California Online Casinos and Gambling Sites

Written by: Sadonna Price, OUSC Expert in Online Casinos and Poker
California Gambling Laws State Flag Icon

Considered one of the more liberal states in the US, California takes a conservative approach to online gambling. While the state has dozens of land-based casinos, online gambling still has a long way to go.

This guide to gambling in California has the top online casinos for gambling and summarizes their features. We picked the most secure, reliable, and trustworthy sites on the internet based on extensive research and knowledge of the industry.

This page will also cover the availability of each type of gambling in the state with background on the history and legality.  

California Gambling Highlights

Want to gamble in California? The following table gives you a snapshot of what types of gambling are legal in the state. From online casinos to land-based casinos and other forms of gambling such as state lottery.

Is Gambling Legal?

Yes

Legal Gambling Age

18/21

Land-Based Casinos

Yes

Online Casinos

No

Land-Based Sports Betting

No

Online Sportsbooks

No

Legal State Lottery

Yes

Charitable Gambling

No

Online Gambling in California

Everything You Need to Start Playing at CA Online Casinos

Top California Online Casinos

Key Takeaways

  • Online casinos and sportsbooks are not licensed and regulated in the state. 
  • Offshore sites offer premium opportunities for gaming. 
  • Commercial card rooms and tribal casinos are available for land-based gaming. 
  • Lottery gaming is a legal gambling option in California.
Online Gambling at Poker Rooms Cards Chips and Dealer Icon

Gambling is a legal activity in the state of California, but one that is highly restricted. Online casinos are nonexistent, along with sports betting platforms.

Efforts have been made over the past few years to launch an online gaming industry in the state but have yet to gain any legislative support.

To access iGaming, players must utilize the services of reputable offshore providers. Several online operators provide gaming to residents or visitors to the state, with options for slots and table games, live dealer gaming, and more.
 
Another option for players is land-based gaming. California is home to commercial card rooms featuring games like poker and blackjack. For a true casino gaming experience, players must visit one of the 70+ tribal casinos to enjoy Class III gaming options.

Players can also access lottery ticket sales, though online services are unavailable.

Best California Online Casinos in 2024

Our team at OUSC has reviewed all the available options for online casino gaming in California. Our list below provides our top picks from licensed and regulated operators in other jurisdictions.

We consider aspects like credibility, safety, game selection, payment options, and bonus offerings.

RANK CASINO BONUS PAYOUT SPEED LICENSED TOTAL GAMES SLOTS OUR RATING CLICK TO PLAY
1 DuckyLuck Casino Logo DuckyLuck Casino BONUS 500% up to $7,500 PAYOUT SPEED 1-5 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 699 SLOTS 600 OUR RATING 4.8 / 5 Play Now
2 Bovada Casino Logo Bovada Casino BONUS 125% up to $3,750 PAYOUT SPEED 1-3 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 549 SLOTS 435 OUR RATING 4.7 / 5 Play Now
3 SlotsandCasino Logo SlotsandCasino BONUS 500% up to $7,500 PAYOUT SPEED 1-2 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 691 SLOTS 594 OUR RATING 4.8 / 5 Play Now
4 Wild Casino Logo Wild Casino BONUS 100% up to $5,000 PAYOUT SPEED 1-7 days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 799 SLOTS 621 OUR RATING 4.8 / 5 Play Now
5 Red Dog Casino Logo Red Dog Casino BONUS $8,000 Welcome Bonus PAYOUT SPEED 1-3 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 911 SLOTS 701 OUR RATING 4.6 / 5 Play Now

*Last Updated: February 23, 2024.

Top CA Online Casinos by Category

With so many online casinos offering services in California via offshore platforms, it’s important to highlight the best of the best. Below are examples of the main features players look for and our experts’ top picks for each category.

Top California Casino Site for Slots & Table Games

DuckyLuck Casino Logo Featured Image

DuckyLuck Casino is our top selection for overall casino slots and table games.

One bonus of playing slots at this online casino is that they offer demo mode. You can practice a game using demo mode before you play for real money. This option allows you to avoid games you don’t like and only play with real money when you find a game you like.

DuckyLuck has a solid platform with several titles on offer. You can find blackjack, roulette, and more on offer.

The platform is easy to navigate, and many games have a practice play mode, so you can try it before playing for money.

Fresh Deck Studios provides live dealer games and offers a seamless live experience.

Find games with low to high buy-ins and quick streaming services. Once you open a game, the streaming footage loads quickly, so you can start playing immediately!

Top Features

  • Quality Live Dealer Games by Fresh Deck Studios
  • Demo Mode for Some Table Games
  • 95% – 98% average RTP
  • Low to High Buy-ins for Every Player

Best Site for Sports Betting in California

Bovada Casino Logo

When it comes to sports betting, Bovada is our top pick. The site stands out for its wide array of betting markets and 15+ years of experience in gambling.

