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Is Online Gambling Legal in California?

Californians may enjoy playing online casino games at social casinos like WOW Vegas and High 5 Casino; however, these brands do not fall under state sweepstakes laws and do not receive protection against possible lawsuits from California’s sweepstakes laws. Unfortunately, this situation remained unchanged following two sports betting propositions being soundly defeated in November 2022.


California’s legality of online gambling can be complex. Tribal casinos, poker rooms and state lawmakers all have separate agendas and priorities that make it hard to come to an agreement on an approach that could gain approval by voters and state legislature alike. A potential bill must pass both legislative chambers (two thirds majority vote needed) as well as voters, who are often skeptical of gambling propositions.

California currently features 66 tribal casinos owned and operated by federally recognized tribes, providing major revenue sources and exerting great influence over gambling laws. Tribal casinos oppose online sports betting because it could jeopardise their monopoly over land-based gambling; however, following PASPA being overturned, states now have more freedom in regulating sports betting – this could indicate a change in California politics in future; real money online casino play remains illegal though social casino games allow people to enjoy virtual casino gaming for fun purposes.


California is an oasis for gamblers, boasting lotteries, Native American casinos and card rooms aplenty. Unfortunately, however, California does not regulate online gambling nor permit sports betting; players can still access reputable offshore casino sites to gamble their favorite games.

California residents can also play real-money poker at more than 100 card rooms across the state – although not online – and tribal casinos provide various casino games such as slot machines and banked table games. Residents cannot place bets on college sports however as attempts at legalizing sports betting in California with Props 26 and 27 were defeated in 2022.

California does not explicitly prohibit online gambling; however, any form of regulated online gambling would be unlawful under California state law and federal law prohibits financial institutions from processing payments related to illegal online gambling activities; therefore most legitimate offshore gambling websites do not accept California residents as customers.

Sites that accept players from California

Even though real-money online casino and sports betting remain illegal in California, many sites accept players from this state despite it. This includes social casinos, sweepstakes-style casinos and established global brands who wish to tap the lucrative California market.

Many of these sites are located outside the US, making them a safe and reliable option for Californians who wish to play their favorite games online. Furthermore, they frequently offer promotions and bonuses.

Sports betting could eventually become legal in California. The state is struggling financially and considering legalizing and regulating this industry. While convincing voters of its merit may be challenging, attempting to convince voters could reap huge gains for California as well as raise funds for homeless assistance and mental health support programs.

Payment options

California currently bans real money online gambling; however, residents can still enjoy social casino gaming and other forms of legal gaming. Unfortunately, state lawmakers have made several unsuccessful attempts at passing laws regulating online poker and casinos but were unable to find agreement among tribal leaders, operators of online casino services and other stakeholders involved – thus rendering such legislation unlikely in the near future.

Online casino games have quickly become a favorite choice among many gamers, especially those not interested in playing in person. Casinos typically offer a range of casino games from video poker and roulette, plus progressive jackpots which increase over time.

California residents concerned about their gambling habits can use the state’s self-restriction program to put a stop to it. Self-exclude for either one year or for life and the Bureau will send a photo to all gambling establishments as proof.