The best sports betting sites in California 2023
Online sports betting is currently illegal in California. However, there’s good news for Californians who want to place wagers on the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, and more of CA's star-studded teams. Sports betting in California could soon be available, with potential legalization featuring on the November 2022 ballot with Propositions 26 and 27.
Get ahead of the game by checking out our list of betting sites to avoid, learning all about popular betting types and sports markets, and find information on the top Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) sites, like FanDuel California, currently available in the Golden State.
Our top recommended California Daily Fantasy Sports sites
Sites for California bettors to avoid
With sports betting currently illegal, all sites claiming to offer sports betting in California are dangerous and unsafe. Such sites are offshore operations that may exploit customers using fixed odds and unsafe withdrawals. However, even when sports betting in California launches, we will still highlight the betting sites that provide lousy customer service, poor bonuses, and unfair odds that you should avoid. You can check out our list below.
Top Daily Fantasy Sports sites in California
Online sports betting and retail sports betting are currently illegal in California. However, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) sites are available. Plus, you can sign up with top US operators, such as FanDuel in California and DraftKings California. Check out our top DFS sites below to find the one that best suits you.
While BetRivers has become famous for its online sportsbook, it also operates a social sportsbook platform called BetRivers.net. You can use this site to wager on sports using bonus free currency, enjoying the thrill of making predictions without spending any money. There are dozens of different sports you can wager on with thousands of betting markets. This includes pre-game and in-play betting options for teams like the LA Dodgers, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, and many more CA sports teams.
There is currently no welcome bonus available for the BetRivers.net social sportsbook. However, new customers can claim free credits to use for betting every four hours and spin the daily prize wheel to win up to 1000 free credits.
You can download Boom Fantasy for your Apple device and use the ‘Best Fantasy Sports App’ of 2018. You’ll find DFS games on all major league sports and some niche sports like the MLS. You can also play games where you answer multiple questions about a major sporting event. Get all the questions correct, and you are in with a chance of winning the jackpot.
ESPN Fantasy is a traditional season-long fantasy sports site and app that gives you the chance to build a roster to manage for a season. You can compete in leagues with friends or play platform-wide competitions with the opportunity to win prizes at the end of the season.
Which sport are you most interested in?
Popular sports to bet on in California
With 21 major league franchises and 27 NCAA Division I colleges, California is home to millions of passionate sports fans. We’ve listed the most popular sports events in the Golden State below that bettors will enjoy wagering on if California sports betting is legalized.
California boasts three NFL franchises, two of which, the LA Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers, relocated to Los Angeles in 2016 and 2015, respectively. The LA Rams have won two Super Bowls since forming in 1936, the last of which was Super Bowl LVI in 2022. The Chargers have always been in CA, forming in Los Angeles in 1959 and moving to San Diego in 1961. However, the franchise has only made one Super Bowl appearance in 1994.
Named after the 1849 California Gold Rush, the San Francisco 49ers are the most successful football team in California. The 49ers have won five Super Bowl Championships, thanks to legends such as Joe Montana, Charles Haley, Ronnie Lott, and Jerry Rice. Until 2020, the Golden State was also the home of the Oakland Raiders, but the team has since relocated to Las Vegas. The Raiders have three Super Bowl Championships and remain a well-supported team in CA.
The NFL and Californian NFL teams’ involvement in the lobbying for sports betting means it’ll likely be a prominent market if wagering becomes legal in the Golden State.
There are five MLB franchises playing baseball in California, each with a passionate base of supporters. The LA Dodgers relocated to LA from Brooklyn in 1958 and have won a record 24 National League Pennants, alongside seven World Series. The 6x World Series-winning San Francisco Giants is one of the oldest baseball teams in the world, founded in 1883 in New York before moving to San Francisco in 1958. Most of the Giants’ historic success came before the move to the west coast, with a 56-year gap between its relocation and its next World Series win in 2010.
