- 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! Learn everything you need to know about paying your taxes on your gambling income straight from a Certified Public Accountant in our exclusive Gambling Taxes article.
California Casinos Map & Guide
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Types of California Online Gambling Allowed
The 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 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 2000’s 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
- 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 Laws
All 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 Mirage||1,400 Slot Machines||32-250 Bob Hope Drive||www.hotwatercasino.com|
|Augustine Casino – Coachella||800 Slot Machines||84-001 Avenue 54 at Van Buren||www.augustinecasino.com|
|Barona Casino – Lakeside||2,000 Slot Machines||1932 Wildcat Canyon Road||www.barona.com|
|Bear River Casino – Loleta||349 Slot Machines||11 Bear Paws Way||www.bearrivercasino.com|
|Black Oak Casino – Tuolumne||1,250 Slot Machines||19400 Tuolumne Road North||www.blackoakcasino.com|
|Blue Lake Casino||750 Slot Machines||777 Casino Way||www.bluelakecasino.com|
|Cache Creek Casino – Brooks||2,400 Slot Machines||14455 CA-16||www.cachecreek.com|
|Cahuilla Creek Casino – Anza||306 Slot Machines||52702 Highway 371||www.cahuillacasino.com|
|Casino Pauma – Pauma Valley||1,050 Slot Machines||777 Pauma Reservation Road||www.casinopauma.com|
|Cher-Ae Heights Casino – Trinidad||349 Slot Machines||27 Scenic Drive||www.cheraeheightscasino.com|
|Chicken Ranch Casino – Jamestown||250 Slot Machines||16929 Chicken Ranch Road||www.chickenranchcasino.com|
|Chukchansi Gold Casino – Coarsegold||1,700 Slot Machines||711 Lucky Lane||www.chukchansigold.com|
|Chumash Casino – Santa Ynez||2,000 Slot Machines||3400 East Highway 246||www.chumashcasino.com|
|Cloverdale Rancheria Casino||2,000 Slot Machines||Highway 101||www.cloverdalerancheria.com|
|Colusa Casino||1,024 Slot Machines||3770 Highway 45||www.colusacasino.com|
|Coyote Valley Casino – Redwood Valley||250 Slot Machines||7751 North State Street||www.coyotevalleycasino.com|
|Desert Rose Casino – Alturas||100 Slot Machines||901 County Road 56||No Website|
|Diamond Mountain Casino – Susanville||250 Slot Machines||900 Skyline Drive||www.dmcah.com|
|Eagle Mountain Casino – Porterville||1,400 Slot Machines||681 South Tule Road||www.eaglemtncasino.com|
|Elk Valley Casino – Crescent City||328 Slot Machines||2500 Howland Hill Road||www.elkvalleycasino.com|
|Fantasy Springs Casino – Indio||1,959 Slot Machines||84-245 Indio Springs Parkway||www.fantasyspringsresort.com|
|Feather Falls Casino – Oroville||1,000 Slot Machines||3 Alverda Drive||www.featherfallscasino.com|
|Garcia River Casino – Point Arena||200 Slot Machines||22215 Windy Hollow Road||www.thegarciarivercasino.com|
|Golden Acorn Casino – Campo||795 Slot Machines||1800 Golden Acorn Way||www.goldenacorncasino.com|
|Gold Country Casino – Oroville||900 Slot Machines||4020 Olive Highway||www.goldcountrycasino.com|
|Graton Casino – Rohnert Park||3,000 Slot Machines||288 Golf Course Drive West||www.gratonresortcasino.com|
|Havasu Landing Casino – Needles||245 Slot Machines||1 Main||www.havasulanding.com|
|Harrah’s – Valley Center||1,700 Slot Machines||777 Harrah’s Rincon Way||www.caesars.com/harrahs-socal|
|Hidden Oaks Casino – Covelo||100 Slot Machines||76700 Covelo Road||www.hiddenoakscasino.com|
