If the gambling industry must settle for state-by-state legalization, California represents the Holy Grail of online gambling in the US. It is by far the most populous state in the union with a $2 trillion market that would rank number 8 on earth if it had its own nation. International gambling sites have gone out of the way to acquire licenses in countries considerably smaller than California.
All eyes are on California as countries mull legalizing various forms of online gambling. If California does ever go the method of legalization, it would by default be the standard by which gambling is quantified in the USA. If the state does finally regulate gaming and it is successful, other states will certainly follow suit. We may even see something finally happen at the national level.
Various pieces of legislation have been introduced, shot down and reintroduced in recent years. We do not have anything important to report however, but most observers are cautiously optimistic that California will sooner or later make a serious movement toward legalization. Here’s why:
The country already has a pro-gambling civilization The country has lawful casinos and card rooms
It is home to numerous Indian tribes who are experienced in gambling California has a spending problem and the potential tax revenues must surely be enticing for state lawmakers
Current Collection of Betting Sites in California
We’ll go over the different betting options in California in greater detail below, but I’d like to begin with a quick list of betting sites that are available at this time in California. If you’re here searching for a place to gamble online, these are the sites that will let you play and wager real money today.
100% up to $50
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Horse and Greyhound Betting:
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Online Lottery Tickets:
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Games of Skill:
Daily Offers and Specials
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Sports Betting at California
Lawmakers in California have demonstrated some interest in legalizing sports gambling of late. A bill introduced in the 2017/18 session proposed amending existing gaming law to permit the California legislature to authorize sports betting determined by the Supreme Court overturning the federal sports gambling ban (which it did).
ACA 18 itself did not seek to legalize wagering; it rather offered a constitutional amendment that would enable lawmakers to legalize and regulate sports gambling later on. After he introduced the bill, Assemblyman Adam Gray stated,”The choice is not’should we have sports wagering or never have sports wagering.’ We do have sports wagering.”
The point he was making is that sports betting is already a massive black market in California and across the United States. The American Gaming Association quotes Americans bet at least $154 billion each year on sports with online sportsbooks and local bookies contrary to regulations. The current condition prohibition is not functioning, the logic goes, so the smart thing to do is legalize it, regulate it and tax it.
A report by Eilers & Krejcik Gambling published in 2017 considers California is very likely to legalize sports betting within five years from the date of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn PASPA. California has lots of potential to become a significant sports betting market, but as you’ll read in another segment, competing interests in the country have a propensity to complicate things.
Assemblyman Gray introduced the exact same legislation again in 2018 and 2019 as he continues to push the issue. Getting the tribal bands on board has been exceedingly hard as they control a $8 billion gaming industry and therefore are highly reluctant to get on board with sports gambling at risk of starting their lucrative compacts with the state to negotiation once more.
Online Poker in California
The quest for online poker in California has been fought in the courtrooms because you read these words. Bills seeking to control internet poker have been released annually since 2007. None of these bills have made it all of the way through the legislative process because of vying factions on all sides of the matter, but each year brings us nearer to finding an agreement that satisfied all parties that are interested.
In fact, a lot of the difficulty can be attributed to competing interests in the nation. It seems everybody has an agenda and it isn’t easy to find consensus among the Indian tribes, Cuban operators and present online brands. 1 group or another always feels left out or concentrated from the wording of laws. And to be honest, that is often a legitimate concern.
To add to the problem, there continue to be strong lobbying groups that actively combat the legalization of poker or another form of internet gaming in the united states. Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson has pledged to fight legalization across the nation. In California alone, he spent more than $300,000 to lobby against poker.
Not one of the bills introduced during the previous decade-plus has made considerable progress due to the many competing interests in the state. The following bill is just one of many efforts to make something happen in California, but it serves as a Normal example of how complex and difficult It’s to make progress in California:
AB 2291: Promising Start but Died in Committee
Meeting Bill 2291 was introduced way back in February 2014 but never made it beyond the committee phase. It was reintroduced in 2015 and 2016, but was still unable to achieve the traction it had to make it far in the legislative procedure.
The bill sought to legalize online poker just and issue 10-year licenses . The proposed fee for licensing has been originally set at $5,000,000, with that charge being used to offset future taxes. Lawmakers bumped that charge up several times until the fee hit a high of $12,500,000 without offsetting taxes.
Early variations of AB 2291 included several clauses that have caused tension between different factions competing for a piece of this poker pie. Most contentious one among them is a”bad actor” clause. AB 2291 initially sought to require potential licensees to get a minimum of five years of gambling experience in California. Additionally, it required every facet of an operation, from its employees to its equipment to its bank accounts to be kept in state.
