HOW WE CHOSE THE BEST ONLINE CASINOS IN CALIFORNIA?
Since online casinos are not licensed in California and their status remains somewhat complex, this website will focus on providing information about sweepstakes. We will also continuously update the site with the latest news and developments regarding online casinos in California to ensure that you always have access to current and relevant information.
Unfortunately for residents of the Golden State, online casinos are not legal in California. The state is known for having evolving but complex gambling laws, which is why online casinos and sports betting are having a difficult time to see the light.
The state permits certain forms of gambling, such as tribal casinos and horse racing, but the status of online casinos and sports betting has been a subject of ongoing discussion.
The reasons behind the current illegality can be attributed to a combination of factors, including regulatory challenges, concerns about consumer protection, and the influence of existing tribal gaming compacts. The tribal gaming interests hold significant sway in California, and any changes to gambling laws must consider the interests of the state’s tribal casinos.
All the sweepstakes we promote must have a wide variety of different games and themes, so you can be sure that you will find a sweepstake that you like yourself.
It’s very important for us to only promote reputable providers of sweepstakes that are free and therefore legal for residents of California. There is no need to deposit any money, and participation should be free for everyone.
Apart from having quality content, a sweepstake site must also have a good design. We value those casinos that offer modern websites and apps, providing users with intuitive navigation and fast loading times and letting them find and play their favorite games with ease.
While it is not necessary to deposit money to participate in sweepstakes, some participants may wish to make certain purchases that do not affect the likelihood of winning. In such cases, it’s crucial to have secure and fast payment methods for you as a consumer. This is something we at GambleUSA test and is a requirement we uphold
Since an increasing number of players prefer mobile devices for enjoying sweepstakes, a worthwhile sweepstakes site must be compatible with the latest iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. All top California sweepstakes are excellent in this regard, offering mobile-friendly sites and free downloadable apps, allowing you to play wherever you are in California.
Last but not least, we rated California sweepstakes platforms based on how quickly and accurately they respond to players seeking to contact them. Whether you have a question about the rules of a sweepstake or need information about your participation status, you can reach the support teams of these platforms any time of day using live chat, email, phone, or other contact methods, ensuring you’re well-informed and assisted in California.
WHEN WILL ONLINE CASINOS BECOME LEGAL IN CALIFORNIA?
The state has been exploring the possibility of legalizing and regulating online gambling, including online poker, but concrete legislation has not been passed.
Nonetheless, we strongly believe that California’s casino industry could witness a significant transformation this very same year as the state explores the potential legalization of both poker and casino gambling on a state-based virtual platform.
Yes, legislation seems to be in the preparation stage and is anticipated to be presented for a vote at any point during 2024. If the legislation passes, it could pave the way for the establishment of a state-sponsored online casino platform in California.
Nonetheless, here at Gamble USA we are committed to updating this page and keep you updated as changes occur in the online gambling picture of CA.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF GAMBLING IN CALIFORNIA
Gambling in California has a rich and varied history, dating back to the state’s Gold Rush era in the mid-19th century, and as the state developed, gambling continued to play a role in its social and economic landscape.
In the early 20th century, however, the California government took steps to curtail gambling activities and declared most forms of gambling illegal. This period of restriction persisted until the mid-20th century.
In 1933 however, California legalized horse racing, leading to the establishment of the California Horse Racing Board. This marked the beginning of a more regulated approach to gambling in the state.
Then one of the most significant shifts occurred in 2000 when California voters approved Proposition 1A, allowing tribal casinos to operate slot machines and other casino-style games. This opened the door to the expansion of tribal gaming establishments, which have since become prominent in the state’s gambling landscape.
And while multiple efforts have been made to legalize online casinos and sports betting, these initiatives have not yet come to fruition. However, 2024 finally seems like the year where people from California could enjoy gambling from their home.
TOP LAND-BASED CASINOS IN CALIFORNIA
Despite not offering residents online casinos where they could play from the comfort of their home, California is home to 70+ brick-and-mortar casinos and Card Rooms, so there are a lot of options to choose from for gambling enthusiasts.
However, here are what we think are the top-5 casinos in California that certainly make a visit to the Golden State worth it:
- Pechanga Resort Casino: 45000 Pechanga Parkway. Temecula, CA 92592. Website: https://www.pechanga.com/
- Viejas Casino & Resort: 5000 Willows Road. Alpine, CA 91901. Website: https://viejas.com/
- Agua Caliente Resort & Casino: 32-250 Bob Hope Drive. Rancho Mirage, CA 92270. Website: https://aguacalientecasinos.com/casino/
- Thunder Valley Casino Resort: 1200 Athens Avenue. Lincoln, CA 95648. Website: https://thundervalleyresort.com/
- Morongo Casino: 49500 Seminole Dr. Cabazon, California 92230. Website: https://www.morongocasinoresort.com/
ARE SWEEPSTAKES AND SOCIAL CASINOS LEGAL IN CALIFORNIA?
