot down and reintroduced in the past several years. We do not have anything major to report however, but many observers are cautiously optimistic that California will at some point make a serious move toward legalization. Here’s why:
The state already has a pro-gambling culture The country has legal casinos and card rooms
It is home to many Indian tribes who are experienced in gaming California has a spending problem and the potential tax revenues must surely be tempting for state lawmakers
Present List of Betting Sites in California
We’ll discuss the different gaming choices in California in greater detail below, however I’d like to start with a quick list of gambling sites that are available right now in California. If you’re here looking for a place to gamble online, these are the sites that will let you play and wager real money today.
100% up to $50
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Up to 4 Free Entries
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Free Contest Entry
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Horse and Greyhound Betting:
$20 Free + 100% up to $100
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100% up to $100
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Wager $500, Get $100
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Online Lottery Tickets:
No Bonuses Offered
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Games of Skill:
Daily Offers and Specials
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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 suggested amending existing gaming law to allow the California legislature to authorize sports betting contingent upon the Supreme Court overturning the federal sports gambling ban (which it did).
ACA 18 itself did not seek to legalize wagering; it rather offered a constitutional amendment that would allow lawmakers to legalize and regulate sports betting in the future. After he introduced the bill, Assemblyman Adam Gray stated,”The choice isn’t’if we have sports wagering or not have sports wagering.’ We all do have sports wagering.”
The point he was making is that sports betting is currently a huge black market in California and throughout the United States. The American Gaming Association estimates Americans bet at least $154 billion per year on sports with online sportsbooks and local bookies in contrast to regulations. The present condition prohibition isn’t functioning, 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 plenty of potential to become a significant sports betting market, but as you’ll read in the next segment, competing interests in the state have a tendency to complicate things.
Assemblyman Gray introduced the exact same legislation in 2018 and 2019 since he continues to push the situation. Getting the tribal groups on board has been exceedingly difficult since they dominate a $8 billion gambling industry and are highly reluctant to get on board with sports gambling at risk of starting their lucrative compacts with the state to negotiation once more.
Online Poker at California
The pursuit for online poker in California has been fought in the courtrooms because you read these words. Bills seeking to control internet poker have been released every year since 2007. Not one of those bills have made it all of the way through the legislative process due to vying factions on all sides of the issue, but each year brings us nearer to finding an arrangement that satisfied all interested parties.
In fact, a lot of the difficulty can be attributed to rival interests in the state. It appears everybody has an agenda and it isn’t easy to find consensus among the Indian tribes, brick-and-mortar operators and present online brands. 1 group or another always feels left out or concentrated by the wording of legislation. And to be fair, that is frequently a valid concern.
To add to the difficulty, there continue to be strong lobbying groups that actively fight the legalization of poker or any other kind of online gambling in the united states. Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson has vowed to fight legalization throughout the country. In California alone, he spent over $300,000 to lobby against poker.
Not a single one of the bills introduced over the previous decade-plus has made considerable progress due to the various competing interests in the state. The next bill is Only One of many attempts to make something happen in California, but it serves as a typical example of how complex and difficult it is to make progress in California:
AB 2291: Promising Start but Died in Committee
Meeting Bill 2291 was first introduced back in February 2014 but not made it outside the committee phase. It was reintroduced in 2015 and 2016, but was still unable to gain the traction it needed to make it far in the legislative procedure.
The bill sought to legalize online poker only and issue 10-year licenses . The proposed fee for licensing was originally set at $5,000,000, with this fee being utilized to offset future taxes. Lawmakers bumped that fee up several times before the fee hit a high of $12,500,000 without offsetting taxes.
Historical versions of AB 2291 contained several clauses which have caused tension between different factions competing for a piece of the poker pie. Most contentious among these is a”bad actor” clause. AB 2291 initially sought to require prospective licensees to get a minimum of five years of gaming experience in California. Additionally, it required every facet of an operation, by its own employees to its gear to its bank accounts to be kept in state.
Essentially, AB 2291 could have averted all of current internet poker providers and newer local casinos in California from competing. The wording of the bill very clearly favored a few established California casino groups at the cost of fair competition.