In essence, AB 2291 would have prevented all current internet poker suppliers and newer neighborhood casinos in California from competing. The wording of this bill very clearly favored a few established California casino groups at the expense of fair competition.
Another problem with AB 2291 was that it might have prohibited California from entering agreements with other nations to combine player pools and improve liquidity. To put it differently, you would only see different Californians in the table no matter how many sates legalize poker. To top it off, and the bill will require the country to determine of any legislation passed at the federal level allowing online poker.
Some progress has been made in 2016 with a proposed amendment which could significantly alter the bad actor clause. Previously, the bill would have barred all online poker companies that operated after the passing of the national Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Such limitations would have banned established brand for example PokerStars from entering the marketplace.
The previous amendment proposes to instead move the cut-off date for the bad celebrity clause up to the end of 2011. To put it differently, sites like PokerStars that operated after the UIGEA but left the marketplace after the Black Friday indictments at 2011. This could prevent the most egregious violators from entering the market but afford PokerStars an opportunity to provide online poker lawfully in California. You can read more about the proposal here.
Looking back in 2018: The Good and Bad
The Bad Lawmakers and tribal groups have been stuck in stalemate for about four years now. It is nice to see some progress on this front, however it is also discouraging to find the outright stubbornness on the part of varying factions. Poker players are better served by an open and competitive market and player-sharing arrangements with other states.
Worse than all that, online poker appears to have taken a step back in 2018. For the first time in over a decade, no invoices seeking to legalize online poker have been introduced. Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sayer advised Online Poker Report that he’s giving up on online poker laws for this season since there’s simply no improvement being made in reaching a compromise between the tribes, local card rooms and other interested parties.
The Good There are a number of positive things to say about most of this. If poker is indeed legalized in California, the potential player pool will much bigger than what we’ve seen in other nations that have legalized online poker. Besides the fact that 38 million people call California home, the country has a poker culture already thanks to its many brick-and-mortar card rooms.
California is likely to have fewer problems with geolocation of players due to the sheer size. New Jersey had all kinds of issues verifying players were really located within the nation. This ended up with plenty of potential players being barred in the state-sanctioned websites there. California does not have to contend with congested cities piled up on state boundaries.
Whenever the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) has been passed in 2006, it provided two noteworthy exceptions to internet gambling: horse racing and fantasy sports. The UIGEA didn’t just exempt those forms of gaming; it essentially gave operators the go-ahead to offer their games to customers right here in the US.
Some countries have since passed legislation banning online fantasy sports but California isn’t one of those. If you have a thing for sports betting but would rather do it in a protected and regulated manner, fantasy sports is your thing to do. You draft a staff like in regular fantasy leagues except now you get paid real money if you win.
FanDuel.com and DraftKings.com will be the two biggest players in this marketplace. They both accept customers from CA and offer single-day fantasy leagues such as your NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college basketball and college football.
One of the pleasant things about online fantasy sports is each contest only lasts for a week per week in the most. You’re not stuck with one group all season. Rather, your team racks up stats over the course of a single week. It’s possible to play in heads-up contests against other gamers or test your ability in massive tournaments which occasionally give away more than a thousand dollars to the first place winner.
You may read more about dream sports gambling here.
Legislative Efforts for Daily Fantasy in California
2016 was an important year for the daily fantasy sports industry in California. In January of 2016, lawmakers introduced AB 1437 in a bid to create a regulatory framework for everyday fantasy sports websites. If enacted, the bill would require DFS websites to acquire a license, enforce a minimum age of 21 for many clients, maintain all clients’ funds in a segregated account and offer self-exclusion programs for problem gamblers.
The bill advanced previous three important votes by a total of 101 for and 2 against. This is a significant bill for California and it appears increasingly likely to be passed into legislation. On the other hand, the bill itself does not actually legalize online fantasy sports competitions; it only places the conditions where the business would be controlled.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris is expected to issue a judgment on whether fantasy competitions constitute illegal gambling under law. If she rules favorably, AB 1437 will have everything set up to license and regulated dream sites immediately. The AG’s ruling has been anticipated for at least a year today. Meanwhile, California dream sports sites continue to operate freely.
As of 2019, progress on the bill seems to have completely stalled. The fantastic news is fantasy sports sites continue to be active throughout the state. Legalizing dream sports in California would essentially be a formality now.
There aren’t yet any lawful online casinos in California. The nation has not even attempted to pass legislation in this regard so it’s going to likely be years until we see legitimate gambling websites open to CA residents.
Don’t be fooled by the hundreds of other websites that are currently recommending”legal” online casinos. These are actually offshore gambling sites without any legal presence whatsoever in the USA. They are unlicensed and completely unregulated.
