Best California Online Casinos and Sportsbooks

California online gambling bills have been fraught with infighting and gridlock, so the online gambling sector in California remains unregulated. If residents want to play for real money at online casinos, sportsbooks, or poker sites, they must play at offshore online gambling sites. That is not a bad thing, because trusted operators like MyBookie, Big Spin Casino, and XBet accept play from Californians.

In the space below, we take a look at California’s online gambling laws and how they affect individuals in the Golden State. We give a timeline of California’s online gambling legislation, showing how the state got to where it is today. Finally, we provide recommendations on the best online casinos and sportsbooks for California real money gamblers.

California Gambling Laws at a Glance

  • Legal Gambling: Land-Based Casino (domestic), Online/Mobile Casino (offshore)
  • Minimum Gambling Age in California: 21 (domestic), 18 (through offshore sites)
  • Retail Sports Betting in Person: No
  • Online Casinos: Offshore
  • Online Poker Sites: Offshore
  • Online Sportsbooks: Offshore
  • Live/In-Play Betting: Offshore
  • College Sports Betting: Offshore
  • Horse Racing: Domestic and offshore
  • Estimated Sports Betting Revenue: To Be Determined
  • Licensed Sports Betting Operators: None
  • Online Gambling Licensing Fee: To Be Determined
  • Tax Rate: To Be Determined
  • Tax Funded: To Be Determined

Timeline: California Online Gambling Law History

  • February 2010: Roderick Wright Proposes California’s First Online Poker Bill: In February 2010, California Senator Roderick Wright introduced Senate Bill 1485, aiming to legalize online poker in California. This was before the US Department of Justice changed its opinion on the legality of online poker, so it had little chance to pass. Still, Sen. Wright showed he had an intuition about the future of online poker in America.
  • January 2012: Roderick Wright Proposes Second Online Poker Bill: Continuing his efforts, Senator Wright sponsored a second version of SB 1485, receiving support from the California Online Poker Association (COPA).
  • February 2013: Roderick Wright Proposes Third Online Poker Bill: Senator Wright reintroduced SB 1485 to the legislature in February 2013, but COPA had split into two factions by this time. The Morongo Tribe had signed an exclusive deal with PokerStars, giving them an edge in the future California online poker industry. The Pechanga Tribe opposed PokerStars’ inclusion in California online poker, claiming they should be banned due to a “bad actor” status.
  • February 2013: Lou Correa Introduces His Own Online Poker Bill: In the same month, California State Senator Lou Correa sponsored Senate Bill 678, which received backing from the Morongo Tribe and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
  • March 2014: Reggie Jones-Sawyer Introduces AB 2291: Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer presented the California Online Poker Bill 2014, also known as AB2291.
  • August 2014: Lou Correa Introduces Modified Online Poker Bill: Attempting to bridge the gap between the Morongo and Pechanga factions, Senator Lou Correa sponsored Senate Bill 1366 in August 2014.
  • September 2014: Roderick Wright Resigns from Office: Roderick Wright resigned from office in September 2014 due to an ethics scandal, resulting in California losing a prominent advocate for online poker.
  • February 2015: Lou Correa Proposes 2015 Online Poker Bill: Sen. Lou Correa reintroduced SB 1366 in February 2015, but the bill struggled to gain traction.
  • March 2015: Reggie Jones-Sawyer Reintroduces AB 2291: California Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer sponsored the California Online Poker Bill 2017, a reintroduction of AB 2291, but it failed to gain approval.
  • February 2016: Reggie Jones-Sawyer Proposes AB 167: Jones-Sawyer backed a modified online poker bill, but tribal politics once again hindered his plan.
  • December 2016: Mike Gatto Proposes Assembly Bill 9: California Assemblyman Mike Gatto introduced his own online poker bill, Assembly Bill 9, in December 2016. However, the bill was unsuccessful upon its introduction.
  • February 2017: Reggie Jones-Sawyer Proposes Internet Poker Protection Act: Reggie Jones-Sawyer supported the Internet Poker Protection Act of 2017. When the bill lost momentum in August 2017, Jones-Sawyer suggested a cooling-off period in 2018 and 2019, proposing the possibility of a new California iPoker bill in 2020.
  • May 2018: US Supreme Court Repeals PASPA: The US Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which had governed US federal sports betting laws for 25 years. Though this did not directly affect US gambling laws, it opened the door for states to license online and mobile sports betting inside their state lines. With a lucrative new form of gambling available, some hoped sports betting could be added to online poker to break the legal logjam over iPoker.
  • April 2020: Covid Shuts Down California Casinos: When California land-based casinos shut down during the Covid era, the pandemic seems to have shut down all talk of California online poker.
  • November 2022: Propositions 26 and 27 Defeated: California’s Native American gaming tribes supported two bills to legalize sports betting. Proposition 26 would have legalized retail sports betting but lost 70% to 30%. Proposition 27 would have legalized online and mobile sports betting but lost 83% to 17%.
  • 2023 and Beyond: As for 2023, Reggie Jones-Sawyer’s two-year cooling-off period has now stretched into a 5-year lull in the introduction of online poker bills.

What is a Bad Actor in California Online Poker Debates?

According to the Pechanga faction and its lawyers, a “bad actor” is a poker company that acted in bad faith in the years when the federal government’s stance on UIGEA included a ban on online poker. Between January 2007 and April 2011, some poker sites accepted real money play from US card players. They did so knowing the US considered online poker a banned activity, thus flouting US federal law.