While the state has not explicitly legalized or regulated these platforms, they also haven’t been expressly deemed illegal.
This ambiguity allows sweepstakes and social casinos like WOW Vegas and Sweepslots to function, providing California residents with a way to enjoy casino-style games online without violating any specific laws.
These platforms are not classified as gambling sites since users can access and use them for free. Upon registration with a social casino, players are instantly granted a specific quantity of tokens and “sweeps coins,” allowing them to engage in table games and online slot machines that closely resemble their counterparts in physical casinos, but without the risk of losing any money.
If you are a California resident and are looking for some social casino fun, we encourage you to check the ones we tested and recommended at the beginning of this guide. These social casinos are the best alternatives due to their vast selection of games and very generous welcome bonus and loyalty program, so you should definitely check them out!
WHICH GAMES COULD YOU PLAY ON ONLINE SOCIAL CASINOS IN CALIFORNIA?
As long as there isn’t any money involved (meaning you play on social casinos), you could very well play pretty much any popular casino game there is. The beauty of online sweepstake casinos is that you can play the games that are available at real-money online casinos.
Some of the games that Californians can play on social casinos are:
- Slots: One of the most popular and entertaining casino games there is, slots offer immersive graphics and innovative features that can keep anyone hooked for hours. Besides, slots are extremely easy to play as they simply consist of clicking the “Spin” button, making them suitable for everyone.
- Blackjack: Another easy-to-play casino game, blackjack consists of beating the dealer to 21 without going bust, making it another very popular option for online players. Besides, it has the highest RTP percentage of any casino game, making it a must-play.
- Poker: A more complex yet equally popular card game you can play online, poker is an extremely fun way to spend your time at a social casino. Whether it is Omaha, Texas hold ’em, or any other poker variant, you’ll certainly find the opportunity to play at most California Sweepstakes.
- Roulette: The classic game of roulette, considered the ultimate game of chance, is a popular offering at nearly every online casino in the United States, and of course, one you’ll find in every California social casino.
- Live dealer games: These games are played through a live stream where you are able to see a professional dealer running the game in real time. Apart from all the standard table games like blackjack, roulette and poker, the live casino lobby also consists of game shows which combine the elements of gambling games and television shows, making it a very attractive option.
GAMBLING AGE IN CALIFORNIA
The legal gambling age in California is 18 for most forms of gambling. However, there are exceptions, and some tribal casinos may have a minimum gambling age of 21.
As for social casinos, since they don’t involve real currency or traditional gambling, they may have different age restrictions than land-based or online casinos that deal with actual monetary transactions. Nonetheless, the legal gambling age to play at social casinos in California is typically 18 years old.
THE FUTURE OF CALIFORNIA ONLINE GAMBLING
The future of online casinos in California remains uncertain, with discussions and considerations regarding the legalization of state-licensed online gambling still being held today. Such discussions and legislative proposals suggest that the state is contemplating the possibility of legalizing online gambling to generate revenue and provide a regulated framework for online gaming, but unfortunately, it still has not progressed.
Nonetheless, as mentioned earlier, legislation seems to be in the preparation stage and is anticipated to be presented for a vote at any point during 2024. If the legislation passes, it could pave the way for the establishment of a state-sponsored online casino platform in California in the following years.
CALIFORNIA RESPONSIBLE GAMING
The five-member California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC) is in charge of overseeing the regulation and licensing of the state’s gambling personnel and operations (card rooms and tribal casinos), which is why it is safe to assume they would oversee online casino operations if they were legalized.
CALIFORNIA ONLINE CASINOS
Is gambling legal in California?
Yes, gambling is legal in California, and the state offers a wide variety of gambling options.
Are online casinos legal in California?
Unfortunately, online casinos are not explicitly legalized in California. The state has been exploring various forms of online gambling, but specific regulations are yet to be established.
Can I play at offshore online casinos from California?
Yes, California residents can access offshore online casinos, but it’s important to note that these platforms operate outside the jurisdiction of California and may lack the legal protections offered by state-regulated options. Besides, the usage of these pages within California borders could lead to legal consequences and prosecution.
What forms of gambling are legal in California?
Legal forms of gambling in California include tribal casinos, card rooms, horse racing, and the state lottery.
Is online poker legal in California?
No. However, you could legally play poker online at sweepstakes and social casinos where money is not involved.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I bet on sports online in California?
No. Sports betting in California is illegal both online and from physical sportsbooks.
Are there age restrictions for gambling in California?
The legal gambling age in California is typically 18 for lottery and bingo, and 21 for casino games and poker. However, some casinos allow 18 year-old people to play casino games.
Are winnings from gambling taxable in California?
Yes, gambling winnings are subject to federal and state taxes and players should report their winnings in their income tax filings.