|Hollywood Casino Jamul||1,700 Slot Machines||14191 Highway 94||Opens Summer 2016|
|Hopland Sho-Ka-Wah Casino||550 Slot Machines||13101 Nokomis Road||www.shokawah.com|
|Jackson Rancheria Casino||1,525 Slot Machines||12222 New York Ranch Road||www.jacksoncasino.com|
|Konocti Vista Casino – Lakeport||349 Slot Machines||2755 Mission Rancheria Road||www.konocti-vista-casino.com|
|Lucky 7 Casino – Smith River||300 Slot Machines||350 North Indian Road||www.lucky7casino.com|
|Lucky Bear Casino – Hoopa||100 Slot Machines||12510 State Highway 96||www.hoopa-nsn.gov|
|Mono Wind Casino – Auberry||350 Slot Machines||37302 Rancheria Lane||www.monowind.com|
|Morongo Casino – Cabazon||2,700 Slot Machines||49500 Seminole Drive||www.morongocasinoresort.com|
|Paiute Palace Casino – Bishop||336 Slot Machines||2742 North Sierra Highway||www.paiutepalace.com|
|Pala Casino||2,200 Slot Machines||11154 Highway 76||www.palacasino.com|
|Pechanga Casino – Temecula||3,400 Slot Machines||45000 Pechanga Parkway||www.pechanga.com|
|Pit River Casino – Burney||150 Slot Machines||20265 Tamarack Avenue||www.pitrivercasino.com|
|Quechan Casino – Winterhaven||1,000 Slot Machines||525 Algodones Road||www.playqcr.net|
|Red Earth Casino – Salton City||350 Slot Machines||3089 Norm Niver Road||www.redearthcasino.com|
|Red Fox Casino – Laytonville||91 Slot Machines||200 Cahto Drive||www.redfoxcasino.net|
|Red Hawk Casino – Placerville||2,100 Slot Machines||1 Red Hawk Boulevard||www.redhawkcasino.com|
|River Rock Casino – Geyserville||1,600 Slot Machines||3250 Highway 128 East||www.riverrockcasino.com|
|Robinson Rancheria Casino – Nice||600 Slot Machines||1545 East Highway 20||www.rrrc.com|
|Rolling Hills Casino – Corning||773 Slot Machines||2655 Barham Avenue||www.rollinghillscasino.com|
|Running Creek Casino – Upper Lake||349 Slot Machines||35 E. Highway 20||www.runningcreekcasino.com|
|San Manuel Indian Casino – Highland||3,600 Slot Machines||777 San Manuel Blvd.||www.sanmanuel.com|
|San Pablo Lytton Casino||1,393 Slot Machines||13255 San Pablo Ave.||www.sanpablolytton.com|
|Sherwood Valley Casino – Willits||220 Slot Machines||100 Kawi Place||www.svrcasino.com|
|Spotlight 29 Casino – Coachella||2,000 Slot Machines||46-200 Harrison Place||www.spotlight29.com|
|Soboba Casino – San Jacinto||2,000 Slot Machines||23333 Soboba Road||www.soboba.com|
|Spa Resort Casino – Palm Springs||1,000 Slot Machines||401 East Amado Rd.||www.sparesortcasino.com|
|Sycuan Casino – El Cajon||2,200 Slot Machines||5485 Casino Way||www.sycuan.com|
|Table Mountain Casino – Friant||2,000 Slot Machines||8184 Table Mountain Road||www.tmcasino.com|
|Tachi Palace Casino – Lemoore||2,000 Slot Machines||17225 Jersey Avenue||www.tachipalace.com|
|Thunder Valley Casino – Lincoln||2,800 Slot Machines||1200 Athens Avenue||www.thundervalleyresort.com|
|Tortoise Rock Casino – Twentynine Palms||490 Slot Machines||73829 Base Line Rd.||www.tortoiserockcasino.com|
|Twin Pine Casino – Middletown||504 Slot Machines||22223 Highway 29||www.twinpine.com|
|Valley View Casino – Valley Center||2,000 Slot Machines||16300 Nyemii Pass Road||www.valleyviewcasino.com|
|Viejas Casino – Alpine||3,000 Slot Machines||5000 Willows Road||www.viejas.com|
|Win-River Casino – Redding||600 Slot Machines||2100 Redding Rancheria Road||www.winriver.com|
|Winnedumah Winn’s Casino – Independence||1,200 Slot Machines||135 South Highway 395||www.fortindependence.com|
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.
