Sports betting is illegal in California, while online gambling is limited to DFS betting. Even when sports betting is made legal in the state, it’s quite likely that Californians will need to travel to tribal casinos or racetracks to make bets in person. What is the California legal gambling age? The legal gambling age In California is typically 18, although most casinos do require bettors to be 21 in order to gamble in person at a bricks-and-mortar casino or use a sports betting site. The state of California is home to 69 total Native American casinos including 50 Indian casinos, 16 Indian casino resorts and 3 mini-casinos that are. Horse racing is a big deal in California – the home of Del Mar, Hollywood Park and Santa Anita, making horse betting a huge revenue stream left untapped. So, what does all of this mean? Californian residents love to bet and legal sports betting in California will open up new jobs and significant revenue streams for the Californian government. Betting Handle Skyrockets in 2020, Could Push California Sports Betting Matt Amato Jan 16, 2021, 9:00am Sports Betting in 2020 We saw record numbers for sports betting in 2020 despite all the obstacles, and with those record numbers came tons of state revenue.
If you’ve been trying to identify the best California sports betting sites, your search is over.
Here, we’ve established the leading online sportsbooks for players from the Golden State.
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Compiling our rankings for the top CA betting sites is a team effort. And we have a great team. We’re all passionate sports bettors with lots of experience of gambling online. We know exactly what to look for when trying to find the best sports betting sites, and you can benefit from that.
Betting with the best online sportsbooks and bookmakers is a great experience. The same cannot be said for some other sports gambling sites on the web. So, if you want to get the best from your online sports betting, our list of the best sports betting sites for California is exactly what you need.
Pick one or more of these sites for placing your real money sports wagers and you can’t go wrong. They’re all top quality. Importantly, they’re also very reputable and completely trustworthy.
Our Method For Ranking CA Sports Betting Sites
We’ve developed an advanced system for ranking online sports betting sites that allows us to recommend only those sites that meet the highest of standard.
We evaluate numerous gambling sites in a number of key areas, and the sites that receive the highest marks across the board are ranked accordingly.
This is something of a simplified explanation, but that’s it in a nutshell. Here are a few more details on some of the things we look at and why.
As you might imagine, many gambling sites are specifically designed for residents of certain countries. When we are looking for the best California betting sites, we seek out operators that actively cater for people in the United States.
This isn’t as much of a no-brainer as it may seem, because there are online gamblers in other English-speaking areas like Great Britain and Australia. While it’s true that you can understand the content perfectly, the website’s sports betting opportunities might not be consistent with your preferences.
Punters in these countries are primarily interested in gaming options that are popular there. And the preferences for Americans are quite different in some instances.
There’s also the matter of currency. Exchange rates are different, so a player in California should wager on a site that primarily uses the US dollar.
Keep in mind, also, that there are various service providers that facilitate financial transactions over the internet but don’t offer banking methods for certain locations.
We take all of this into account when we develop our ratings. It’ll be easy for Americans to deposit funds at any of the best California sports betting sites that we have identified.
There are multiple different options, including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. They may also accept gift cards and ACH transfers.
It’s just as easy to withdraw your winnings, and most methods provide fast turnarounds on withdrawal requests. If you use Bitcoin, the transfers are usually instant.
You might be wondering if there’s anything that stops an online sportsbook from simply disappearing with your money. This is a legitimate concern, because a site could easily engage in sketchy practices.
But when you stick to the sports betting websites on our list of preferred operators, you won’t have to worry.
We stay up to date on the requirements for online gambling licenses around the world. This is one of the most important factors we consider to determine the legitimacy of a given site.
Sometimes you need to discuss an issue or concern with a representative of your chosen sports gambling site. This is another of the great strengths of the online bookmaker and sportsbooks that we recommend. They all provide good customer service
You can speak with a representative by phone. Some are even available to take calls around the clock. Live chat is another great option, along with email correspondence. These sites respond to inquiries very quickly and focus on timely and efficient resolutions.
Longevity and Reputation
Because it’s costly to obtain a reputable online gambling license, the people behind betting sites have to think in terms of long-term profit. Of course, you don’t start a business because you expect to hang around for a year or two then shut down.
As we all know, a lot of businesses with passionate, motivated owners simply fall by the wayside every day. The online sports betting industry is no different in this regard.
