Are Sports Betting Apps Legal In California?

The Quick Answer

Are Sports Betting Apps Legal In California?

Sports betting in California is currently prohibited, but that may not be the case for long, as the California Legalize Sports Betting Initiative has been on the ballot for 2022 and might be approved this year.

Even though sports betting has yet to be legalised in California, residents can still place bets on Daily Fantasy Sports sites, with a handful of them allowed in the state.

As of January 2024, the legal landscape for sports betting in California remains largely unchanged since late 2022. The state’s voters decisively rejected both Proposition 26 and Proposition 27 in the November 2022 elections. Proposition 26 was primarily backed by Native American tribes and would have allowed in-person sports betting at tribal casinos and horse racing tracks. Proposition 27, which would have permitted online sports betting, also faced significant opposition and was defeated.

Following these developments, two new ballot initiatives were filed with the California Attorney General’s office, aiming to legalize sports betting. However, these initiatives have not garnered the support of California’s tribal leaders, which is a significant factor in their potential success. The requirement to collect nearly 875,000 signatures from in-state registered voters to appear on the November 2024 general election ballot adds another layer of complexity to these efforts.

Despite these setbacks, the interest in legalizing sports betting in California remains high due to the state’s large population and potential market size. As of the latest updates, the California Nations Indian Gaming Association has expressed opposition to the recent sports betting ballot initiatives. Additionally, legislative proposals and discussions are ongoing, with amendments being made to proposed ballots in an attempt to gain more support, especially from the tribes.

In the meantime, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) has seen a surge in popularity in California, filling in the gap left by the absence of legal sports betting. The state’s population, exceeding 39 million, underscores the significant potential market for sports betting, should it eventually become legalized.

Overall, while there is keen interest and potential for sports betting in California, the path to legalization is complex and fraught with challenges, particularly in gaining the necessary support from key stakeholders such as Native American tribes.

Which Are Legal Online Sportsbooks In California?

As of 2024, there are no legal online sportsbooks operating in California. This is because both key propositions for legalizing sports betting, Propositions 26 and 27, were decisively rejected by voters in November 2022. The opposition from California’s tribal leaders played a significant role in the failure of these propositions.

Since then, there have been further attempts to introduce new sports betting initiatives, including the filing of two new ballot initiatives with the California Attorney General’s office. However, these initiatives also lack support from tribal leaders and face the challenge of collecting nearly 875,000 signatures from registered voters to appear on the November 2024 general election ballot. Given these circumstances, their success seems unlikely.

As a result, the earliest potential legalization of sports betting in California might be in 2024 or later. It’s worth noting that while sports betting remains illegal, daily fantasy sports contests have grown in popularity in California.

In summary, as of now, apart from horse racing betting, there are no authorized sportsbook websites operating in California, and offshore sports betting sites remain illegal. The current state of affairs underscores the complex regulatory environment and the significant influence of tribal entities in California’s gambling landscape.

In California, How Many Sportsbooks Will Be Available?

As of now, the exact number of sportsbooks that will be available in California if sports betting is legalized remains uncertain. While several well-known brands in the industry have shown interest in operating sportsbooks in California, the state has not yet legalized sports betting, and thus, no licenses have been granted. The brands expected to launch in California include BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel, DraftKings, ESPN BET, and Fanatics Sportsbook, among others. The final number of sportsbooks will depend on how the legalization process unfolds and the specifics of any legislation that is passed.

In California, What Sports Can You Bet On Online?

Sports betting for now is illegal in California, as previously stated. Despite this, it is one of the states with the most professional sports teams and followers. Baseball, football, hockey, soccer, and basketball are among the 19 professional sports franchises in California. We anticipate that they will all be available to gamble on if sports gambling legislation is implemented.

What Are The Most Popular Sports To Bet On In California?

When bettors can finally place legal bets, California boasts a plethora of sports teams that will pique their interest. No state has more than California’s 15 teams in the four main professional sports. The most popular sports are:

National Football League (NFL)
Major League Baseball (MLB)
National Basketball Association (NBA)
National Hockey League (NHL)

What Is The Status Of Daily Fantasy Sports In California?

The status of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in California as of 2024 remains largely unregulated. While California is a significant market for DFS, with major sites like FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo, and Fantasy Draft operating there, the state has not moved forward with formal regulation or taxation of the sector. Legislation to legalize, regulate, and tax DFS was considered in 2015 and passed in the lower house in 2016, but it has not progressed further, primarily due to disagreements among key gambling stakeholders in the state, such as card rooms, racetracks, and tribal groups.

Despite the lack of regulation, DFS continues to be popular among Californians, with various leagues available for participation. The legal gambling age for DFS in California is 18 years old. Although DFS is legal in most states in the USA, the legal status varies across the country. In California, the unregulated nature of DFS means the state potentially misses out on significant tax revenue, but players can still enjoy the wide selection of leagues available.

What Is The Total Number Of Casinos In California?

I did a [quick search]( for more information and here’s what I found.

As of 2024, California hosts a significant number of tribal casinos. The state has gaming compacts for 66 casinos that allow Class III gaming, where players bet against the house. These casinos are operated by various Native American tribes across the state and offer a range of gaming options. In addition to these, there are also numerous state-licensed cardrooms operating in California, with the California Gambling Control Commission having issued a total of 88 licenses, although 20 of these licensees are currently inactive.

California’s history with tribal casinos dates back to 1987 when it became the birthplace of Indian casinos following a landmark Supreme Court ruling in the case of California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians. This ruling allowed tribes to operate casinos outside of state jurisdiction if the state had not directly prohibited gambling.

The tribal casinos are distributed across various counties in California, each offering unique gaming experiences. These establishments range from large, well-known resorts to smaller gaming facilities, catering to a wide array of preferences among gamers.

In summary, California’s gaming landscape is predominantly shaped by its tribal casinos, alongside a variety of cardrooms, reflecting the state’s rich and diverse gambling environment.

Is It Legal For Me To Use The Caesars Sportsbook App In California?

Because sports betting is still illegal in California, Caesars Sportsbook cannot accept wagers from California citizens.

In California, Who Would Be In Charge Of Sports Betting?

The regulatory body for sports betting in California will depend on which initiative, among those proposed, is ultimately successful. The existing proposals suggest different regulatory bodies. For instance, both the Tribal Gaming Protection Act and the Sports Wagering Regulation and Tribal Gaming Protection Act, currently proposed for the ballot, designate the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Gambling Control as the entity responsible for overseeing sports betting. On the other hand, an initiative focused on card rooms advocates for the California Department of Consumer Affairs to be in charge of regulating sports betting.

These differing approaches reflect the ongoing debate and complexities surrounding the legalization of sports betting in California. The state’s Native American tribes, who are significant stakeholders in the gambling industry, have expressed strong opposition to proposals they feel lack proper consultation of tribal interests. This opposition, along with the need for substantial signature collection for initiatives to qualify for the ballot, highlights the challenges and uncertainties in the path towards legalizing sports betting in California.


We’re still waiting to discover when sports betting will be legalised in California so it’s hard to advise what sports betting apps will be available. Certainly a case of watch this space.

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