Legal California Sports Betting Sites

There is no sportsbook the government of California (CA) has licensed to offer sports betting. However, it is a fallacy to imagine the residents of California aren’t engaging in sports betting activities. No piece of legislation stops sports betting fans in CA from accessing an offshore online bookie. That said, many legal online bookies are likely to fight for their space in the CA sports betting industry once sports betting becomes legal in the state. Therefore, sports betting fans in California can look forward to popular online bookies such as BetMGM, FanDuel, BetRivers, DraftKings, Bet365, to mention a few.

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By content - Updated February 24, 2022

Reading time: 13 minutes

California Sportsbook Bonuses and Promotions

Sports betting enthusiasts in California will enjoy myriad bonuses sportsbooks will be throwing their way in an endeavor to attract more customers. The common bonuses and promotions you can look forward to include:

  • Sign up bonus: Many online bookies will reward you for opening an account with them. In most cases, the bonus comes in the form of cash that you can use to wager on different sporting events
  • No deposit bonus: Though not common, sportsbooks give betting fans No deposit bonuses. With this type of bonus, you can wager for real money without depositing any cash into your account
  • Match bonus: A match bonus is equivalent to a certain percentage of your deposit. For instance, a bookie may give you a 100% match of your deposit up to a specified amount. In this case, you will get a $200 bonus by depositing $200 into your account
  • Reload bonus: Some bookies will give you a bonus for reloading your account several times over a specific duration.
  • Odds boost: An odds boost, as the name suggests, involves increasing odds on certain betting opportunities in favor of the better
  • Cashback: Sportsbooks have different criteria for giving bettors cashback. For instance, you may receive a cashback on a parlay with one incorrect prediction
  • Promo codes: Bookies may give promo codes to bettors for claiming different offers
  • Risk-free bets: These bets are mostly exclusive to bettors making their first betting with a bookie. If the bet loses, the bookie will still credit your account with a bonus bet equivalent to your first bet
  • Loyalty bonuses: Some bookies have loyalty programs where they reward bettors for their loyalty. Loyalty bonuses are exclusive to members of a specific loyalty program

Sports Betting Apps for iOS and Android

Even though most modern online bookies have mobile-friendly online portals, some have mobile native apps. Therefore, you can download to your phone an iOS or Android app for the bookie you want to join. Most importantly, be sure to download an app that is compatible with your mobile device.

List of Sports and Leagues You Will be Able to Bet on in California

Lots of sports and leagues will be at your disposal once the state legalizes sports betting. Popular sports and leagues you can anticipate here include:

  • Horse Racing: This is undeniably one of the oldest sports on the globe. Two horses compete with each other over a specific course
  • MLB: Baseball fans will have a chance to bet on the American League and even the National League
  • NFL: The National Football League is an American football league comprising 32 teams. It is an exciting 17-week league with over 60 matches.
  • UFC: The Ultimate Fighting Championship consists of a blend of skilled martial arts athletes. Therefore, you can bet on your favorite athlete to win and, at the same time, enjoy the contest
  • NBA: Basketball fans will have fun betting on their favorite teams in the National Basketball Association
  • NCAAF: This is for college football fans. However, not all states allow wagering on NCAAF games. So, we can only wait to see what CA will decide as far as wagering on college football is concerned
  • MLS: The Major League Soccer entails men’s football teams from the U.S and Canada. There are 24 teams from the U.S and 3 from Canada presently, giving a total of 27 teams
  • Premier League: The Premier League is one of the famous soccer leagues in the world. It comprises 20 teams drawn from different quarters of the United Kingdom. So, you have 38 matches to choose from and wager during the season
  • Boxing: Most bookies in the U.S offer boxing. We hope boxing fans will have something to smile about when sports betting will launch in CA
  • NHL: The National Hockey League is another popular sporting activity bookies will cover in California. The NHL has 31 teams
  • E-sports: Electronic sports are competitive video gaming tournaments. Both professional and rookies compete against one another for prizes

Top Sports Betting Events to Bet on in California

It will be a beehive of activity in the sports betting industry in California when the state will legalize and launch sports betting. Here are top sports betting events to look forward to:

  • College Bowl: It is one of several post-season college football games played by teams from Division I Football Bowl Subdivision of NCAA.
  • March Madness: Comprises 68 college basketball teams playing a single-elimination tournament
  • College football: American college football has a huge following. Therefore, the fans in CA will be a happy lot
  • Super Bowl: The Super Bowl is a championship NFL game that began after a merger between AFL and NFL. It takes place annually on the first Sunday of February
  • Masters: This is a major professional golf tournament in the U.S. It is commonly known as the U.S Masters and takes place in the first week of April
  • Oscars (Academy Awards): The Oscars are akin to the film industry. However, some bookies will allow you to bet on the nominees you think will win in various categories

How We Rate Legal California Online Sportsbooks

Not every bookie you find on the web is legal and reliable. For that reason, you’ve got to be careful when choosing a sportsbook to join. Here are the vital factors we consider when rating legal sportsbooks:

  1. License and regulations: A legal bookie must have a license to operate. Besides, the acquisition of a license demonstrates a bookie’s readiness to adhere to sports betting rules and regulations
  2. Safety and security: You don’t want to join a sports betting platform that doesn’t take your security seriously. So, we look at the quality and type of cybersecurity solution available. We insist on a data encryption technology like SSL
  3. Trustworthy and reputation: Trust is paramount for any bookie. As a player, you want an assurance that the funds in the wallet of your account are safe. In addition, you want to be sure of receiving your winnings. And that’s where trust plays a critical role that shapes the reputation of a sportsbook
  4. Number and variety of games: A good bookie should offer a wide variety of sports. That way, every sports betting fan gets something that excites them
  5. User experience (app): Legal bookies have mobile-friendly sites or apps that are user-friendly. Moreover, if the sportsbook has a native app, there must be an app for both iOS and Android mobile users
  6. Bonuses and promotions: Most legal bookies will give you perks. In most cases, it starts with a welcome bonus after signing up. Thereafter, you receive more offers as you continue betting at the sportsbook
  7. Loyalty program: Loyalty or VIP programs are common at most bookies. Therefore, we look at the program’s structure and what treats bettors at different ranks of the loyalty hierarchy get
  8. Payment and withdrawal options: There should be a variety of payment options to choose from. Besides, they must be from secure and reliable payment service providers

Different Sports Betting Types Offered in California

Every sports betting enthusiast wants to bet at a bookie that offers a variety of betting types. Therefore, sports betting operators try the best they can to offer as many betting types as they can to attract bettors. Here are the popular sports betting types you can expect in CA:

  • Moneyline: This is the simplest wager you will get at any sportsbook. It involves placing a bet on the player or team you feel will win.
  • Single-play bets: It is a bet in which you wager on a single outcome of a sporting event. For instance, you can bet on a basketball team to win a match. If your prediction is correct, you win and a bookie will credit it to your account.
  • Parlay: A parlay allows you to select several winners of games and add them to a single bet slip. However, the chances of winning get slimmer as you add more games to the slip. You lose your wager if the results of a single game and your prediction do not agree,
  • Spread: A spread means a team or player must win by a certain margin. For instance, over 2.5 in football means the winning team must score 3 goals and above for your bet to win.
  • Future: This involves wagering on a team or player to win a contest that will take place in the future. For example, you can wager on a specific team to win the MLS before the season begins.
  • Teasers: In a teaser, you can combine your bets on two different games. Besides, you can adjust point spreads for both games and you can add more teams to the teaser. Some bookies will allow you to add up to 15 teams or even more
  • Over/Under: This is also known as totals bet and it involves predicting the total score of both teams. For instance, you win if a match between NY Red Bulls and Toronto FC ends in 3-1 and you predicted an Over 3.5 outcome. You lose if your prediction was Under 3.5.
  • Proposition bets: A prop bet doesn’t base on the outcome of a game, but events or players in the game. Examples include the first team to score in a match, the number of yellow cards in the match, the players who will receive a yellow, goal scorers, and so forth.
  • Straight bets: It involves wagering on a single outcome of sporting competition and you can base it on a money line or point spread. A good example of a straight bet using a point spread is Titans -8 Jaguars +8. Your bet wins if the Titans win by more than 8.
  • Round Robin: In a round robin bet, you can combine multiple parlay bets. The more teams you add, the more complex the round robin gets. For instance, you have 56 different combinations if you have 8 teams and want to do 5-team parlays in your round robin.
  • In-game: Also known as in-play or live betting. It involves wagering on a sporting event that is already happening.

How Does In-Play Wagering or Live Betting Work?

In In-play wagering or live betting, you can bet on an event that is already in progress. The biggest advantage you have here is you can follow the action live and determine favorable markets on which to bet. Besides, you can ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of the participants in the event.