The LA Angels won its first World Series in 2022 and added two-time MVP player Shohei Ohtani to its strong squad. The Oakland Athletics relocated to California in 1968 and have since won four World Series, with players like Reggie Jackson, Mark McGwire, and Jose Canseco. The San Diego Padres fans have had no such joy, with two World Series losses and only 13 winning seasons up to 2021.
The MLB publicly declared its support for Proposition 27 to legalize online sports betting in California. Any sportsbooks that launch in the future will likely offer a wide variety of betting on “America’s National Pastime”.
California is the most successful state by NBA Championships across its four franchises. The Los Angeles Lakers are the joint most-successful team in NBA history, with the Boston Celtics, on 17 championships. Notable previous and current players include legends like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and LeBron James. Eight players have won the MVP while at the Lakers.
The most dominant Californian basketball team since 2010 has been the Golden State Warriors, led by players like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. The Warriors have won four championships under Steve Kerr in the last ten years.
The LA Clippers and Sacramento Kings have been somewhat less successful. The Clippers are the oldest team in the NBA never to have won a championship. Meanwhile, the Sacramento Kings have been equally unlucky, with 2022 marking its 16th consecutive losing season in a row.
The Sacramento Kings have signed a partnership with the Red Hawk Casino, which may be able to offer sports betting in the future if Proposition 26 passes. Whether retail or online California sportsbooks launch, NBA betting will be available.
Ice hockey betting
Despite the warm weather in the Golden State, three ice hockey franchises are still playing in the NHL. The LA Kings gained popularity between 1988 and 1996 when Wayne Gretzky played for the team, but its most-successful period saw two Stanley Cup victories in 2012 and 2014. The Anaheim Ducks are named after Disney’s famous “The Mighty Ducks” movie and won the Stanley Cup in 2007. The San Jose Sharks were founded in 1991 but are yet to win ice hockey’s biggest trophy.
FanDuel is an official supporter of Proposition 27 and a betting partner of the NHL. Therefore, NHL betting lines like pucklines, totals, player props, and more will all be available when sports betting becomes legal.
Two MLS teams call CA home: LA Galaxy and LAFC. Galaxy has won five MLS Cups and former players include David Beckham and Steven Gerrard. On the other hand, LAFC is an expansion team founded in 2018 that won the Supporters Shield in 2019. The San Jose Earthquakes used to play in the state but have since relocated and been renamed to become the Houston Dynamos.
BetMGM is the official betting partner of the MLS and one of the top betting sites most likely to launch in the Golden State. You’ll find tons of betting lines for US soccer through this sportsbook and most others that go live in California. Many betting sites will also provide coverage of top European and international competitions, including the English Premier League, Champions League, and World Cup.
NCAA football betting
California is known as the Great Heisman State because so many CA players have won the trophy. There are dozens of successful NCAA Division I programs in the Golden State, including the Stanford University Cardinals, the University of California Golden Bears, the University of California, and the Los Angeles Bruins. However, the University of Southern California Trojans has been the most successful, securing 11 national championships.
The regulations for college sports betting vary from professional sports to protect young athletes from pressure and the negatives of gambling. It won’t be certain what the college wagering market will be like until sports betting is signed into law. However, Proposition 27 has promised to legalize college betting in some capacity.
NCAA basketball betting
California is home to many successful college basketball teams, including UCLA and its 11 national championships. That basketball program produced NBA MVP winner and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul Jabbar. The University of San Francisco Dons is the college with the next most national championships after winning two. Each of California’s 27 NCAA Division I college athletic teams runs a basketball program, with many also running a women’s program.
Sports betting Proposition 26 would not allow wagering on college sports if passed. However, Proposition 27 would enable college sports betting. Strategic analysis and research firm Eilers & Krejcik rate a less than 50% chance that either bill passes.
California hosts two major NASCAR and three major IndyCar Series races each year. The Long Beach Grand Prix is a famous IndyCar race held annually in Long Beach and perhaps the best known of these races. A NASCAR Cup Series race is held annually at the Auto Club Speedway Fontana, alongside a 2nd tier Xfinity Series Race and an IndyCar race. The Sonoma Raceway is another IndyCar and NASCAR host, with an annual NASCAR Cup Series race and a summer IndyCar Grand Prix.