Under a bad actor clause, any poker site which acted in bad faith during the UIGEA ban should be banned from California online poker. Alternatively, those companies should be suspended for a certain number of years and pay an 8-figure fine before entering as a licensed California online poker site. PokerStars was the last active poker company that matched that definition, so the California bad actor clause in the proposed legislation was seen as a ban on PokerStars.

Because the two factions could never agree on the bad actor provision, every attempt to legalize online poker in California failed.

The Best California Online Casino Sites List 2023

California Online Casino Best Feature
MyBookie Casino Best Combination Online Casino and Sportsbook
Big Spin Casino The Best for Online Casino Table Games and Live Dealer Games
XBet Casino Solid Combination of Casino Games, Sports Bets, and Live Casino Games

My Bookie Casino

Is you want real money online casino gambling in Arizona, then MyBookie Casino is one of the best choices you can make. MyBookie has made a sterling reputation for itself since it launched in 2017, offering casino games, live dealer games, and sports bets. Whichever betting options you prefer, you’ll find a full range of gambling games.

MyBookie’s welcome bonus gives players a 150% match offer up to $750. Make a $500 deposit to max out the offer, then clear the 40x rollover requirement. If you prefer, you can accept a 10%, $200 first deposit cash bonus with a 1x rollover requirement. Casino players receive 50 free spins offer on deposits over $50 on Wednesday and a Weekend Casino Bonus of 200% up to $500 on deposits over $100.

Sports bettors receive a $1000 welcome bonus plus a $10 casino chip, a 50% sports welcome bonus, a 25% sports reload bonus, and an 8% horse rebate. When you consider sports betting, MyBookie features a full list of NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB bets. Wager on sports futures like the Masters, The Stanley Cup Playoffs, or NBA Championship odds. Bet on the Enlight Premier League, PGA Tour odds, the Super Bowl, and March Madness.

If you prefer, choose wagers on eSports, volleyball, golf, boxing, and MMA. Wager on less well-known sports, such as Snooker, Lacrosse, Table Tennis, and Futsal. Use the props builder tool to make betting easy, or visit the Live Betting page for the latest in-play bets and micro-bets.

What We Like:

  • $1000 Welcome Bonus + $10 Free Chip
  • Combines Casino Games, Live Dealer, Sports Bets
  • Hundreds of Online Slots and Table Games
  • 33 Sports Betting Sections with a Props Builder Tool
  • Live Dealer Games with High Limits
  • 17 Deposit Methods

What We Don’t Like:

  • No Bank Wire Transfers for Withdrawals
  • Would Like More Daily Bonuses

Big Spin Casino

If you want a site a specialty gambling site that focuses only on casino games, Big Spin Casino is an option. Big Spin Casino features hundreds of online slots, but it also has so much more than that. The social games section also features several Keno variants, plus a large list of online scratch cards. Meanwhile, you can enjoy 64 different table games ranging from a dozen blackjack games to VIP European Roulette. Enjoy craps, baccarat, several types of roulette, and Casino Hold’em. Play less well-known games like 6Up Pocket Poker, Casino Solitaire, Ride’m Poker, Bonus Texas Hold’em, Blackjack 11, and Oasis Poker.

The live dealer casino has all of the games you’d expect in an American live casino: Live Blackjack, Live Baccarat, Super 6, Live American Roulette, and Live European Roulette. The live blackjack games have bet limits between $10 and $2500, so you should find a game that appeals to you. Early Payout Blackjack is an option, though we wouldn’t recommend it. Live Roulette has betting options between 50 cents a spin and $12,000 a spin, so the bet range is huge.

Big Spin Casino features a 200% signup bonus up to $1000, a 100% reload bonus up to $1000, and a 250% Weekend Reload Bonus up to $2000. It’s rare to find a reload bonus that’s better than the first deposit offer, so pay special attention to the Weekend Reload Bonus. Because it’s redeemable many times (once a week), it’s the most lucrative bonus at Big Spin Casino. If you don’t make sports bets, Big Spin Casino is a great gambling site option.

What We Like:

  • 200% Welcome Bonus up to $1000
  • 250%, $2000 Weekend Reload Bonus
  • Over 60 Table Games with Much Variety
  • Hundreds of Online Slots from RTG
  • Visa, MasterCard, and 4 Crypto Payment Methods
  • Live Casino Games for Penny Players and High Rollers Alike

What We Don’t Like:

  • No Sportsbook

XBet Casino

XBet Casino is comparable to MyBookie Casino, though we place it here because its bonus is less lucrative. When it comes to casino games, XBet has everything you would want: hundreds of slots, table games, and video poker games. It has live dealer games, social games, 3D slots, and tournaments.

XBet Casino Live has huge bet limits. Live Blackjack’s min and max bets are a more standard $10 to $2,500, while the Live Roulette games range from 50 cents a spin to $12,500 a spin. Enjoy Live Blackjack, Baccarat, Super 6, American Roulette, and European Roulette.

One thing that sets XBet apart is its online sportsbook. Bet on any sporting event that Americans find important, including NFL games, MLB, NBA, NHL, UFC, NCAA games like CFF and CFB, and NASCAR. Make a wide range of bets on the Phoenix Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns, or Arizona Rattlers.

What We Like:

  • 100%, $1000 Welcome Bonus
  • 50%, $500 Reload Bonus
  • Hundreds of RTG Slots
  • 3D Slots, Tournaments, and Social Games
  • Sportsbook’s Live Betting Platform is Excellent
  • 10 Different Crypto Deposit Methods

What We Don’t Like:

  • 50x Rollover on Welcome Bonus

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