The odds keep fluctuating at a fast rate in live betting. Therefore, you have to be fast when wagering. Here are popular in-play bets bookies offer:

  • Live betting / In-Play wagering: The two are the same. Here you can place your bet after the event has kicked off.
  • Continued pregame wagers: The point spreads, totals bets, and money lines remain active while an event is underway. However, the lines in continued pregame wagers are highly dynamic than before.
  • Milestone achievement: This type of live betting pegs on whether a player or a team will reach a certain mark (milestone) as the event progresses. For instance, if you bet on a player with a brace in a soccer match to get a hat-trick, you achieve a milestone.
  • Partial game results / micro-events: This entails predicting outcomes or actions within different periods of play. For example, a bookie may ask bettors to predict the player that will score first in the first quarter of the game or the team that will be leading at the end of that specific period within the game.

Sportsbook Payouts

Sportsbooks offer different payouts to attract new bettors and keep the existing ones. Here are popular sportsbook payouts you can look out for when looking for an online bookie.

  • Free bets: A free bet allows you to wager and win as you would with a real money bet. However, you don’t spend your money when you using free bets.
  • Bonus dollars: Some bookies reward bettors for their loyalty. You accrue bonus dollars as you wager over time. Different bookies will allow you to redeem your bonus dollars for stuff like gifts, trips, meals at specified restaurants, and more.
  • Straight cash: It is not unusual of sportsbooks to reward bettors with cash for meeting a certain requirement.

 Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)

Even though daily fantasy sports are not legal in CA, you cannot classify them as sports betting. No wonder the giant DFS operators like DraftKings and FanDuel are live in CA. Therefore, you can build a team and participate in various DFS in CA to win prizes.

The sports have a much shorter timeframe and the operators declare the results on the same day the events are over. Besides, you will get your prize at the end of the event. Popular daily fantasy sports in CA include basketball, hockey, baseball, and soccer.

Payment and Withdrawal Options at California Online Sportsbooks

You will be able to deposit funds into your sportsbook account to wager and withdraw your winnings. Secure payment methods in the U.S will be available for you to choose what you are comfortable using. Here are some of the payment methods you can expect:

  • ACH/e-check: An e-check is a digital check. It uses the Automated Clearing House (ACH) and payment processor. Moreover, e-checks are fast and a breeze to use
  • Debit/Credit card: Popular debit and credit card options available in CA include Visa, Maestro, and Mastercard
  • Play+: The popularity of mobile wallets has risen over the years. Play+ allows you to deposit cash into your sportsbook account and make withdrawals using your phone.
  • PayPal: eWallets are some of the fastest payment options in CA and the entire world. Therefore, you will be able to make instant deposits into your account and make faster withdrawals
  • PayNearMe: This is a real-time electronic payment network you can use anywhere and anytime
  • Skrill: This is another eWallet that most betting sites accept
  • Neteller: If you have the Neteller eWallet and that’s what you prefer to use, be sure to check whether the bookie you want to join accepts it
  • Cashiers cage: Some bookies have kiosks with a cashier’s cage where you can deposit cash into your account

 How to Start Playing at a California Sportsbook

Playing at a California bookie will be a straightforward process. Here are the steps to help you create your account and get started:

  1. Firstly, find a California sportsbook in our list and choose the one that excites you.
  2. Secondly, download the sportsbook app to your mobile device.
  3. Thirdly, register for your account. Be sure to provide all mandatory details in the registration form.
  4. Next, deposit money into your account once you are done with the registration.
  5. Lastly, place your first bet.

California Sports Betting Laws and Regulations

The California sports betting landscape remains unpredictable. Therefore, Californians may have to wait a little longer until a sports betting referendum slated for 2022 sails through. For the time being, California gambling rules do not allow sports betting.

Sports Betting History in California

When the federal law allowed sports betting in the U.S on May 14, 2018, Montana became the first state to legalize sports betting. Several other states followed suit and others continue to jump onto the wagon. However, California has been dragging her feet since then.

The gambling industry in CA features tribal casinos, card rooms, racetracks. There are 69 tribal casinos in the state, and they have much sway in the state’s gambling industry.

It is these tribes that are, allegedly, set against the idea of legalizing sports betting. They fear online bookies may deprive them of visitors to their casinos, especially the younger demographic.