Wagering on all NASCAR and IndySeries races, alongside international racing like Formula 1, will likely be available at Californian sportsbooks if sports betting becomes legal.
Multiple PGA Tour events come to visit California, notably the state’s well-respected Cypress Point Club, Olympic Club, Pebble Beach Golf Links, Riviera Country Club Pacific Palisades California, and Torrey Pines Golf Course locations. The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Northern Trust Open, and Farmers Insurance Open are well-known tournaments that are commonly held at these locations. California also has a strong history of producing the world’s best golfers, with Tiger Woods hailing from the Golden State.
Betting on Californian golf, alongside PGA tours worldwide, will likely be available if sports betting becomes legal in the Golden State.
Though California does not host a major international tennis tournament, the BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells Master, and the USTA LA Tennis Open are all played in the state. You can expect all Grand Slam tennis matches to be available through your chosen California sportsbook if sports betting is legalized.
California sports betting facts
Both online and retail sports betting are yet to be legalized in the Golden State, with an intense battle between tribal casinos and California sportsbook operators. Here are some interesting facts about this indecision and what California sports betting might look like if voters legalize it.
The estimated annual tax revenue for California if Propositions 26 and 27 are accepted.
The likelihood that sports betting California will be legalized this November, according to strategic analysis and research firm Eilers & Krejcik.
The current sum that lobbying firms have spent on TV commercials and lobbying to legalize California sports betting.
The number of sports betting licenses a sportsbook would need to launch in California. This number would drop to five if the operator owned 12 or more casinos in the US.
Bet types and markets
Every sport will have various bet types available at California sportsbooks if retail or online sports betting become legal. Our trusted experts have summarized a few of the most popular choices, so you know what to expect.
- Point spreads
- NFL market
- MLB market
- NBA market
When you place a moneyline bet, you wager on the team or athlete you think will win an event. You’ll make a profit from your stake if you are right. However, you’ll lose any money you bet if you are incorrect.
Free bets, bonuses, and promotions
The best sports betting sites offer you a variety of bonuses to keep your wagering exciting. Every bonus will be different, but you’ll get the chance to make some bets. You may even make a profit without staking any of your own cash. Below are some of the most popular bonus types you can expect when California online sportsbooks launch.
A welcome bonus is a promotion given exclusively to new players. You can earn these rewards for following terms and conditions like making a minimum deposit or placing a first bet. Every sportsbook will have a unique welcome bonus, which may involve free bets, bonus funds, or odds boosts.
No deposit bonus
With a no deposit bonus, you’ll receive your reward without making a deposit. You just need to meet terms and conditions like opting in or signing up. Many sportsbooks offer no-deposit bonuses as part of their welcome promotions. While you won’t need to make a deposit, you may need to meet other conditions like time limits on rewards.
Also called a bonus bet, you get free bets with a risk-free offer, but only once you place a qualifying wager. If that bet loses, the betting site will match your stake with free bets. However, if your first bet wins, you don’t receive your bonus. You can withdraw profits from your free bets, but this doesn’t include the offer’s original value.
This bonus is almost identical to a risk-free promotion. However, if your first qualifying bet loses, the sportsbook will match your stake with cash rather than free bets. You can withdraw this cash without needing to place a wager.
Also known as odds boosts, enhanced odds provide you with boosted betting lines so you can profit more on your wagers. Sportsbooks limit these promotions to particular markets, sports, or bet types. You’ll find some enhanced odds are free to access, but you may also need to make a minimum deposit.
A loyalty offer provides you with bonuses for frequently returning to the betting site. Sportsbooks reward players with loyalty bonuses by offering regular promotions or a dedicated rewards program. A rewards program allows you to earn points you can redeem for perks and prizes by placing wagers.