Having the right license is a huge factor for us to consider, but the test of time may be even more important. When an online sportsbook has been holding its ground for an extended period of time, you know that they’re likely doing everything they can to retain their customer base and build on it.
An established reputation is also a key indicator. When people share their opinions about a site, you can come away with a profound impression.
There are message boards designed to serve the online gambling community, and our people visit them regularly to keep up. We also have several professional connections within the industry, and all relevant information is shared within our network.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you were given hundreds or thousands of dollars after walking into a brick and mortar casino for the first time? That sounds like a far-fetched notion, but it’s routinely done at the CA betting sites we listed above.
After receiving your sign-up bonus, the extra incentives don’t disappear. The best sports betting sites continue to post promotions that center around upcoming tournaments or events.
You don’t have to limit yourself to a single bonus as a new player. If you make deposits at more than one online sportsbook, you can rake in several bonuses.
Online Betting Options for Different Sports
When you make a deposit and place your bets at one of the top California betting websites, you’ll have a wide range of sporting events and wagering options. Though it’s a virtual environment, the offerings are pretty much identical to the general scheme you would find at any Las Vegas sportsbook.
The scatter of the Lucky Lady’s Charm Deluxe 6 is made in the form of a crystal ball. It multiplies the total bet by 2, 5, 20, 500, or 1500 times when it appears anywhere on the playing field in the number of 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, respectively. After the appearance of 3 or more scatter symbols, 15 free spins of the reels begin. Lucky charm games.
Of course, some people have never ventured into a physical sportsbook. If you’re one of them, you wouldn’t know what to expect, so we will provide the rundown.
In the US, the sport that takes the most betting action is American football. Nearly 40% of people polled named football as their favorite sport, with basketball as a distant second.
Most people make their football bets against the point spread, but this is not your only option. You could bet on the point spread, the moneyline, or totals.
At the best California sports betting sites there are also teaser bets, in-game wagering, and futures bets. Proposition bets may be available over the course of the season.
Typically, you’re able to wager on all the NFL games, and the majority of NCCAA football games.
The NBA and NCAA Basketball
Once you review and understand the different types of wagers, you have a solid foundation, you’ll notice that the same options are offered for other sports with some variations.
College and NBA basketball bets are identical to football with just a small tweak. In basketball, there are 6-point, 6 ½-point, and 7 ½-point teasers available. The fewer points you take, the higher the potential payout.
In basketball, the teaser points you can choose from are not that high, typically between 4 and 6 points.
There are some similarities and a few differences when it comes to Major League Baseball betting conventions. Straight bets on sides are traditionally made on the moneyline, but when there’s a very big favorite, you’re looking at a negative value.
One way to get around this would be to play a parlay with multiple teams that are very likely to win their games. Even if all of the teams are laying big minus money individually, when you combine multiple betting interests, the payout odds become much more palatable.
While there’s no betting against a variable spread that is determined based on the matchup, there’s a run line option. This will always be set at 1 ½ runs, so the favorite must win by at least two runs, and a bet on the underdog would be a winner even if they lose by a single run.
As for the anticipated payout on a winning run line bet, sportsbooks set a moneyline that varies depending on the perceived strength of each side.
National Hockey League
Basketball and football are pretty much right in line when it comes to betting structures, and the same could be said for baseball and hockey.
NHL options mirror the Major League Baseball wagers that are available. This would include the run line, but for hockey it is called the “puck line.”
The best California sports betting sites post lines on a number of different sports outside of the “big four.” NASCAR fans are as passionate as it gets, and online sportsbooks post odds on each driver to win the respective events. You can also place wagers on major IndyCar races.
Odds on the winner of major tennis tournaments and golf tournaments are posted, along with boxing, MMA fights, and soccer. It’s interesting to note that any site that calls the sport “soccer” rather than “football” is almost certainly designed for the US market.
State-Regulated Sports Betting in California
Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock, you should be aware of the fact that a Supreme Court ruling on sports gambling was handed down in 2018 that had a profound affect on gambling laws in the United States.
To refresh your memory, it started with the state of New Jersey legalizing the practice in 2012. The voters decided they were in favor of sportsbooks in the existing casinos in Atlantic City along with the state-licensed horse racing tracks.
The major sports leagues and the NCAA have always been adamantly against sports gambling, because they are concerned about game fixing and point shaving.