Bovada’s intuitive interface is one of its best features and contributes to a good user experience. In the promotions department, they offer several different bonuses with some of the lowest rollovers in the industry.

And if you are also looking for casino games, they have a large selection ranging from online slots to live dealer titles.

Top Features

  • Fast payouts – one of the fastest in the industry
  • A platform that is easy to use
  • Strong bonuses during football season
  • Good welcome bonus with a low rollover

How We Choose the Best Online Casinos in California

At OUSC, we use our experience and set criteria to select the best online casinos for players in California. Below are a few examples of the details we review to ensure you have access to a quality gaming site.

  1. Casino Reputation

    An online casino site’s reputation must be upheld and have solid player feedback. We focus on providing our readers with reputable sites so you know your personal and financial information is protected.
  2. Fast & Reliable Payments

    Payments need to be quick and reliable. Our reviews cover the available banking methods so you can find what works for you.
  3. Security & Safety

    The best online casino sites utilize data encryption and additional security methods to protect players. Our reviews focus on discovering more about casino security and safety measures.
  4. Games Variety

    You want access to a variety of games, so we look for sites with large collections of titles and good variety when it comes to game categories.
  5. Quality Bonuses

    Welcome bonuses and continual offers are a must to ensure you earn incentives with gameplay. We look at the quality of casino bonus deals, including the bonus amount and the wagering requirements.

Top Real Money Online Casino Games in California

There are several gaming options available in California for online casino players. Check out the top picks below.

Slots Reel Big Icon

Online Slots

California offers slot gaming via Native American casinos and does not include any laws pertaining to online casino slots.

State penal codes do not mention online slot gaming, so you must access titles via offshore providers if you wish to play online.

We recommend locating licensed and regulated providers for a seamless experience. Thousands of online slot games are featured online via top-rated sites.

If you are located near a land-based casino on tribal lands, you can explore tens of thousands of slot options. There are over 60 casinos in the state, each offering 100s of titles. In total, California is home to over 75,000 slot machines.

Stack of Poker Chips Icon

Online Poker

Legislative efforts involving online poker in California have been ongoing since 2009 without any progress. No bill has passed, so players are without legalized online poker rooms.

However, there are options for card play. You can visit a local card room or casino or select an offshore gaming site.

Locals or visitors can enjoy the best poker action in California by visiting the top clubs, including the Bicycle Casino and Commerce Casino.

These poker rooms have a fee to play and offer tournament gaming and cash games. Prize pools for tournament action can easily reach the $1 million to $3 million range in the state.

big icon blackjack

Online Blackjack

The popular card game is offered in several forms in California, with card club play, tribal casinos, and online casino sites. Offshore casinos often provide online blackjack with several variations like multi-hand, single-hand, and Perfect Pairs.

State laws dictate that tribal casinos monopolize blackjack gaming via land-based services, but that is untrue.

Card rooms have used a loophole in the law to offer blackjack gaming options. 

Bets start at $5-$10 and can reach $200-$1,000 depending on the location and game type.

Live Dealer Casino Icon

Live Dealer Games

Live dealer games are featured in the Golden State via online casino sites from offshore jurisdictions.

Play blackjack, roulette, craps, and more with streaming footage of the game sent to your computer or mobile device.

In California land-based venues, roulette is not a legal game, so you won’t find the traditional format on offer. The state’s gaming providers can offer what is known as California Roulette.

Additional live dealer games found at casinos include blackjack, baccarat, Super 6, and Pai Gow. Bets can range from $5 to $10,000 or more based on online or land-based play.

Other Online Casino Games You Can Play in California

Aside from the traditional casino games, the state offers more to explore online. Check out the options below to see other gaming titles you can find in the Golden State.

California Online Casino Bonuses

Below are the most common categories of bonuses you can access from online gaming sites.

Welcome Bonuses

Large introductory offers that nearly every online gambling site provides to new players.

Free Spin Offers

Promotional deals that give you a set number of free rounds on specific games.

Reload Deals

Get additional bonus cash when you deposit additional funds or top off your account.

Our Favorite Casino Bonuses at California Sites

As you start exploring online casino options in California, you must know your bonus options. Below are two of the best offers you can access while in the Golden State. Each deal includes a sizeable welcome bonus to help you build a large bankroll for gaming.

DuckyLuck Casino Banner

500% Up to $7,500 + 150 Free Spins Bonus

This welcome offer allows you to deposit as low as $25 to earn a 500% deposit match valued up to $7,500.

The bonus also includes 150 free spins so that you can test slots at no cost to you. The spins are provided over three days, with 50 spins added to your account daily until you reach the full 150 total.