Although to be honest, there aren’t any state or federal laws that prohibit playing offshore casinos. If you do choose to play with online, nobody will come kick in your front door. The biggest risk is financial — you never know for sure who you are working with on the other side of the screen. Some offshore casinos may be safe while others are clearly outright scams. But no matter where you play, you have no legal recourse if things go belly up.
Your very best option is to look at some of the other legal, accredited and secure types of gambling that can be found at this time in California. Between horse racing, fantasy sports and also many likely online poker quite soon, there are still plenty of other methods to play real money games online at safe, accredited sites based in the US.
Online horse racing is alive and well in California. The horse betting situation here is not nearly as complex as the poker scenario. California does permit residents to perform US-licensed horse wagering websites for example TwinSpires, BetAmerica and TVG.
Each of the major US-based horse gambling sites accept clients from California. The country also allows off-track betting (OTB) facilities. OTB facilities function as brick-and-mortar gaming stores where people may walk in, put bets on races and collect their winnings in person.
Five racetracks run across the state and they also allow for real cash wagering. In total, you are able to bet online at any one of the accepted horse gaming sites, off-track with an OTB location or in-house in any of the tracks listed below. California is also home to state and county fairs that hold races at various times annually.
The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) oversees all horse racing and wagering inside the country. The CHRB’s assignment is to guarantee the integrity, ethics and safety of the nation’s horse racing industry. They oversee wagering, breeding, physical security and the promotion of horse racing.
The California Exposition and State Fair operates a yearlong harness racetrack that runs daily at around 5:20 PM.
1600 Exposition Drive
Sacramento, CA 95815
Site Golden Gate Fields
This track is situated in Berkley with races and simulcast events every week.
1100 Eastshore Highway
Berkley, CA 94710
Website Santa Anita
Santa Anita is among the most widely recognized racetracks from the USA and home to major events like the Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Handicap and occasionally the Breeder’s Cup.
285 W. Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007
Site Del Mar
Del Mar started in 1937 with a famous race between Seabiscuit and Ligaroti. Seabiscuit barely took the race became a legend of his own. Now, Del Mar plays host to racing festivals, events, family fun days and much more.
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd..
Del Mar, CA 92014
Website Los Alamitos
Los Alamitos Race Course is home to daylight thoroughbred racing and night quarter racing. The trail is home to a number of the largest quarter horse stakes races in the US.
4961 E. Katella Ave.
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Website OTB Locations
You will find 31 off-track betting centers in California. OTB facilities can be found in fairgrounds, racetracks, specialty OTB stores, casinos and fairgrounds. You may see a full list of locations and addresses .
There seems to be no motivation to especially legalize online bingo in California. The only realistic possibility I see online bingo coming to California is if it gets caught up in some future internet casino legislation.
Ca lottoThe California state lottery isn’t licensed to sell tickets online or via telephone. For many years, the federal Wire Act prohibited states from selling lotto tickets over the net. This may not be the case forever. In 2009, New York and Illinois requested the Department of Justice to clarify its position on the Wire Act and clarify exactly which forms of online gambling were prohibited.
The DOJ responded in 2011 with a decision that’d far-reaching effects beyond just the lottery. Back in September of 2011, the DOJ issued a statement that its official interpretation of the Wire Act only applies to sports gambling over the internet. This gave countries the go-ahead to sell tickets online if they choose.
Lottery Subscription Sites California has not yet joined the growing list of states that sell lottery tickets online. However, there are a range of messenger services that will go buy lottery tickets at face value for a monthly subscription fee. You may log into those sites, pay face value for your tickets and then the company will go and buy tickets in your title.
As an example, LottoGopher.com is a California-based membership site that offers this specific support. The site is registered in California, its owners have been background-checked by lottery commission officials and it abides by all federal and state laws. They are not legally allowed to sell lotto tickets for more than face value, so that they instead charge users a subscription fee.
A membership at LottoGopher allows you to purchase tickets online, pick certain amounts and even form lottery pools along with other members. Should you win less than $600, Lotto Gopher will credit the winnings to your account which you may then withdraw right to the bank. Should you win more than $600, Lotto Gopher will claim the prize on your behalf in person then send you a check for the complete amount.
The website doesn’t require a cut of your winnings. They only way they make money is by charging customers a flat subscription fee. At this time, LottoGopher is only available in California. You can learn more and give it a try here:
Is Lotto Gopher legit?
Yes. They’re based in California and say lottery officials understand they are. It’s good that you ask though because there are tons of online lotto sites which feel and look legit but are not. Lotto Gopher actually is lawful and 100% legit.
They have been all over the press in recent years too. Forbes and ABC have both written articles about the service.
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