Is Sports Betting Legal in California?

California sports betting is not legal – whether it’s in-person or online, wagering on sports is not allowed in California’s current legal system. It was a subject of great discussion during the 2022 voting sessions – two separate bills, Prop 26 and 27, had some form of legalized sports betting included but were ultimately rejected by the Californian public.

The next step in the process would be proposing a new bill that will be voted on during 2024 sessions – thankfully, previous bill failures haven’t stopped new measures from being brought to the table. Two new ballots, The Tribal Gaming Protection Act and The Sports Wagering Regulation and Tribal Gaming Act were proposed in October 2023 but still lack overwhelming support from tribal parties.

Table that reviews what is legal/not legal to bet on in California

California Sports Betting Legalization Timeline and Updates

  • Ongoing Efforts – October 2023 - Present
    • Aiming to be voted on in 2024, two bills are introduced that would allow Native American tribes to regulate their own betting and open the door for sportsbooks to offer their services. Both of these bills garnered negative reception from the state and tribes alike.
  • Prop 26 and 27 Are Rejected - November 2022
  • The Battle for Prop 26 and 27 – July 2022 – November 2022
    • For the next few months, both bills would be heavily debated and scrutinized. The California Democratic Party opposes Prop 27 and remains neutral on Prop 26, while the Republicans would oppose both. In the next few months, major sportsbooks would pitch in and push Prop 27.
  • Prop 26 and 27 Set the Stage for Potential Legalization – July 2022
  • Sports Betting Initiatives Are Proposed and Struck Down - May 2021 - June 2022
    • For the next year, multiple bills that include the legalization of sports betting – or, at the minimum, sports betting at tribal casinos – are proposed and discarded. Although these acts were backed by some tribes and most major sportsbooks, they would face harsh criticism from other tribes and existing retail betting organizations.
  • California’s First Sports Betting Bill is Proposed - June 2019
    • Californian Senator Bill Dodd presents SCA-6, proposing the idea of legalizing and regulating sports betting in the state. It would later be withdrawn by Dodd in June 2020 due to the pressing COVID-19 pandemic and legislative roadblocks.
  • Supreme Court Strikes Down PASPA - May 2018

Latest California Betting News

Following the failure of Props 26 and 27, newly proposed sports betting bills are brought to the table without pause. As of now, the Tribal Gaming Protection Act and The Sports Wagering Regulation and Tribal Gaming Protection Act seek to bring betting to casinos and remote bettors alike. Native American tribes are being constantly pitched with new ideas on how to make sports betting work for all parties – there’s been heavy pushback, however, as tribes haven’t been consulted on these new plans.

Where can you bet on Sports in California

With the current regulations, there is unfortunately no access to traditional sports betting in California – there are, however, a couple of options to satisfy you hungry bettors out there. They might not be options you’re familiar with, but they present a fun opportunity to try something new while we wait for developments from California lawmakers.

The first option is horse racing, a surprisingly fun and thrilling alternative to the sports betting we know and love. These races are available in-person, online, or simulcasted from many tribal casinos. Horse racing falls outside of the ongoing sports betting regulations and is completely legal, assuming you’re above the required age of 18. A few popular racetracks in the state are Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields and the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Secondly, you can bet on daily fantasy sports (DFS) – because state law doesn’t have explicit rules on fantasy sports, it’s completely legal. If you aren’t familiar, DFS involves you selecting players who have a game that same day, whether it be the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, or any other league. You’re given a “salary” and assign players to your team which is pitted against other DFS users. You submit a buy-in, which can range from $1 to high amounts, and if you score enough points you’re given a return (depending on your finishing position) from the pool of DFS money.

Where Can Californians Go For Legal Sports Betting

With strict restrictions on in-state betting, Californians are fortunate to have neighbors that all have legalized sports betting – Nevada, Arizona, and Oregon are great alternatives for bettors. It’s a decent drive to Las Vegas from most Californian cities, but Sin City has everything a prospective sports bettor is looking for.