The offer has a 30x rollover requirement, and you do not need a bonus code to claim the deal.

reddog header logo

Up to $8,000 Welcome Bonus

Deposit $10, $20, or $30 based on your banking selection to earn a bonus deal up to $8,000.

The bonus is broken down into several segments, with the first match offering up to $2,500, while the second and third deposits give you up to $3,000. The fourth and fifth deposits add up to $2,500 to your account.

The max payout for this deal is 30x the deposit with a 40x wagering requirement on the deposit and bonus amount.

California Casino Apps

Real Money Mobile Video Poker on Phone and Tablet

Online casino sites offering services to California players often include casino apps for seamless gaming experiences. Use an Android or iOS device to play slots, table games, and more from anywhere in the state.

When an online casino does not include an app, you can usually play via a mobile web browser on a smartphone or tablet. All you have to do is log in via your favorite mobile browser to begin.

Online casino operators know that players prefer to have a mobile option so they can play from anywhere. Offering a mobile app or browser gaming is the best way to satisfy customers and maintain player loyalty.

Facts About Online Casinos for California Players

Folder and Magnifying Glass Big Icon
  • The online casino market in California is unregulated, so players must access offshore gaming sites.
  • Most offshore sites accept USA players, including players in the Golden State.
  • You can find games that are not offered in California local casinos, like Spooky Wins, Gem Fruits, and Pick’em Poker.
  • Some online casinos include live dealers, similar to table games offered at California tribal casinos.
  • Cryptocurrency is readily available for deposit and withdrawal needs via offshore casino sites.

Gambling legislation first arrived in California in 1872 with the CA Penal Code. The legislation is dated, to say the least, and legislators have made minimal effort to make changes.

Over the years, updates were made to allow for tribal casinos, retail card rooms, and lottery gaming. Online casinos and sports betting remain a topic of debate that lawmakers cannot agree on. 

There are zero mentions anywhere in the California law books regarding online gambling. Because the state does not outlaw the activity, players can access games via offshore sites and casinos licensed and regulated in other jurisdictions.

California GamblingWhat You Need to Know
Land-based casinos in CaliforniaTribal groups operate 66 Class III casinos in California. Some cardrooms can offer particular table games but must not conflict with tribal gaming services.
Online GamblingOnline gambling is not a legalized activity in the state. Players only have access to offshore operators.
Sports BettingDespite multiple attempts to join the industry, lawmakers have been unable to pass sports betting legislation. Sports betting remains illegal in California.
State LotteryThe lottery is a retail service only, with options for Mega Millions, Super Lotto Plus, and other games.
Charitable GamblingCharitable organizations are only allowed to offer bingo, raffles, or poker nights to raise funds in the state.
PokerPoker is legal in California and available via cardrooms.
Horse & Dog RacingHorse racing is legal in California, with several pari-mutuel tracks located in the state.
Fantasy SportsThe state tolerates daily fantasy sports, though the activity is not regulated. Local authorities do not interfere with operations.
Social GamblingSweepstakes casinos are allowed in California, with players enjoying slots and other games via Gold and Sweeps Coins.
Taxes on Gambling WinningsProfits from gambling are treated as ordinary income and should be added to the overall earnings of the individual and filed accordingly.

Disclaimer: The information on this page does not, nor does it intend to, constitute legal advice. This page is for learning purposes and may not have the most up-to-date information year-round. Readers should contact their attorney and/or accountant for advice concerning any particular legal matter. Do not take any action without first contacting a lawyer in your state.

California Gambling Laws: A Deep Dive

Generally speaking, gambling is allowed in California, but the options are limited. Players have access to traditional gaming via Tribal casinos and cardrooms.

The lottery is also an option, but you won’t find any regulated online casino sites or sports betting. Online poker is also noticeably missing, but players do have access to poker gaming in retail format.

Legislators have tried to integrate the state into the iGaming sector for quite some time, but shareholders seem to be split on who should be involved, so any legislation tends to fall flat and fail to move forward. 

Below are the examples of gaming options and more details on how each is offered in California.

Land-Based Casinos

California is home to over six dozen tribal casinos, with services offered based on a constitutional amendment in 2000 that permitted Indian casino gaming.

Proposition 1A led the way for tribes to negotiate casino compacts with the state based on the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Since the 2000s, the tribes of California have been the only operators of fully-functioning casinos.

Tribes can offer Class II and Class III gaming. This includes slots, card games, poker, and bingo. It is important to note that the state does not allow craps or roulette gaming, so you won’t find these options when visiting a physical casino.

Horse & Dog Tracks

Horse racing is a successful business in California, with several major race tracks located in the state.

Bettors can experience live races at Golden Gate Fields, Del Mar, Santa Anita, and Los Alamitos. Popular races hosted in the state include the Santa Anita Derby and the Breeders’ Cup.