These entities filed a lawsuit to prevent sportsbooks from opening in the Garden State. As a premise, they used the federal law that prohibits wagering on sporting events that was enacted in 1992. They were victorious in the lower courts, and the state’s attorneys filed appeals.
That’s how the matter made its way to the highest court in the land, where the Supreme Court found it to be unconstitutional.
They specifically cited the 10th Amendment that ensures the rights for states to make their own laws as long as there is no constitutional infringement.
Since New Jersey already had a law spelling out the regulatory parameters, they had sportsbooks up and running shortly after the landmark ruling. Several other states followed their lead, but the vast majority of them have not taken advantage of this opportunity.
California is not at the top of the “next up” list for legalization of brick and mortar sportsbooks, but many legislators are supportive. There’s going to be a sports gaming referendum on the ballot in 2020, so voters will decide if their state should move forward.
If they pass the referendum, there will be another time-consuming phase that will delay the opening of sportsbooks. All the regulatory details must be hashed out and agreed upon by the legislature and the governor, so Californians will not be visiting local sportsbooks any time soon.
There’s a lot to digest on this page, so we will leave you with some summarized takeaways. We conducted in-depth research to evaluate all of the contenders while evaluating the best California sports betting sites. Our list has been carefully prepared based on relevant data.
You can trust the sites on every level, and they go the extra mile to provide world-class customer service. All of these online sportsbooks are specifically designed to suit the needs of American players.
States have the right to regulate and license sports betting facilities, and California is slowly moving in that direction, but it will take a while. And in the meantime, our approved sites will always be available to take your real money sports wagers.
Legalized sports betting has flourished across the country, and for a while it looked as though California, with the backing of the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball, would be the next state to embrace it.
America’s mighty sports leagues, however, just ran into a force they couldn’t defeat: California’s Indian tribes.
A proposal to amend the state Constitution, and usher in a bold new era of gambling, died in the Legislature on Monday. SCA 6, which would have allowed sports betting via cell phones and computers, was pulled off the table by co-author Sen. Bill Dodd one day before the legislation faced a pivotal committee vote.
The plan, which proponents said would have generated millions in new tax revenue, ran into fierce opposition from the state’s wealthy and politically powerful Native American tribes. The tribes have been pushing a far more limited version of sports betting that excludes online wagers and limits it to their casinos and a few horse racetracks.
Dodd’s announcement was a concession to “the power the tribes have gained over the last 20 years,” said Ken Adams, a gaming industry consultant in Reno. “Anybody who wants to get a bill through the Legislature is going to have to face that.”
Monday’s development leaves California as something of an outlier as sports betting gains momentum elsewhere. Nearly two-dozen states have legalized it the past two years.
The professional sports leagues, after years of warning their games could be corrupted, have made their peace with gambling, and are cutting deals to ensure they benefit financially. Even some organizations that usually oppose gambling believe Californians should be allowed to bet on sports openly.
“There’s a black market on it,” said Cheryl Schmit of the anti-gambling group Stand Up for California. “It’s much better if it’s out in the public.”
There’s also the issue of money. Californians already wager billions of dollars on sports, through offshore websites or illegally through bookies. Elected officials covet the tax revenue that legalized betting could bring to a state that’s had to plug a $54 billion deficit because of the coronavirus.
Dodd, who co-authored the measure with Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, said their bill could have produced $500 million a year in revenue for the treasury.
“It remains important that we lift this widespread practice out of the shadows to make it safer and to generate money for the people of California. I will continue to be engaged in the issue as we work toward 2022,” Dodd said in a prepared statement.
The tribes aren’t opposed to sports betting. But they want to keep it confined “to brick-and-mortar facilities,” said Anthony Roberts, chairman of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, which owns Cache Creek Casino Resort in Yolo County.
Roberts and other tribal leaders had other major objections to the Dodd-Gray proposal. The lawmakers’ bill would have put the tribes’ longtime gaming rivals, California’s card rooms, on a more secure legal footing to continue operating. The tribes see the card rooms as illegal and want to give the state greater authority to crack down on them.
The tribes are trying to get their proposal on the November 2022 ballot.
Why tribes oppose online sports betting
Both the Dodd-Gray and tribal proposals would allow sports betting inside tribal casinos and a handful of horse racetracks — including Cal Expo in Sacramento under the legislators’ plan.