All-in-all, Arizona seems to be the best option if you prefer mobile betting thanks to their remote registration, while Nevada is chock full of retail casinos that offer all the usual amenities with sports betting to boot.

How to Sign Up for a Sportsbook in California (when legal & live)

Signing up for a sportsbook is quick and user-friendly. When it comes time to start legal betting in California, follow this list of essentials for setting up an effective betting account.

  1. Do your research

    We’ve put together a trustworthy list of industry-leading betting sites. You need to make sure your book is customized to your needs. Go over the different offerings, bonuses, and key factors like customer support and deposit/withdrawal options that best suit you. If you have friends that bet, ask around and see why they love their specific site.

  2. Select a sportsbook

    Sportsbooks are another name for online sports betting sites. Every betting site we suggest meets our standards for safety, security, and trustworthy odds. As a sports bettor, you want to make sure to find a sportsbook that offers the contests you want to bet on. If you want to bet on ‘The Battle of L.A.’ and your book doesn’t offer an extensive list of college football odds, then you want to look for a different sportsbook.

  3. Register in person or online

    You’ll likely be signing up for a sportsbook online, whether that’s through their website or a specific app, however, some books offer in-person signups within some casinos. This is a relatively simple process – you’ll need to give basic info confirming your identity and address within the state. Customers usually add a payment method to their account while signing up as well.

  4. Claim a bonus

    The “Welcome Bonus” is a pretty standard practice across most sportsbooks – this bonus will match your first deposit with an equal amount of bet credits and is usually capped at around $1000. Keep in mind that bet credits are not withdrawable in their current form – you’ll need to meet certain wagering requirements at that point. Afterwards, they can then be withdrawn as you please.

  5. Deposit funds

    Most sportsbooks accept all the typical payment methods – Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, debit cards and e-wallets like PayPal or Neteller. In some cases, you can even deposit cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash and Ethereum. How you fund your account is completely up to you and your preferred form of payment.

  6. Choose your bet types

    There are about as many betting options as there are trees in the world – okay, maybe a bit of hyperbole there, but your choices certainly aren’t limited. For most sports, the major lines you’ll see front and center will be the moneyline, spread, and total. Aside from this, player/team props and futures make up the rest of the betting pie.

  7. Navigate the Odds

    A sportsbook’s odds might seem intimidating for new bettors, but they are easy to understand. Let’s start with negative odds. These indicate the favorite to win the event– in other words, it’s what the sportsbook believes will be the likely outcome of the bet. If your line is -110, that means you’ll need to wager $110 to earn exactly $100 on that specific bet. All negative odds will have a payout that’s fewer than 2x. The larger the number, the smaller the payout. Underdogs are indicated with a plus sign – while they have more risk, the payout is higher to account for that. Positive odds start at +100, which would pay out exactly 2x your original bet. Anything higher than +100 boosts the payout, with a +600 line returning $700 on a $100 bet, for example. Keep in mind that we use American odds as the default at Odds Shark (-110, +100, etc.) – other types of betting odds come in fractional form (⅛) and decimals (1.80). You can easily adjust the format by using the filters tab to adjust the odds type.

  8. Start betting

    As Anakin Skywalker would say: this is where the fun begins. Sportsbooks offer a staggering amount of betting options – name a sport and it’ll have odds to bet on. Start with games you’re most comfortable with, whether that’s high-profile leagues or matchups in college basketball and college football.

Your options will be limitless, so start slow and get a feel for the flow of betting before diving into parlays or in-play betting.

  9. Withdraw funds

    You’ll usually be able to withdraw funds in the same way you deposited them. If your bankroll came from PayPal, you’ll be able to send money back into that same account with ease. Withdrawals may take a few business days to process depending on the payment method you selected, so don’t be worried if there’s a brief delay before you see some winnings in your account. You can always contact customer support if there’s an issue with your withdrawal.