Another problem with AB 2291 was that it might have prohibited California from entering arrangements with other states to unite player pools and enhance liquidity. In other words, you would only see different Californians in the table however many sates legalize poker. To top it off, the bill would require the country to determine of any laws passed at the national level allowing online poker.
Some progress was made in 2016 with a proposed amendment that would significantly alter the bad actor clause. Previously, the bill would have barred all online poker companies that functioned after the passage of the national Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Such limitations would have prohibited established brand such as PokerStars from entering the market.
The last amendment proposes to rather transfer the chalk date for the bad celebrity clause up towards the end of 2011. To put it differently, sites like PokerStars that operated after the UIGEA but subsequently left the market following the Black Friday indictments in 2011. This would prevent the most egregious violators from entering the sector but manage PokerStars a chance to provide online poker lawfully in California. You may read more about the proposal here.
Looking back in 2018: The Good and Bad
The Bad Lawmakers and tribal groups have been stuck in stalemate for going on four decades now. It is wonderful to see some improvement on this front, however it’s also discouraging to find the outright stubbornness on the part of varying factions. Poker players would be better served through an open and competitive market and player-sharing arrangements with other nations.
Worse than all that, online poker appears to have taken a step back in 2018. For the first time in more than a decade, no invoices trying to legalize online poker were introduced. Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sayer told Online Poker Report that he’s giving up on internet poker legislation for this season since there is simply no improvement being made in reaching a compromise between the tribes, local card rooms and other interested parties.
The Good There are some positive things to say about most of this. If poker is really legalized in California, the possible player pool will much larger than what we’ve seen in other states that have already legalized online poker. Besides 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 likely to have fewer issues with geolocation of players due to its sheer size. New Jersey had all types of problems verifying players were actually located within the state. This ended up with loads of potential players being barred in the state-sanctioned sites there. California does not have to compete with congested cities piled up on state borders.
Whenever the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in 2006, it supplied two noteworthy exceptions to internet gaming: horse racing and fantasy sports. The UIGEA didn’t merely exempt these forms of gaming; it essentially gave operators the go-ahead to offer their games to clients right here in the US.
Some states have since passed laws banning online fantasy sports but California isn’t one of those. In case you’ve got a thing for sports gambling but would rather do it at a safe and controlled manner, fantasy sports is your way to go. You draft a staff just like in regular fantasy leagues but now you get paid real cash if you win.
FanDuel.com and DraftKings.com will be the two biggest players in this marketplace. They both accept customers from CA and provide single-day fantasy leagues for the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college basketball and college football.
One of the nice things about online fantasy sports is each contest only lasts for a week per week at the most. You are not stuck with a single team all season. Rather, your team stands up stats over the duration of one week. You can play in heads-up competitions against other gamers or test your skill in enormous tournaments which occasionally give away more than a thousand bucks to the first place winner.
You may read more about dream sports betting here.
Legislative Efforts for Daily Fantasy at California
2016 was an important year for the daily fantasy sports business 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 need DFS websites to acquire a license, apply a minimum age of 21 for all customers, hold all customers’ funds in a segregated account and extend self-exclusion applications for problem gamblers.
The bill advanced previous three major votes by a total of 101 for and 2 against. This is an important bill for California and it appears increasingly likely to be passed to law. On the other hand, the bill itself does not actually legalize online fantasy sports competitions; it only places the conditions where the business would be controlled.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris is expected to issue a ruling on whether fantasy competitions constitute illegal gambling under state law. If she rules favorably, AB 1437 will have everything in place to permit and regulated fantasy sites immediately. The AG’s ruling has been anticipated for more than a year today. In the meantime, California dream sports websites continue to function freely.
As of 2019, advancement on the bill appears to have fully stalled. The good news is fantasy sports websites are still active throughout the state. Legalizing fantasy sports in California would basically be a formality at this point.
There are not yet any legal online casinos in California. The nation has not even tried to pass laws in this regard so it will likely be years before we see legitimate gaming sites open to CA residents.
Do not be fooled by the hundreds of different sites that are recommending”legal” online casinos. All these are actually offshore gaming sites that have no legal existence whatsoever in the United States. They are unlicensed and completely unregulated.