Legal sports betting in California
There are two motions to legalize California sports betting on the November 2022 ballot. Proposition 26 is supported by local tribal casinos, which would allow retail sports betting to launch at these locations. Proposition 26 faces opposition from local card rooms, which oppose the Tribes’ claimed monopoly on sports betting.
There is also Proposition 27, which would legalize online sports betting in California. This motion is backed by top US sports leagues but is opposed by the tribes. If either proposition passes, lawmakers will sign sports betting into CA law.
When will sports betting launch in California?
The November 2022 ballot will help decide when sports betting California launches in the state. If either proposition passes, we can expect sports betting to go live in 2023 or early 2024. However, the state must wait for the next round of public voting to legalize California sports betting if neither passes. This next round is in 2024, which would set up a launch in 2025 or 2026.
What is the legal gambling age in California?
The legal gambling age for sports bettors in California will be 21 years old, with both Propositions 26 and 27 recommending this legal limit. You will have to use a photo ID to verify your age with retail and online sportsbooks. 21 is the legal sports betting age in most US states.
Will you pay taxes on sports betting winnings in California?
Yes, sports betting in California will be taxed if it becomes legal. Every bettor will need to pay taxes to the IRS by declaring all gambling winnings. You will need to complete a W-2G form if you win more than $600. You must also include your sports betting winnings in your income tax, which varies from 1% to 12.3% in California.
Will all sports be legal to bet on in California?
A wide range of professional sports will be available for wagering if California sports betting launches. Major sports leagues like the MLB and NFL are strong supporters of online sports betting and will be available on any betting site going live. Proposition 26 would not permit college sports betting, but you could wager on the NCAA if Proposition 27 passes.
Sports betting and online casinos in the US
Find the latest online gambling legislation updates for your state below.
How we rate the best sports betting sites
Our team of sportsbook specialists combines their talent and thoroughness with the industry’s most detailed review process to provide the most accurate sports betting site rankings available. Each site is subjected to an exhaustive 25-step analysis, with a considered evaluation of areas including bonuses, quality of odds, customer care, app performance, withdrawal speed, and variety of payment methods. Above all, we evaluate player safety. We place any sportsbooks that do not meet the highest standard of legal, fair, and trustworthy player safety on our list of sites to avoid.
Responsible gambling in California
Sports betting can be very entertaining, but bettors must ensure their habits don’t become harmful. While California legal sports betting is not yet available, many types of gambling are. As such, the state has measures and support organizations to assist anyone struggling with problem gambling. You should reach out if betting impacts your professional or personal life. Here are a few responsible gambling tips all bettors should follow.
● Only bet what you can afford to lose. Never bet money saved for essentials.
● Take a break. Sports betting should be a fun pastime. When the match or event is over, you should take a time out.
● Don’t place sports bets when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
● Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. If you are struggling with a gambling problem, resources are available to help you.
You can find out more about how to stay in control when wagering via our responsible gambling guide.
Is online sports betting legal in California?
No, online sports betting is not legal in California. However, this could change in November 2022, with Propositions 26 and 27 on the ballot to legalize sports. Proposition 26 will legalize retail-only wagering, while Proposition 27 will allow for online betting sites to launch.
Does California allow betting via mobile apps?
No, California does not allow you to bet with an app because online sports betting is illegal. However, you can legally play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in the state using apps on your Android or Apple devices. Check our recommended sites and register to start creating teams for the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB.
Where can I bet on sports in California?
Sports betting is currently illegal everywhere within the state of California. However, if sports betting Proposition 26 passes in November 2022, you will be able to bet at tribal casinos. If sports betting Proposition 27 passes, you’ll be able to wager online in CA.
How old do I have to be to bet online in California?
California’s likely minimum betting age will be 21 years old, matching most US states. If you want to play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), you need to be at least 18 years old. You may need to verify your age with a copy of your photo ID to register.
Who regulates sports betting in California?
Currently, sports betting is illegal in California. However, current proposals to legalize it – Propositions 26 and 27 - would make the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Gambling Control the legal regulator of sports betting. Nonetheless, this will only be the case if California voters legalize sports betting in the November 2022 ballot.