Sportsbooks Expected to Come to California

With betting legalization up in the air for the time being, it remains to be seen which sportsbooks will be the first to enter California’s market. It’d be no surprise to see the usual candidates, though -- a full list will be available when betting laws become clearer.

California Teams to Bet on

When sports betting gets the green light in California, fans are in for a treat – the Golden State has 21 professional sports teams, more than any other in the USA. These stretch from the four major league sports to the WNBA, MLS and NWSL. That’s not even counting 20+ high-profile colleges that have NCAAB and NCAAF teams among others.

NFL Betting in California

There are three NFL teams in the state of California for bettors to choose from, each with a rich history and an exciting roster of talented stars. The only question you'll have to ask yourself is if you're staying in LA or cheering for the Bay.

Los Angeles Chargers

Founded in 1960, the Los Angeles Chargers are the youngest NFL team in California. Sharing the state-of-the-art SoFi Stadium with the Rams, the Chargers have seen little Super Bowl success – with only one appearance in 1994, they’re one of 12 teams in the league with no Championship wins. That’s not to say there haven’t been bright spots; the Chargers have won 15 divisional titles and currently roster all-star talents like Justin Herbert (QB), Austin Ekeler (RB) and Keenan Allen (WR).

Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams played in LA from 1946 to 1994 before moving to St. Louis for a brief stint, finally returning to the City of Angels in 2016. With two Super Bowl wins and 14 NFC West divisional titles, the Rams have seen recent success following their move back home. Currently led by one of the best defensive players in the NFL, Aaron Donald (LB), they’re also home to the excellent Cooper Kupp (WR) and rising stars like Puka Nacua (WR).

San Francisco 49ers

Tied for the third-most Super Bowl victories, the San Francisco 49ers have been California’s most successful NFL team to date. Their history is littered with accomplishments – tied for first in all-time playoff wins, playing (and hosting) the most NFC Championship games, most points scored in a single postseason, the list goes on. Their current squad holds some of the league’s best weapons in Christian McCaffery (RB), Brandon Aiyuk (WR) and George Kittle (TE)

NBA betting in California

Californian NBA fans sure are lucky -- each one of these four teams is great in their own right, but two of them have stood head and shoulders above the league over the past ten years.

Golden State Warriors

Founded in 1962, the San Francisco-based Golden State Warriors boast a prolific history and the third-most NBA Finals victories with seven total wins. In the past ten years, they’ve established themselves as a true dynasty with six NBA Finals appearances and four title wins. Currently led by the Splash Brothers (Steph Curry and Klay Thompson), past members include legendary players like Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, Tim Hardaway and Kevin Durant, albeit briefly.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers' history has been one of ups and downs since the franchise's founding in 1970. Living under the shadow of the Lakers, they’ve yet to appear in an NBA Finals game but have made strides in the past decade to improve their standing. With the arrival of star players like Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan, the team made several playoff runs in the early 2010s, winning two divisional titles.

Los Angeles Lakers

Arguably the world’s most well-known basketball team, the Los Angeles Lakers have been stealing the show since 1960, making them the oldest NBA team in the state. The iconic purple and gold squad is tied with the Boston Celtics for the most NBA titles, 17 for each team – with 32 Finals matchups in their history, they hold the record for most appearances as well. The Lakers’ roster harbors some of the best players of all time as well. From Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson to current all-stars like Lebron James and Anthony Davis, we could be going through this list all day.

Sacramento Kings

The youngest NBA team in the state, the Sacramento Kings arrived in Cali in 1985 after being bounced across the country – the franchise was founded in 1923, making them one of the eight-oldest teams in the league. The one Larry O’Brien Trophy in their cabinet came from a 1951 victory as the Rochester Royals, but the current iteration of the Kings have yet to appear in the NBA Finals. Their modern roster also includes the first ever Clutch Player of the Year, De'Aaron Fox.