A sports betting bill and a constitutional amendment assemblyman Adam Gray introduced in 2017 failed to sail through. Further, the assemblyman would later give it another shot by filing ACA16. Sadly, his efforts didn’t bear fruit.

Some tribes that own casinos would later hatch plans to have sports betting confined to tribal casinos and racetracks. There are odds of California residents deciding the fate of sports betting in the state through a referendum in 2022.

How Big is Sports Betting Expected to Become?

It will be a boom when sports betting launches in CA. This is a multi-billion industry and Gray projected the state of California would earn from it a staggering revenue in the range of $250 million – $500 million annually. That’s how big the industry can grow once bookies hit the ground running.

Responsible Gambling and Self-Exclusion

Much as gambling is fun and can be life-changing, the ramifications of problem gambling can be dire. It can lead to stress, depression, family disintegration, and even suicide. Therefore, we advise responsible gambling. Yes, many gambling devotees have struck a goldmine in gambling, but that doesn’t guarantee you such luck.

Gambling is typically a game of chance. For that reason, take it as a leisure activity and not a source of livelihood. What’s more, responsible gambling means staking what you can afford to lose. Furthermore, you should set limits for spending, and playing your favorite game.

Self-exclusion isn’t a bad idea when you realize you can’t control your gambling habits and it is affecting you adversely. The good thing is different states in the U.S understand how serious gambling addiction can get. So, some have set up agencies to help address the issue.

There is a Division of Self Exclusion in New Jersey. It maintains a self-exclusion list and you can voluntarily request for inclusion of your name on the list. You can exclude yourself from any form of gambling for one year, three years, five years, and so forth.

Besides, you have an option to exclude yourself forever if problem gambling has taken a devastating toll on you. Note that you cannot engage in gambling activities in the U.S until the end of your exclusion period.

Call 1-800-GAMBLER should you need help with problem gambling. Besides, you can search for more info on the link

California Sports Betting Summary

The fate of sports betting in California hangs in the balance. Sports betting fans in CA may have their say on the matter via a referendum. However, whether they will have their way thereafter is anybody’s guess.

On the whole, sports betting has a colossal potential in California. Its launching will save the people of California the hustle of traveling to bet in states that have legalized sports betting. Besides, the government of California stands a chance to generate much revenue from the industry.

California Sports Betting

Related: California Online Casinos


🤔 What’s the legal age at which one can wager in California?
The legal age at which you can engage in any gambling activity is 18. However, some casinos will only allow you to register on their platforms when you are at least 21.
🤔 Will I be able to bet on my favorite NBA team after the legalization of sports betting in California?
Yes, you will. NBA is one of the most popular leagues in the basketball world. That’s why most bookies in the U.S and beyond offer NBA games.
🤔 Are there chances of getting bonuses in California sports betting?
Bonuses are the most popular and effective way bookies use to attract bettors. Therefore, rest assured most operators will come with mouthwatering bonuses.
🤔 Is it safe to bet at an online sportsbook?
Not all bookies are safe because scamming is widespread on the web. Therefore, find out more about a sportsbook before signing up.
🤔 How old do I have to be to bet online in California?
At this time, you have to be 18 years of age or older to gamble in California by state law although most retail casinos set the minimum age to either 19 or 21. This does mean you can get into many card rooms when you are 18, however.
🤔 Is online sports betting legal in California?
Not yet, but sports betting is scheduled to be on the 2022 referendum ballot.
🤔 Who regulates the online sportsbooks in California?
The California Gaming Control Commission currently regulates all other gambling activities in the state. It’s likely that this organization will also regulate online sportsbooks when they finally launch.
🤔 Will you need to be a resident of California to place bets online?
No. Although you do not need to be a resident of California, you will need to be physically located in the state. Any future California mobile sportsbook will include geolocation software that will track your location and prevent you from placing wagers outside state lines. This is standard across the mobile sports betting industry.
🤔 What sports and events will you be able to bet on in California once sports wagering is legalized?
It’s likely that you’ll be able to place wagers on most major sporting activities and leagues including the NFL, NBA, and MLB. California may limit betting on collegiate sporting events, however.
🤔 Is it safe to use online sportsbook apps in California?
Provided they are fully licensed and regulated, yes. Legal sportsbooks use a variety of security methods, such as SSL certification and partnerships with cybersecurity firms, to protect their users and their corporate databases. Identity theft or loss of your winnings is incredibly unlikely as a result.

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