Both would allow wagers on professional and college sports, although the tribes would prohibit bets on college games involving teams from California. Tribal officials say their public opinion surveys revealed voters aren’t comfortable with allowing bets on California college teams.
The major split was over online betting.
Dodd and Gray’s proposal would have allowed it. Experts say it’s where the money is. In other states where it’s legal, 85 percent of the action occurs online.
The sports leagues want online wagering, too. The NBA, Major League Baseball, the PGA golf tour and five of California’s professional teams — the Giants, A’s, Warriors, Dodgers and Angels — sent a June 1 letter supporting Dodd and Gray’s proposal and insisting that online betting be included.
“To ensure that consumers move away from the illegal market that exists today, any legal sports betting framework must include options for Californians to wager online and on mobile devices,” the group wrote. A separate letter from the NFL called mobile betting “a key component of moving the illegal market into a regulated setting.”
The tribes, however, say online sports betting would be nearly impossible to regulate — and could open the door to under-age gambling.
“There’s no way to know who’s using that hand-held device. It could be a child. That’s our biggest worry,” said Roberts of the Yocha Dehe tribe.
Tribal officials say online wagering — because it would take place off Indian lands — might be illegal under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, or IGRA, the federal law governing tribal casinos.
“The leagues, the industry, everybody’s pushing sports betting, but the tribes are still handicapped by IGRA,” said Victor Rocha, a consultant to casino tribes.
I. Nelson Rose, a consultant and legal expert on Indian gaming, said the tribes’ opposition is also rooted in practical business concerns.
Sports betting simply isn’t very profitable, no matter where the wagering occurs, Rose said. Tribes would rather keep their customers in their casinos dropping money into the slot machines.
“They don’t want people to stay home and bet on sports events,” said Rose, a professor emeritus at Whittier College. “They want people to come on in and play the slot machines and table games.”
The tribes have poured $8.5 million into their ballot measure, which would limit sports betting to casinos and racetracks.
Dodd offered a compromise that would have phased in online betting over several years. But the tribes weren’t persuaded. They acknowledge that online sports betting is probably coming eventually to California — but want to control when and how it arrives.
Having online betting “dictated to us is unacceptable,” James Siva, chairman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, said during a recent webinar on tribal gaming issues.
“Whether online gaming is three years down the line, five years down the line, if it’s 10 years down the line, or if it’s not even in the conversation .. it needs to be a tribal decision.” Siva’s tribe, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, owns Morongo Casino Resort near Palm Springs.
Court opens door to sports betting
For decades, Nevada casinos held a monopoly on legal sports betting in the United States. A 1992 federal law outlawed the practice, although Nevada’s sports books, a fixture since the late 1940s, were grandfathered in, along with limited forms of sports betting offered in Oregon, Montana and Delaware.
All that changed when New Jersey legalized sports betting and challenged the constitutionality of the 1992 law. In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with New Jersey. Soon there was a flurry of states joining New Jersey and enacting their own sports betting laws.
Currently, 19 states allow it in one form or another. Three other states plus Washington, D.C., have legalized sports betting but the laws haven’t gone into effect yet, according to gambling website SportsHandle.com.
After decades of resistance to the issue, sports leagues have begun signing marketing deals and other partnerships with gambling interests. Barely two months after the Supreme Court ruled, the NBA agreed to a dealing making MGM casinos the “official gaming partner” of the NBA and the WNBA. Major League Baseball made a similar deal with MGM a few months later.
The economic shutdown created by the COVID-19 pandemic creates an additional impetus for legalized sports betting. States “are desperate for money to balance their budgets,” Rose said.
However, sports betting might not be the revenue goldmine that state officials imagine.
For one thing, the tribes wouldn’t be obligated to contribute anything to the state’s coffers; any contributions would be subject to negotiation with the governor.
California’s tribal casinos, an $8 billion-a-year industry in California, are not subject to state income tax. They once contributed as much as $330 million a year to the general fund through compacts negotiated with the governor, but that amount has dwindled considerably after a judge ruled those payments constituted an illegal tax. They do provide about $170 million a year to a pair of state-run funds that help non-gaming tribes and operate programs for problem gamblers.
The racetracks’ winnings from sports gambling would be subject to taxation. But Richard Auxier, who’s studied sports betting for the Tax Policy Center and Urban Institute, said the state’s annual tax revenue would likely fall way short of the $500 million estimated by Dodd.
