California Casinos

California Casinos & Gambling
  • Poker (1850), Horseracing (1933), Lottery (1984), Casinos (1992)
  • $280 million
  • $1.3 billion from slots and card clubs; Non-taxed tribal gaming unknown
  • 18 for lottery and bingo, 21 for casinos and racing
  • Smoking not permitted indoors except at tribal casinos, which are not covered by state smoking bans.
  • Horseracing is the only form of legal online gambling

California gambling has a long and complicated history. It is home to some of the largest poker rooms in the world. There are also more than 60 Indian California casinos. Poker is not considered gambling, according to the state constitution and future court rulings. Horse racing dates back to the Great Depression. There is also a state lottery and charitable gaming. The California Legislature is currently discussing the expansion of legalized gambling in the state. Online poker, sports betting, and daily fantasy sports are all segments under consideration.

With such a large amount of California casinos and poker rooms, you can look through our map of the top California casinos.

Paying Gambling Taxes in California

Do you have to pay taxes on your gambling winnings? Yes! OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos has gathered everything you need to know about paying taxes on your gambling winnings straight from a Certified Public Accountant. For more information please visit our exclusive Gambling Taxes article.

Types of California Online Gambling Allowed

Horse Betting iconThe only legal California online gambling according to the law is horseracing. TVG is the main provider in California. It operates many simulcasts betting sites in the advance deposit wagering industry in the state. Other major providers accept Californians, including TwinSpires and BetAmerica.

Daily fantasy sports site’s like DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo! accept California players. These companies claim an exemption under California’s skill game laws. No action by the state has questioned this opinion.

There have been attempts to legalize online poker. The potential market participants cannot agree on the terms to move the idea forward. A bill has died in California every year in the legislature since the late 2000s because all sides care unable to come to a compromise. Some tribes do not want the horseracing industry or PokerStars, the largest poker site in the world, involved in California gambling. Other major players partnered with PokerStars fight to approve them, creating an impasse.

Types of California Live Gambling

Popular games iconPopular Games
  • Slots: Yes
  • Blackjack: Yes
  • Poker: Yes
  • Craps/Roulette: No
  • Horses: Yes
  • Lottery: Yes

There are many options that California gambling has to offer. Horseracing is legal. It is operated through pari-mutuel pools. Bettors can wager on live races or one in a race book at the track.

The California Lottery was created to fund education. Instant tickets and lotto drawings are available to players. Bingo and raffles are permitted through registered charities.

Card clubs date back generations in California. This is where poker is played. Card games traditionally considered to be banked by the house were later added. California card clubs use an unusual twist in table games. Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, Pai Gow Tiles, and others are banked by propositional players. Others at the table have the ability to bank a hand on their turn.

There are currently over 150 California casinos operating today, most of them thanks to their card and poker rooms.

California gambling lawsAll forms of California gambling laws must be approved by voters through a constitutional amendment. Every form of legal gambling in California went through this process that includes a statewide referendum. Most forms of illegal gambling are guilty of a misdemeanor.

Horseracing was the first form of betting permitted in California. Bets enter a pari-mutuel pool. Bettors may also participate in off-track betting at race books. These must be located at California racetracks. Racing is regulated by the California Horse Racing Board.

The California Lottery was created to fund public schools. It is permitted to sell scratch-off tickets for instant games and lotto tickets that involve number drawings. The California Lottery is permitted to enter interstate lotto drawings that include Powerball and Mega Millions.

California permits charities to operate games of chance. The proceeds may not exceed 20% of the prize pool or $2,000, whichever is greater. Only volunteers may operate the game. The games may not be spread in a commercial establishment, even if operated by the charity. There can be no commercial influence in charitable gaming. Charitable games may be operated by Native American reservations.

Card clubs are legal throughout California. The roots of this business date back to poker. Operations expanded to casino games that use cards over the years. Stud and draw games were the original offerings of California card clubs. Pan, Pai Gow Tiles, and Pai Gow Poker were other games popular in California card clubs in the early days. Baccarat, blackjack, and other games that are typically banked by the house emerged in the 2000’s when California casinos started to pop up.

The card club games that are not traditionally poker have a California twist. The house may not bank bets in card clubs. This created what is known as a prop banker. Players often refer to this person as the corporation. The prop banker pays a commission to the house for its action. Any player may also book the action in turn. Like prop bankers, a player that assumes the role of the house for a hand must pay the house commission from the play. Some card clubs frown upon players taking an active role in banking the action but it is perfectly legal.

California casinos operated by Indian tribes may offer slots, video poker, live poker, off-track betting, bingo and table games. The difference is that California casinos do not have to pay taxes on games permitted at card clubs, charities or racetracks. There are also different rules with table games that make the atmosphere closer to that of Las Vegas. Craps and roulette are not legal in California. There are unique alternatives to these games that use cards and machines instead of standard dice and wheels.

