Despite having great tribal casinos and the best cardrooms in the US, California still lags behind other states with regards to online gambling. 

In 2020, online poker, online casinos, and online sports betting are not permitted under law. However, some of the tribes are trying to push through a vote on legalizing sportsbooks in the state. 

Expected online casino in California in 2021/2022: BetMGM, Caesars Casino, Fanduel, Draftkings CA and other casino sites/apps for real money gamblers in California state.

Current Gambling Laws in California

California gambling legislation has long been a story of deadlock. Commercial cardrooms and tribal casinos disagree on the way forward for regulated gambling, and this relates to everything from poker to casino games and sports. 

For a long time, sports betting legislation was opposed by tribal casinos but supported by land-based cardrooms. Two of the proposed bills would have allowed cardrooms to introduce table games, something the tribes were hugely against. 

The tribal casinos had their own plans to legalize sports betting, but only in person in their own casinos or via mobile phone and PC. 

The California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act would give the tribes exclusive access to legal sports betting in the state. It’s likely that any decision won’t be made until 2021 at the earliest.   

Timeline of California Online Casino Legislation: 

  • 1997: The Gambling Control Act is enacted, paving the way for the new California Gambling Control Commission. 
  • 2019: Bills SCA 6 and ACA 16 are introduced in June. They set up the possibility of a referendum on legalizing betting.
  • November 2019: California tribes file a ballot measure allowing tribal casinos and CA racetracks to have exclusive access to retail sports betting
  • 2020: Tribal casinos call for a referendum over legalizing sports betting. A vote isn’t expected until 2021 or 2022.

Top Casinos in California

California boasts over 60 tribal casinos spread across the state. Legal poker rooms are also permitted, and California currently boasts some of the best cardrooms in the world. 

Cardrooms:

  • Thunder Valley Casino
  • Commerce Casino
  • Bay 101

Land-based Casinos:

  • Thunder Valley Casino
  • Pechanga Resort Casino
  • Cache Creek Casino Resort
  • Running Creek Casino
  • San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino

Potential Online Casino Sites in California

  • BetMGM
  • DraftKings CA
  • FanDuel Casino
  • PointsBet App
  • BetRivers Online Casino
  • 888 California Casino

It’s difficult to predict which operators will set up shop if and when online casinos and sportsbooks are ever legalized in California. However, we expect to see one or all of the following operators doing business in the Golden State: 

Casino Games to Play in California

Due to gaming laws in California, traditional American Roulette isn’t permitted. In fact, anything using balls or dice, like roulette and craps, are outlawed. However, casinos have got round the ban by inventing unique table games of their own. 

Mystery Card Roulette, for example, uses playing cards instead of a wheel and ball to determine the numbers. Similarly, games like Thunder Valley Craps use cards instead of traditional dice. 

Casino games in California:

  • Baccarat
  • Criss Cross
  • Four Card Poker
  • Three Card Poker
  • Blackjack
  • Mystery Card Roulette
  • Craps


California Online Casino FAQs

Can I play online casino games in California?
Currently, there are no legal online casinos in California. However, you can access sweepstakes casinos like Chumba Casino to play special pooled games. 

How old do I have to be to play casino games?
To visit a casino in California, you must be aged 21 or over. 

Is mobile gambling allowed in California?

Mobile casino games and sports betting are not permitted in California. However, you can access sweepstakes casinos through your mobile device and play special pooled games for money.