|The 101 Casino||9 Poker Tables||5151 Montero Way||www.the101casino.com|
|The 500 Club – Clovis||12 Poker Tables||771 W. Shaw Ave.||www.500clubcasino.com|
|Artichoke Joe’s Casino – San Bruno||17 Poker Tables||659 Huntington Ave.||www.artichokejoes.com|
|Aviator Casino – Delano||6 Poker Tables||1225 Airport Dr.||www.theaviatorcasino.com|
|Bankers Casino – Salinas||6 Poker Tables||111 Monterey St.||www.bankerscasino.net|
|Bay 101 Casino – San Jose||30 Poker Tables||1801 Bering Dr.||www.bay101.com|
|Bicycle Casino – Bell Gardens||190 Poker Tables||888 Bicycle Casino Drive||www.thebike.com|
|Brooks Oceana Casino – Oceano||3 Poker Tables||1795 Front St.||www.oceanacardroom.com|
|Bruce’s Bar and Casino – Blythe||2 Poker Tables||116 S Main St.||No Website|
|California Grand Casino – Pacheco||14 Poker Tables||5988 Pacheco Blvd.||www.californiagrandcasino.com|
|Cameo Club Casino – Stockton||4 Poker Tables||552 W. Benjamin Holt Dr.||www.cameoclubcasino.com|
|Capitol Casino – Sacramento||10 Poker Tables||411 N. 16th St.||www.capitol-casino.com|
|Casino Club – Redding||5 Poker Tables||1885 Hilltop Dr.||www.reddingpoker.com|
|Casino M8trix – San Jose||20 Poker Tables||1887 Matrix Blvd.||www.casinom8trix.com|
|Casino Marysville||6 Poker Tables||515 4th St.||www.casinomarysville.com|
|Casino Real – Manteca||6 Poker Tables||1355 N. Main S.||www.thecasinoreal.com|
|Central Coast Casino – Grover Beach||4 Poker Tables||359 W. Grand Ave.||www.slopoker.com|
|Central Coast Casino – Paso Robles||6 Poker Tables||1124 Black Oak Dr.||www.pasoroblescasino.com|
|Club One Casino – Fresno||35 Poker Tables||1033 Van Ness Ave.||www.clubonecasino.com|
|Commerce Casino – L.A.||210 Poker Tables||6121 Telegraph Rd.||www.ihg.com|
|Crystal Casino – Compton||2 Poker Tables||123 E. Artesia Blvd.||www.thecrystalcasino.com|
|Delta Casino – Stockton||4 Poker Tables||6518 Pacific Ave.||www.thedeltacasino.com|
|Diamond Jim’s Casino – Rosamond||10 Poker Tables||118 20th St. W.||www.diamondjimscasino.net|
|Don Juan Club and Casino – Rancho Cordova||1 Poker Table||2785 Don Juan Dr.||No Website|
|El Resbalon||1 Poker Table||154 N. Valencia Blvd.||No Website|
|Empire Sportsmen’s Association – Modesto||3 Poker Tables||5001 McHenry Ave.||No Website|
|Garlic City Club – Gilroy||6 Poker Tables||40 Hornlein Ct.||www.garliccityclub.com|
|Golden State Casino – Marysville||1 Poker Table||5402 Lindhurst Ave.||No Website|
|Golden West Casino – Bakersfield||40 Poker Tables||1001 S. Union Ave.||www.goldenwestcasino.net|
|Hawaiian Gardens Casino||110 Poker Tables||21520 Pioneer Blvd. #305||www.thegardenscasino.com|
|Hollywood Park Casino – Inglewood||51 Poker Tables||3883 W. Century Blvd.||www.playhpc.com|
|Hotel Del Rio & Casino – Isleton||3 Poker Tables||209 2nd St.||No Website|
|Hustler Casino – Gardena||50 Poker Tables||1000 W. Redondo Beach Blvd.||www.hustlercasinola.com|
|Jalisco Pool Room – Guadalupe||2 Poker Tables||920 Guadalupe St.||No Website|