List of California Casinos

There are more than 150 casinos in California between the card clubs and reservations. Most are located in Southern California near San Diego and Los Angeles. The largest card clubs are Hustler, Bicycle, Commerce, and Hawaiian Gardens. These are all near Los Angeles. Large casinos in Southern California include Morongo, Pechanga and Harrah’s Rincon.

Native American Casinos

Most residents are no more than a half-hour drive of a card club or tribal California casino. All major cities have somewhere to play poker. The number of California reservations means that slots and video poker are never farther than a 30-minute drive. These California casinos offer players all of the same services and games that you may find in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

Agua Caliente Casino – Rancho Mirage1,400 Slot Machines32-250 Bob Hope
Augustine Casino – Coachella800 Slot Machines84-001 Avenue 54 at Van
Barona Casino – Lakeside2,000 Slot Machines1932 Wildcat Canyon
Bear River Casino – Loleta349 Slot Machines11 Bear Paws
Black Oak Casino – Tuolumne1,250 Slot Machines19400 Tuolumne Road
Blue Lake Casino750 Slot Machines777 Casino
Cache Creek Casino – Brooks2,400 Slot Machines14455
Cahuilla Creek Casino – Anza306 Slot Machines52702 Highway
Casino Pauma – Pauma Valley1,050 Slot Machines777 Pauma Reservation
Cher-Ae Heights Casino – Trinidad349 Slot Machines27 Scenic
Chicken Ranch Casino – Jamestown250 Slot Machines16929 Chicken Ranch
Chukchansi Gold Casino – Coarsegold1,700 Slot Machines711 Lucky
Chumash Casino – Santa Ynez2,000 Slot Machines3400 East Highway
Cloverdale Rancheria Casino2,000 Slot MachinesHighway
Colusa Casino1,024 Slot Machines3770 Highway
Coyote Valley Casino – Redwood Valley250 Slot Machines7751 North State
Desert Rose Casino – Alturas100 Slot Machines901 County Road 56No Website
Diamond Mountain Casino – Susanville250 Slot Machines900 Skyline
Eagle Mountain Casino – Porterville1,400 Slot Machines681 South Tule
Elk Valley Casino – Crescent City328 Slot Machines2500 Howland Hill
Fantasy Springs Casino – Indio1,959 Slot Machines84-245 Indio Springs
Feather Falls Casino – Oroville1,000 Slot Machines3 Alverda
Garcia River Casino – Point Arena200 Slot Machines22215 Windy Hollow
Golden Acorn Casino – Campo795 Slot Machines1800 Golden Acorn
Gold Country Casino – Oroville900 Slot Machines4020 Olive
Graton Casino – Rohnert Park3,000 Slot Machines288 Golf Course Drive
Havasu Landing Casino – Needles245 Slot Machines1
Harrah’s – Valley Center1,700 Slot Machines777 Harrah’s Rincon
Hidden Oaks Casino – Covelo100 Slot Machines76700 Covelo
Hollywood Casino Jamul1,700 Slot Machines14191 Highway
Hopland Sho-Ka-Wah Casino550 Slot Machines13101 Nokomis
Jackson Rancheria Casino1,525 Slot Machines12222 New York Ranch
Konocti Vista Casino – Lakeport349 Slot Machines2755 Mission Rancheria
Lucky 7 Casino – Smith River300 Slot Machines350 North Indian
Lucky Bear Casino – Hoopa100 Slot Machines12510 State Highway
Mono Wind Casino – Auberry350 Slot Machines37302 Rancheria
Morongo Casino – Cabazon2,700 Slot Machines49500 Seminole
Paiute Palace Casino – Bishop336 Slot Machines2742 North Sierra
Pala Casino2,200 Slot Machines11154 Highway
Pechanga Casino – Temecula3,400 Slot Machines45000 Pechanga
Pit River Casino – Burney150 Slot Machines20265 Tamarack
Quechan Casino – Winterhaven1,000 Slot Machines525 Algodones
Red Earth Casino – Salton City350 Slot Machines3089 Norm Niver
Red Fox Casino – Laytonville91 Slot Machines200 Cahto
Red Hawk Casino – Placerville2,100 Slot Machines1 Red Hawk
River Rock Casino – Geyserville1,600 Slot Machines3250 Highway 128
Robinson Rancheria Casino – Nice600 Slot Machines1545 East Highway
Rolling Hills Casino – Corning773 Slot Machines2655 Barham
Running Creek Casino – Upper Lake349 Slot Machines35 E. Highway
San Manuel Indian Casino – Highland3,600 Slot Machines777 San Manuel
San Pablo Lytton Casino1,393 Slot Machines13255 San Pablo
Sherwood Valley Casino – Willits220 Slot Machines100 Kawi
Spotlight 29 Casino – Coachella2,000 Slot Machines46-200 Harrison
Soboba Casino – San Jacinto2,000 Slot Machines23333 Soboba
Spa Resort Casino – Palm Springs1,000 Slot Machines401 East Amado
Sycuan Casino – El Cajon2,200 Slot Machines5485 Casino
Table Mountain Casino – Friant2,000 Slot Machines8184 Table Mountain
Tachi Palace Casino – Lemoore2,000 Slot Machines17225 Jersey
Thunder Valley Casino – Lincoln2,800 Slot Machines1200 Athens
Tortoise Rock Casino – Twentynine Palms490 Slot Machines73829 Base Line
Twin Pine Casino – Middletown504 Slot Machines22223 Highway
Valley View Casino – Valley Center2,000 Slot Machines16300 Nyemii Pass
Viejas Casino – Alpine3,000 Slot Machines5000 Willows
Win-River Casino – Redding600 Slot Machines2100 Redding Rancheria
Winnedumah Winn’s Casino – Independence1,200 Slot Machines135 South Highway