“It’s definitely not a windfall,” he said.
And without online wagering, the state’s take would be even smaller.
“You’ve got to go online because that’s where the money is,” he said.
California tribes wield political clout
For years, California Indian tribes struggled to make a living off gambling. The laws were unclear, and the tribes were reduced to dusty bingo halls and gambling tents that did little to lift them out of poverty.
Then came Proposition 1A, in 2000, a landmark event in the history of California gambling. With a resounding 65 percent of the vote, they won the right to open full-fledged, Vegas-style casinos.
Batting Cages Near Me
The proposition also gave them a statewide exclusive right to operate slot machines, a casino’s most profitable asset. Four years later, when their exclusivity was challenged at the ballot box, they spent millions and crushed the effort.
Proposition 68 was born out of the state’s budget deficit. It said that unless the tribes surrendered 25 percent of their winnings to the state, racetracks and card rooms could operate slot machines.
The tribes and their allies spent more than $50 million fighting Proposition 68, about twice as much as their opponents. The initiative gained just 16 percent of the vote.
The tribes don’t always win. That same year, they failed to secure passage of Proposition 70, which would have given them the right to operate unlimited numbers of slot machines.
Still, tribal casinos in California have become a major force in California politics. They’ve donated millions to political candidates over the years.
“There’s a lot of money and there’s a lot of power there,” Dodd said last week, when he was still trying to broker a compromise with the tribes. “There’s a lot of sway with lawmakers, we get that.” The senator has received campaign contributions totaling $42,000 from Indian tribes since January 2019.
One influential tribe has stayed on the sidelines during this fight: the United Auburn Indian Community, owner of the ultra-successful Thunder Valley Casino near Lincoln, and no stranger to political skirmishes. The tribe’s spokesman, Doug Elmets, declined comment.
Just about every other big casino tribe joined in the effort to qualify the tribes’ proposal for the ballot, however. Yocha Dehe led the way with a $2 million contribution, followed by $1.5 million each from the tribal owners of the Graton Casino in Rohnert Park, the San Manuel Casino near San Bernardino and the Pechanga Casino in Temecula.
Until the coronavirus stay-at-home order was issued in March, the tribal coalition had spent $7 million collecting signatures and believed it was well on its way toward qualifying its proposal for the 2022 ballot. Although it still has until July 20 under state law to circulate petitions, it’s suing the state and demanding more time.
Tribes vs. California card rooms
Compared to tribal casinos, California’s approximately 70 card rooms are small players. Their annual revenue is barely 10 percent of what the tribes pull in. They wouldn’t be participants in legalized sports betting.
But their future has become the focus of an intriguing subplot in the fight over sports gambling.
It has to do with the somewhat arcane rules governing their operations.
Card rooms technically aren’t allowed to take bets. They have to contract with third-party companies whose employees act as “the bank” and take the bets. Those employees pay the card room a small fee at the beginning of every hand, depending on how much is wagered — the only money card rooms make from gambling. What’s more, the bank role has to be periodically offered around the table, to each customer.
For years Indian tribes have complained to state officials that most card rooms routinely ignore the regulations, particularly the requirement about offering the bank role around the table. They say the card rooms’ operations represent an intrusion on the tribes’ exclusive legal right to offer Vegas-style gambling in California.
Now they want to do something about that. The tribes’ ballot initiative would allow the state to close down anyone violating the rules — up to 30 days for repeat offenders — and give anyone the right to sue the card rooms for violations if the state won’t.
Dodd’s proposal would have fixed a gray area in the law to make clear that the card rooms’ games are legal. At the same time, last week he offered the tribes an olive branch by proposing stricter rules for the card rooms — for instance, requiring customers to accept the “bank” role periodically instead of merely having it offered to them.
The tribes rejected Dodd’s compromise.
For their part, card rooms have raised $7 million to fight the tribes’ proposal, which they view as an attempt to severely damage their viability.
“The reality is that our games are legal,” said Kyle Kirkland, owner of Club One Casino in Fresno and president of the California Gaming Association, which lobbies for the card rooms.
But he acknowledged that card rooms may be facing a difficult fight.
“Certainly the tribes are organized and influential and have talented people working for them,” he said. “I would hate to think it’s only whoever has the most money gets to dictate the rules.”
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