|Kelly’s Card Room –||10 Poker Tables||408 O Street||www.kellyspokerroom.com|
|La Fuerza – Woodlake||2 Poker Tables||175 E. Antelope Ave.||No Website|
|Lake Bowl Card Room – Folsom||8 Poker Tables||511 E. Bidwell St.||www.flb365.com|
|Lake Elsinore Casino||16 Poker Tables||20930 Malaga Rd.||www.lercasino.com|
|Limelight Card Room – Sacramento||7 Poker Tables||1014 Alhambra Blvd.||www.limelightcardroom.com|
|Livermore Casino||10 Poker Tables||3571 First St.||www.livermorecasino.net|
|Lucky Buck Card Club – Livermore||10 Poker Tables||1620 Railroad Ave.||No Website|
|Lucky Chances Casino – Colma||29 Poker Tables||1700 Hillside Blvd.||www.luckychances.com|
|Lucky Derby Casino – Citrus Heights||9 Poker Tables||7433 Greenback Ln.||www.luckyderby.com|
|Lucky Lady Card Room – San Diego||6 Poker Tables||5526 El Cajon Boulevard||www.luckyladysd.com|
|Marina Club Casino||4 Poker Tables||204 Carmel Ave.||www.casinomonterey.com|
|Merced Poker Room||2 Poker Tables||1445 Martin Luther King Jr. Way||No Website|
|Mike’s Card Casino – Oakdale||6 Poker Tables||824 N. Yosemite Ave.||No Website|
|Mortimer’s Card Room – Marina||6 Poker Tables||3100 Del Monte Blvd.||No Website|
|Napa Valley Casino – American Canyon||7 Poker Tables||3466 Broadway St.||www.napavalleycasino.com|
|Nineteenth Hole – Antioch||3 Poker Tables||2746 W. Tregallas Rd.||www.19thholeantioch.com|
|Normandie Club – Gardena||24 Poker Tables||1045 W. Rosecrans Ave.||www.normandiecasino.com|
|Oaks Card Club – Emeryville||35 Poker Tables||4097 San Pablo Ave.||https://www.facebook.com/oaksclubroom/|
|Ocean’s Eleven Casino – Oceanside||50 Poker Tables||121 Brooks St.||www.oceans11.com|
|Oceanview Card Room – Santa Cruz||3 Poker Tables||709 Pacific Ave.||www.oceanviewcasino.com|
|Old Cayucos Tavern – Cayucos||1 Poker Table||130 N. Ocean Ave.||www.oldcayucostavern.com|
|Outlaws Card Parlour – Atascadero||4 Poker Tables||9850 E. Front St.||www.outlawsatascadero.com|
|Palace Poker Casino – Hayward||11 Poker Tables||22821 Mission Blvd.||www.thepalacepokercasino.com|
|Players Casino – Ventura||16 Poker Tables||6580 Auto Center Dr.||www.pcventura.com|
|Pete’s 881 Club||4 Poker Tables||721 Lincoln Ave.||www.petes881club.com|
|Poker Flats Casino – Merced||4 Poker Tables||1714 Martin Luther King Jr. Way||pokerflatscasino|
|Rancho’s Club Casino – Rancho Cordova||9 Poker Tables||2740 Mills Park Dr.||www.ranchosclub.com|
|Rogelio’s Casino – Isleton||4 Poker Tables||34 Main St.||www.rogelios.net|
|Sundowner Card Room – Visalia||2 Poker Tables||15638 Avenue 296||No Website|
|Tommy’s Casino & Saloon – El Centro||3 Poker Tables||467 W. Main St.||No Website|
|Towers Casino – Grass Valley||5 Poker Tables||115 Bank St.||www.towerscasino.com|
|Turlock Poker Room||7 Poker Tables||2321 W. Main St.||www.turlockpoker.com|
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
Poker 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.