California Casinos & Poker Rooms

There are many California casinos and poker rooms spread throughout the state. This is great for poker players, as the locations and websites are found below.

Card ClubSizeAddressWebsite
The 101 Casino9 Poker Tables5151 Montero
The 500 Club – Clovis12 Poker Tables771 W. Shaw
Artichoke Joe’s Casino – San Bruno17 Poker Tables659 Huntington
Aviator Casino – Delano6 Poker Tables1225 Airport
Bankers Casino – Salinas6 Poker Tables111 Monterey
Bay 101 Casino – San Jose30 Poker Tables1801 Bering
Bicycle Casino – Bell Gardens190 Poker Tables888 Bicycle Casino
Brooks Oceana Casino – Oceano3 Poker Tables1795 Front
Bruce’s Bar and Casino – Blythe2 Poker Tables116 S Main St.No Website
California Grand Casino – Pacheco14 Poker Tables5988 Pacheco
Cameo Club Casino – Stockton4 Poker Tables552 W. Benjamin Holt
Capitol Casino – Sacramento10 Poker Tables411 N. 16th
Casino Club – Redding5 Poker Tables1885 Hilltop
Casino M8trix – San Jose20 Poker Tables1887 Matrix
Casino Marysville6 Poker Tables515 4th
Casino Real – Manteca6 Poker Tables1355 N. Main
Central Coast Casino – Grover Beach4 Poker Tables359 W. Grand
Central Coast Casino – Paso Robles6 Poker Tables1124 Black Oak
Club One Casino – Fresno35 Poker Tables1033 Van Ness
Commerce Casino – L.A.210 Poker Tables6121 Telegraph
Crystal Casino – Compton2 Poker Tables123 E. Artesia
Delta Casino – Stockton4 Poker Tables6518 Pacific
Diamond Jim’s Casino – Rosamond10 Poker Tables118 20th St.
Don Juan Club and Casino – Rancho Cordova1 Poker Table2785 Don Juan Dr. No Website
El Resbalon1 Poker Table154 N. Valencia Blvd. No Website
Empire Sportsmen’s Association – Modesto3 Poker Tables5001 McHenry Ave.No Website
Garlic City Club – Gilroy6 Poker Tables40 Hornlein
Golden State Casino – Marysville1 Poker Table5402 Lindhurst Ave.No Website
Golden West Casino – Bakersfield40 Poker Tables1001 S. Union
Hawaiian Gardens Casino110 Poker Tables21520 Pioneer Blvd.
Hollywood Park Casino – Inglewood51 Poker Tables3883 W. Century
Hotel Del Rio & Casino – Isleton3 Poker Tables209 2nd St.No Website
Hustler Casino – Gardena50 Poker Tables1000 W. Redondo Beach
Jalisco Pool Room – Guadalupe2 Poker Tables920 Guadalupe St.No Website
Kelly’s Card Room –10 Poker Tables408 O
La Fuerza – Woodlake2 Poker Tables175 E. Antelope Ave.No Website
Lake Bowl Card Room – Folsom8 Poker Tables511 E. Bidwell
Lake Elsinore Casino16 Poker Tables20930 Malaga
Limelight Card Room – Sacramento7 Poker Tables1014 Alhambra
Livermore Casino10 Poker Tables3571 First
Lucky Buck Card Club – Livermore10 Poker Tables1620 Railroad Ave.No Website
Lucky Chances Casino – Colma29 Poker Tables1700 Hillside
Lucky Derby Casino – Citrus Heights9 Poker Tables7433 Greenback
Lucky Lady Card Room – San Diego6 Poker Tables5526 El Cajon
Marina Club Casino4 Poker Tables204 Carmel
Merced Poker Room2 Poker Tables1445 Martin Luther King Jr. WayNo Website
Mike’s Card Casino – Oakdale6 Poker Tables824 N. Yosemite Ave.No Website
Mortimer’s Card Room – Marina6 Poker Tables3100 Del Monte Blvd.No Website
Napa Valley Casino – American Canyon7 Poker Tables3466 Broadway
Nineteenth Hole – Antioch3 Poker Tables2746 W. Tregallas
Normandie Club – Gardena24 Poker Tables1045 W. Rosecrans
Oaks Card Club – Emeryville35 Poker Tables4097 San Pablo Ave.
Ocean’s Eleven Casino – Oceanside50 Poker Tables121 Brooks
Oceanview Card Room – Santa Cruz3 Poker Tables709 Pacific
Old Cayucos Tavern – Cayucos1 Poker Table130 N. Ocean
Outlaws Card Parlour – Atascadero4 Poker Tables9850 E. Front
Palace Poker Casino – Hayward11 Poker Tables22821 Mission
Players Casino – Ventura16 Poker Tables6580 Auto Center
Pete’s 881 Club4 Poker Tables721 Lincoln
Poker Flats Casino – Merced4 Poker Tables1714 Martin Luther King Jr. Waypokerflatscasino
Rancho’s Club Casino – Rancho Cordova9 Poker Tables2740 Mills Park
Rogelio’s Casino – Isleton4 Poker Tables34 Main
Sundowner Card Room – Visalia2 Poker Tables15638 Avenue 296No Website
Tommy’s Casino & Saloon – El Centro3 Poker Tables467 W. Main St.No Website
Towers Casino – Grass Valley5 Poker Tables115 Bank
Turlock Poker Room7 Poker Tables2321 W. Main