Although to be honest, there are no state or federal laws which prohibit playing at offshore casinos. If you do choose to play with online, nobody will come kick in your front door. The largest risk is financial — you never know for sure who you are dealing with on the opposite side of the screen. Some offshore casinos may be secure while some are clearly outright scams. But regardless of where you play, you don’t have any legal recourse when things go belly up.
Your very best option is to look at some of the other legal, licensed and secure types of gambling that are available at this time in California. Between horse racing, fantasy sports and also many likely online poker quite soon, there are still plenty of other ways to play real money games online at protected, licensed sites based in the united states.
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 permit residents to play at US-licensed horse wagering sites such as TwinSpires, BetAmerica and TVG.
All the significant US-based horse betting sites accept customers from California. The state also allows off-track betting (OTB) facilities. OTB facilities function as brick-and-mortar betting shops where people may walk in, put bets on races and collect their winnings in person.
Five racetracks operate across the state and they too allow for real cash wagering. In total, you can bet online at any of the approved horse gambling websites, off-track at an OTB location or on site at some of the monitors listed below. California is also home to state and county fairs that hold races in various times each year.
The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) manages all horse racing and wagering inside the state. The CHRB’s mission is to ensure the integrity, ethics and safety of the nation’s horse racing industry. They manage wagering, breeding, bodily security and the promotion of horse racing.
The California Exposition and State Fair operates a year-round harness racetrack that runs daily at approximately 5:20 PM.
1600 Exposition Drive
Sacramento, CA 95815
Website Golden Gate Fields
This track is situated in Berkley with races and simulcast events every week.
1100 Eastshore Highway
Berkley, CA 94710
Site Santa Anita
Santa Anita is one of the most widely recognized racetracks from the USA and home to Significant events such as the Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Handicap and sometimes the Breeder’s Cup.
285 W. Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007
Site Del Mar
Del Mar started in 1937 with a renowned race between Seabiscuit and Ligaroti. Seabiscuit barely took the race became a legend of his own. Today, Del Mar plays host to racing events, concerts, 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 greatest quarter horse stakes races in the united states.
4961 E. Katella Ave.
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Site OTB Locations
There are 31 off-track betting centers in California. OTB facilities can be found at fairgrounds, racetracks, specialty OTB stores, casinos and fairgrounds. You can see a complete list of locations and addresses here.
There seems to be no motivation to especially legalize online bingo in California. The only realistic chance I see of online bingo coming to California is if it gets caught up in some future online casino legislation.
Ca lottoThe California state lottery isn’t authorized to sell tickets online or via telephone. For many years, the federal Wire Act banned states from selling lotto tickets on the net. This might not be the case forever. In 2009, New York and Illinois requested the Department of Justice to explain its position on the Wire Act and explain exactly which forms of online gambling were prohibited.
The DOJ reacted in 2011 with a decision that’d far-reaching consequences beyond just the lottery. In September of 2011, the DOJ issued a statement that its official interpretation of the Wire Act only applies to sports betting on the internet. This gave states the go-ahead to sell tickets online if they choose.
Lottery Subscription Websites California has not yet joined the growing list of countries that sell lottery tickets on the web. But, there are a number of messenger services that will go buy lottery tickets at face value for a monthly subscription fee. You can log into all those sites, pay attention for your tickets and then the corporation is going to go and buy tickets in your name.
For example, LottoGopher.com is a California-based membership site that provides this exact service. The website is registered in California, its owners have been background-checked by lottery commission officers and it abides by all state and federal legislation. They are not legally permitted to sell lotto tickets for more than face value, so that they rather charge users a subscription fee.
A membership at LottoGopher lets you purchase tickets online, pick specific numbers as well as form lottery pools along with different members. Should you win less than $600, Lotto Gopher will credit the winnings to your account that you can then withdraw straight to the bank. Should you win more than $600, Lotto Gopher will claim the prize on your behalf in person and then send you a check for the full amount.
The website does not take a cut of your winnings. They only way that they make money is by charging clients a flat subscription fee. At this moment, LottoGopher is only available in California. You can learn more and give it a try here:
Is Lotto Gopher legit?
Yes. They are based in California and say lottery officials know they are. It is good that you ask though since there are a ton of online lotto sites which feel and look untrue but are not. Lotto Gopher actually is lawful and 100% untrue.
They have been all over the press in the past few decades too. Forbes and ABC have both written articles regarding the support.
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