MLB Betting in California

In each major league sport present in California, the MLB holds the highest amount of teams with five to choose from. Here's a quick rundown of their history and star players throughout the years.

Los Angeles Angels

The first half of LA’s MLB teams, the Los Angeles Angels have been overshadowed by the Dodgers for a majority of their history. Their 2002 World Series and American League wins have been the only grand accomplishments for the team, picking up a few divisional titles along the way. Recent high-caliber players like Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani have brought some attention back to the Angels, joining a list of top players like Jim Fregosi and Nolan Ryan.

Los Angeles Dodgers

One of the most prolific and dominant teams in the MLB’s history, the Los Angeles Dodgers originated in Brooklyn before moving to LA in 1958. They’ve taken home seven World Series titles and 24 National League victories, a record-setting amount. Some of the most well-known pitchers and hitters of all time come from the Dodgers, including Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Clayton Kershaw.

Oakland Athletics

Better known as The A’s, Oakland Athletics joined the MLB in 1968 after years in Philadelphia and Kansas City. They hold the second-highest divisional title wins in the American League after the New York Yankees, also taking home nine World Series wins. Fans of the movie Moneyball (great flick) will also remember the team won a consecutive 20 games in 2002, the second-longest in AL history – their roster is decorated with stars like Ricky Henderson, Jim Hunter and Reggie Jackson.

San Diego Padres

The newest California-based team in the MLB, the San Diego Padres got their start in 1969 and remain the only team in the state to have not won the World Series. With only two National League wins in 1984 and 1998, San Diego’s squad is still in search of a deep playoff run – but hey, they hold the fun accomplishment of being the only team to record grand slams in four consecutive games. Some of the best Padres to grace the field include Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield and Jake Peavy.

San Francisco Giants

One of the oldest franchises in the MLB, the San Francisco Giants originated in New York before their move to San Fran. in 1958. The team boasts more wins than any other in the MLB. This adds to a stellar list of achievements like eight World Series wins, 23 National League pennants and nine divisional titles. They’ve been home to household names like Barry Bonds, Willie Mayes (while in New York) and Christy Mathewson.

NHL Betting in California

Even in the sunny state of Cali, there's still ice hockey to be played. California is home to three teams, two of them being some of the newest entries to the NHL.

Anaheim Ducks

Quack, quack, quack! The Anaheim Ducks are one of the youngest pro sports teams in California, founded in 1993 by the Walt Disney Company. Their original branding as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim is one of the most nostalgic pieces of NHL history. Changing the brand in 2006 must have been the right call though, as they took home the Stanley Cup the same year – their only cup win so far. Their current squad is led by an exciting collection of young studs like Trevor Zegras, Mason McTavish and Leo Carlsson.

Los Angeles Kings

Snoop Dogg’s favorite NHL team, the Los Angeles Kings were an expansion team in 1967 who quickly demonstrated their worth in the regular season but struggled to perform in playoffs. With a mini-dynasty run in the early 2010s, the Kings would get their first two Stanley Cup victories, a standout moment amidst their so-so accomplishments thus far. Their ice was graced by the legendary Wayne Gretzky from 1988 to 1996 along with other standout players still on the roster like Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty.

San Jose Sharks

Brought to California in 1991, the San Jose Sharks have been a tough but historically average NHL team during their short tenure. With no Stanley Cup wins, they’re one of 11 teams whose trophy case is empty – some bright spots include a journey to the finals in 2016, six divisional titles, and one Presidents’ Trophy. Some of the best players in Sharks’ history are Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski.

NCAA Betting in California

There are over 20 Division I NCAA schools in California, spoiling sports fans and bettors alike. Here are a few highlights of some of the most popular and successful NCAA schools for basketball, football, and more.

UCLA Bruins

Best known for their men’s college basketball team, the UCLA Bruins have been strong competitors in NCAA sports since their inception in 1919. UCLA holds the NCAAB record for most title wins, consecutive titles, and final four wins amongst other achievements. Their roster has been decorated with legends of the game like Reggie Miller, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton.