There are seven live horseracing tracks in California. The major venue is Del Mar Racetrack. Santa Anita and Fresno Race Track are others. Each offer live and simulcast racing.

California Gambling History

California casino historyPoker has always enjoyed an exemption under California gambling law. It is not considered gambling under the California Constitution.

Voters approved Proposition 5 on June 27, 1933. This legalized pari-mutuel horseracing in the state. The exacta was pioneered at the Hollywood Park track in 1971. Off-track betting became legal in 1985.

Voters approved a constitutional amendment in November 1983 that created a state lottery. The top two lottery retailers are located along the Nevada border. One is just across the state line from Primm, NV. This gives access to Las Vegas gamblers about 45 miles away. The second highest grossing lottery retailer is convenient to Reno and Lake Tahoe players. Nevada does not have a competing state lottery.

Proposition 1A approved tribal casinos in California in November 2000. This permitted slots and video poker for the first time in the state. Gaming compacts between the tribes and the governor.

Online poker proponents have tried to legalize the game every year since the late 2000’s. Only online poker has been proposed. Casino games are not a part of any online gaming expansion proposals.

There have also been attempts to legalize sports betting. There has been little progress on that front. Sports betting expansion is specifically prohibited under the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Daily fantasy sports are experiencing more traction in the state legislature. A bill that would legalize and regulate the game first passed out of committee in January 2016.

California Casinos & Gambling FAQ

Are poker rooms legal in California?

There are more than 100 poker rooms in California.

Is online poker legal in California?

Online poker is not legal in California. Bills have failed every year in the legislature this decade.

Is craps legal in California?

Dice games are illegal in California. Some reservation casinos offer California Craps where cards are used in place of dice.

Is roulette legal in California?

No, but video versions of the game are considered allowable slots when on tribal land.

Are daily fantasy sports legal in California?

Sites like DraftKings and FanDuel assert that daily fantasy sports are legal in California. A bill that would regulate these sites is circulating the state legislature.

Is online gambling legal in California?

The only form of online gambling explicitly legal in California is off-track betting on horse racing.

What are the differences between card clubs and Indian casinos?

Card clubs are permitted to offer poker and card games that are not house banked. Native American casinos may spread these games, as well as slots and video poker.

What is a prop banker?

California does not permit card clubs to act as the house that banks casino games. Card clubs employ outside prop bankers. These people book the action and pay a commission to the house on the action. Other players may book action when the button is placed on their spot at the table.

What is the Corporation?

This is another name for the prop banker in a California card club.

Is there a state lottery in California?

The California Lottery was approved by voters in 1983.

What types of tickets are sold by the California Lottery?

The California Lottery sells scratch-off tickets and lotto drawings. These include Powerball and Mega Millions.

What is the minimum gambling age in California?

The minimum California gambling age is 18 for lottery and bingo, and 21 for casinos and racing.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller Online Casino and Game Expert

I've been writing for OUSC about the casino industry for more than 15 years. I love playing games, including poker, Scrabble, and trivia games. I enjoy researching and writing new online casino reviews and sharing game strategies.

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