Bingo, Lottery & Charitable Gambling

Charitable gambling is limited in California. Charities can only use gambling games, such as those that are allowed in card rooms. This includes non-banked table games.

Any non-profit organization that wants to register to offer charity gambling must do so with the Bureau of Gambling Control. A $100 fee is required, and 100% of the proceeds must go to charity.

Social Gaming at Home

State laws allow individuals to host social gaming at home. However, there should be no cut of the stakes taken by anyone for hosting.

It is also illegal for anyone to profit from selling food, drink, or other items in a social setting. Home poker games are considered a legal option based on social gaming standards. No rake can be collected.

Poker Rooms and Clubs

Several poker clubs are offered in California, including the Bicycle at Bell Gardens, the Hollywood Park Casino, and Commerce Casino.

Online poker has yet to be established in the state despite efforts by lawmakers, including Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer. In 2015, the Assemblyman gained traction with legislation, but it fell flat, just like other attempts.

Sports Betting

Sports betting is illegal in California. CA Penal Code 337a bans sportsbooks from offering services in the state. The legislation does not include online sports betting, so many players access services via offshore sportsbooks.

Casinos in California

California State Casino Laws Flag in Border with Gavel

Casino gaming is provided by Native American tribes in California and card rooms/poker clubs.

Players can access 76 casinos on tribal lands with slots, table games, and more. Card rooms or poker clubs are spread throughout the state, with just under 70 on offer. 

Use the interactive map below to see the available gambling facilities throughout the state.

Top California Casinos

  • Pechanga Resort and Casino
  • Pala Casino Spa Resort
  • Thunder Valley Casino Resort
  • Barona Resort & Casino
  • Harrah’s Resort Southern California

CA Gambling Summary

  • Card Rooms/Poker Clubs: 68
  • Tribal Casinos: 76

California Gambling vs. Neighboring States

California is located on the West Coast, a prime area for gambling activities. Several neighboring states offer gambling services with a wide range of options. Let’s take a look at the comparison chart below for more insight.

California is very similar to its neighbors when it comes to gambling. Nearby Arizona offers the same tribal casino gaming, while Nevada and New Mexico offer commercial casino options.

Age limits are the same with similar types of gaming offered in the Golden State when compared to its neighbors.

A Brief History of California Gambling

California gambling history

California’s legislation regarding gambling dates back to 1872, with limited options for patrons. Not until the early 2000s were changes made to allow tribal casinos to spread throughout the state.

Most gambling legislative changes over the years were completed via constitutional amendments rather than new legislation.

Card rooms date back before the introduction of tribal casinos, with 150 operating in 1999. By 2014, changes were made that lowered the number of card rooms to 89 commercial operations.

The state lottery developed even earlier, in 1984. The Lottery Act paved the way for the lottery to begin and set up supplemental funding for the public education system.

Horse racing is even older, having started in 1933. The Horse Racing Law established pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, and the industry has thrived ever since.

Based on current laws, California’s gambling regulation is overseen by various groups, including the California Horse Racing Board, State Lottery, California Gambling Control Commission, and the Bureau of Gambling Control of the Department of Justice.

California Responsible Gambling Initiatives

California gambling operators take responsible gambling seriously, offering players a wide range of resources for assistance. The Bureau of Gambling Control works with cardrooms and other operators to encourage responsible gambling practices.  

The Office of Problem Gambling is available to promote awareness of responsible gambling practices and assist victims and their families. Players can reach out to several offices to receive guidance on treatment plans, including:

  • Self-Exclusion and Self-Restriction programs
  • Office of Problem Gambling
  • California Department of Justice Gambling Control

Tribal casinos are not obligated to offer self-exclusion or responsible gambling programs as they are self-governed. Despite this, many offer self-exclusion programs and resources for problem gambling treatment as needed.

Summary: California’s Gambling Journey

California offers a more traditional stance on gambling, providing visitors and residents with lottery gaming, tribal casinos, and cardrooms. Slots, table games, video poker, and many other options are available. 

For iGaming, players must access sites via offshore providers. The state has yet to institute any laws about online casinos or sports betting services. Efforts have been made within the past five years to bring either industry to life, but bills still need to gain support. 

It’s interesting to note that tribal casinos, cardrooms, and horse racing operators cannot seem to agree on who should be involved in iGaming. As shareholders, their input is required, and it has caused conflict whenever online gambling legislation is introduced. 

California will most likely not make any major legal gambling changes unless those who are offering services currently can agree on how everyone should be involved in iGaming.

Sadonna Price

Sadonna Price OUSC Expert in Online Casinos and Poker

Sadonna is a former professional poker player. Passionate about writing and loves using her creativity to provide insight into the interesting gambling world.

Learn More About Sadonna