University of California (Berkeley) Golden Bears

The Berkeley Golden Bears are known for a fierce college football rivalry with our previous listing, the UCLA Bruins. Although their historical record is 34-57-1, it doesn’t stop the continuing battle for domination in the Bear Bowl. This matchup was the third-longest uninterrupted rivalry in the NCAAF before the COVID-19 pandemic caused them to miss a year – they played annually for 87 years straight! Some highlighted players over the years include Aaron Rodgers, Marshawn Lynch and Tony Gonzalez.

USC Trojans

The USC Trojans boast the highest amount of Olympic medalists to come from an American university with a staggering 326 future medalists. It’s not a shocker that they’re a powerhouse in all things NCAA, taking home records for the highest men’s national championship wins across all universities in the country. Some star-studded names that have graced their teams include Troy Polamalu, DeMar DeRozan, Ronnie Lott and more.

Stanford Cardinal

With 38 varsity teams to pick from, the Stanford Cardinal boasts the most NCAA team championships of any university in the country with a staggering 134 total wins. Another insane stat? Since 1977, Stanford has won at least one NCAA championship per year. Undoubtedly one of the most talented and prestigious schools in the state, their teams have been home to players like Tiger Woods, John Elway, Richard Sherman and Katie Ledecky.

What you can't bet on in California

Aside from being unable to bet on sports in California at the moment, there are a couple of other no-nos when it comes to placing wagers. While these aren’t sports, they’re still not sanctioned by California law.


This is par for the course for all of America, where betting on politics is not offered legally in any state. Some niche books outside of the country will offer futures on items like the Presidential Election, but they’re flat-out not allowed in California. With other states having legal sports betting and still not offering politics, it’d be a surprise to see this type of betting available anytime soon.

Entertainment Award Ceremonies

Even if it was legal, sportsbooks offering entertainment award ceremonies odds will vary book-by-book – it’s not commonplace across every platform. No need to worry though, ‘cause it’s still illegal in California. While the state is the cultural center of American media, there’s no telling when award ceremony odds could be offered with the current status of sports betting laws.


Whatever your personal opinion is on whether eSports are indeed sports, they fall into the same bucket as the rest of sports betting – not allowed. We’ve seen eSports betting rise in popularity as the scene continues to grow, but it looks like you’ll have to wait to wager on CS:GO, League of Legends, or any other popular game.

What About California College Sports?

College sports fall under the same laws as the rest of sports betting in California, meaning they’re still unavailable to bet on. Regardless, college betting for in-state teams is in a tricky spot all across the entire U.S. Certain states allow betting on games, but not player props – for example, Kentucky allows both, Colorado only allows game bets, and Massachusetts offers no betting options for college sports. It remains to be seen what route California would take if sports betting is legalized in the future.

California Sports Betting Events

  • Rose Bowl
    • The oldest college football bowl game, the annual Rose Bowl is hosted in Pasadena and garners a massive turnout. It was the first-ever postseason football game established and is a sacred tradition for football fans in California and beyond.
  • NASCAR & Other Motorsports
    • California is a massive hub for auto racing events. The state hosts races for the IndyCar Series, NASCAR Cup and even a few Formula One events down in Long Beach.
  • Professional Golf Tournaments
    • The list of Californian pro golfers is just insane – Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Johnny Miller… need I go on? So, it’s not a shock that they host some of the most beautiful golf tournaments of the year. Notable contests include the Farmers Insurance Open, Northern Trust Open and the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
  • Horse Racing
    • As one of the few betting options within the state, it’s great to see so many high-profile races happening year-round. Some key events include the Santa Anita Derby, Pacific Classic Stakes and the Champion of Champions race.
  • 2026 FIFA World Cup
    • The 2026 edition of the FIFA World Cup is an interesting one, being split between Canada, Mexico and the US. LA will host matches in SoFi and Levi’s Stadium, making California one of two states with multiple venues for the World Cup.
  • LA 2028 Summer Olympics
    • Los Angeles is no stranger to the Olympics, previously hosting the Summer Games in 1932 and 1984. While it’s pretty far off, it’s still an exciting prospect for the state.

Other Types of Gambling in California

Sports betting is not the be-all-end-all for most bettors – they’ll be happy to know there are plenty of other alternatives within their state. Here are a few popular options if you’re looking to wager within California.


Blackjack, slots, craps, card games – casinos have it all. Tribal casinos are the only ones of their type allowed in California, offering a wide selection of games and machines to satisfy a bettor. While in-person sports wagering is still unavailable, there are enough options at one of many tribal casinos to take advantage of.


We’re not just talking about a Friday night poker match in your buddy’s garage – there are tons of card rooms offering in-person poker across California. It’s completely legal to play poker in person and a great alternative to sports betting. Keep in mind that as of now, online poker is still against the state’s betting laws, so you’ll have to make the journey in real life. If you’re new to card games, check out our guide on how to play poker.

Horse Racing

As mentioned above, horse racing is A-OK in the state of California. It’s been legal since the 30s and a fun pastime for any bettor – you’re able to visit a physical racetrack and place a bet, or wager online. Certain tribal casinos have a dedicated setup for simulcasted horse races as well. Here are some of our preferred horse racing sportsbooks if you’re looking to wager on the ponies!

California and Daily Fantasy Sports

Luckily for sports fans, DFS is completely legal for betting purposes – of course, it isn’t exactly betting, but it’s the closest legal option available. Because the law doesn’t specify anything about fantasy sports, fans can submit a buy-in and earn money from a pool of participants.

What's the difference between daily fantasy sports vs sports betting?

The main difference between DFS and sports betting is that you’re not wagering on one specific outcome – it’s less of a wager and more of an entry fee. In sports betting, you select a specific line or event to come true. Does this team win the game? Do they cover the spread? DFS differs in that you’re placing your faith in a selection of players to perform well across multiple contests.

You pay an entry fee and get access to a list of players that are playing in games that very day. DFS users are given a “salary” that they have to distribute across a specific number of players to fill their roster – when these players perform well, ex. scoring points in the NBA, you’re awarded points. The player with the most points at the end of the day will earn a prize, with the second, third, and sometimes fourth-place players earning a bit of cash as well.

Sports Betting Apps in California

As of now, there are no sports betting apps to be downloaded in California – the exceptions to this rule are any app that allows horse racing. Although you can’t make bets on these sites, curious bettors can always visit a sportsbook in their mobile or desktop browser and check out the site’s interface and offerings ahead of time.

Quick Facts: California Sports Betting

If you’re short on time, or just need a recap, here are the key takeaways for Californian sports bettors:

Legal Age for Betting in California18 
RegulatorCalifornia Gambling Control Commission 
Online Sports BettingNot Available 
Retail Sports BettingNot Available 
College Sports BettingNot Available 
Daily Fantasy SportsAvailable 
Horse Racing BettingAvailable 

And here’s a quick rundown of the history of betting regulations as well as a future outlook:

  • 2018: Power given to states to regulate their betting laws.
  • 2019: First California betting bill is proposed and subsequently withdrawn in 2020.
  • 2021: Two bills, Prop 26 and 27 make headway for potentially legalizing sports betting. Prop 26 would allow Native American tribes the power to offer in-person betting in tribal casinos while Prop 27 is focused on mobile betting for sportsbooks.
  • 2022: Prop 26 and 27 face major opposition and are voted against by Californians.
  • 2023 - Onward: New bills are proposed and discussed with Native American tribes. As of now, no proposals are making serious headway for sports bettors in California.

Responsible Gaming in California

As with any type of gambling, bettors should prioritize their mental health and bet within their means. Here are a few sites that offer tips for responsible betting and gambling addiction services:

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