If the gaming industry must settle for state-by-state legalization, California signifies the Holy Grail of online gambling in the united states. It’s the most populous country in the union with a $2 trillion economy that would rank number 8 in the world if it was its own country. International gambling sites have gone out of their way to acquire licenses in countries considerably smaller than California.
All eyes are on California as countries mull legalizing various forms of online gambling. If California does go the way of legalization, it would by default become the standard by which gambling is measured in the USA. If the state does eventually regulate gaming and it is successful, other nations will surely follow suit. We might even see something finally happen at the federal level.
Different pieces of legislation have been released, taken down and reintroduced in recent decades. We do not have anything major to report however, but most observers are cautiously optimistic that California will sooner or later make a significant move toward legalization. Here’s why:
The country already has a pro-gambling civilization The country has legal casinos and card rooms
It’s home to many Indian tribes That Are experienced in gambling California has a spending problem and the potential tax revenues must surely be tempting for state lawmakers
Present List of Betting Sites in California
We are going to go over the different betting options in California in greater detail below, but I’d like to begin with a fast list of gambling sites that are available at this time in California. If you’re here searching for a place to bet online, these are the websites which will let you play and bet real money today.
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Horse and Greyhound Betting:
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Games of Skill:
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Sports Betting at California
Lawmakers in California have demonstrated some interest in legalizing sports betting of late. A bill introduced in the 2017/18 session proposed amending existing gaming legislation to allow the California legislature to authorize sports gambling contingent upon the Supreme Court overturning the national sports gambling ban (which it did).
ACA 18 itself didn’t seek to legalize wagering; it instead offered a constitutional amendment that would enable lawmakers to legalize and regulate sports betting in the future. When he introduced the bill, Assemblyman Adam Gray said,”The choice isn’t'should we have sports wagering or not possess sports wagering.’ We do have sports wagering.”
The point he was making is that sports betting is already a huge black market in California and across the USA. The American Gaming Association quotes Americans wager at least $154 billion each year on sports with online sportsbooks and local bookies contrary to the law. The present state prohibition is not functioning, the logic goes, so the wise thing to do is legalize it, regulate it and tax it.
A report from Eilers & Krejcik Gambling published in 2017 believes California is very likely to legalize sports gambling in five years from the date of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn PASPA. California has plenty of potential to become a major sports betting market, but as you’ll see in another segment, competing interests in the country have a tendency to complicate matters.
Assemblyman Gray introduced the same legislation again in 2018 and 2019 as he continues to push the issue. Getting the tribal groups board has been exceedingly difficult as they control a $8 billion gambling industry and are highly reluctant to get on board with sports gambling at risk of starting their lucrative compacts with the condition to negotiation once again.
Online Poker at California
The quest for internet poker in California is being fought in the courtrooms because you read these words. Bills seeking to regulate internet poker have been released annually since 2007. Not one of those bills have made it all the way through the legislative process due to vying factions on all sides of the issue, but each year brings us nearer to finding an agreement that satisfied all interested parties.
In fact, much of the difficulty can be attributed to competing interests in the nation. It seems everyone has an agenda and it is difficult to find consensus among the Indian tribes, brick-and-mortar operators and present online brands. One group or another constantly feels left out or concentrated by the wording of laws. And to be fair, that is frequently a legitimate concern.
To add to the problem, there continue to be powerful lobbying groups that actively fight the legalization of poker or any other kind of internet gaming in the US. Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson has pledged to fight legalization throughout the nation. In California alone, he spent more than $300,000 to lobby against poker.
Not a single one of the bills introduced during the previous decade-plus has made significant progress due to the many competing interests in the state. The following bill is just one of many efforts to make something happen in California, but it serves as a Normal example of how complicated and difficult it is to make progress in California:
AB 2291: Promising Start but Died in Committee
Assembly Bill 2291 was first introduced back in February 2014 but not made it outside the committee phase. It was reintroduced in 2015 and 2016, but was still unable to achieve the traction it needed to make it much in the legislative process.
The bill sought to legalize online poker only and issue 10-year licenses to operators. The proposed fee for licensing was originally set at $5,000,000, with this charge being used to offset future taxes. Lawmakers bumped that fee up several times until the fee hit a high of $12,500,000 without offsetting taxes.
Early versions of AB 2291 included several clauses that have caused tension between different factions competing for a piece of the poker pie. Most contentious among them is a”bad actor” clause. AB 2291 initially sought to require prospective licensees to have at least five decades of gaming experience in California. It also required every facet of an operation, from its workers to its gear to its bank account to be kept in state.
In essence, AB 2291 would have prevented all current internet poker suppliers and newer neighborhood casinos in California from competing. The wording of the bill very clearly favored a few established California casino groups at the cost of fair competition.
Another issue with AB 2291 was that it would have banned California from entering agreements with other states to unite player pools and improve liquidity. To put it differently, you’d only see other Californians in the table no matter how many sates legalize poker. To top it off, and the bill would require the state to opt out of any legislation passed at the national level allowing online poker.
Some progress was made in 2016 with a suggested amendment which would significantly alter the bad actor clause. Formerly, the bill would have barred all online poker companies that operated after the passing of the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Such limitations would have prohibited established brand for example PokerStars from entering the market.
The last amendment proposes to instead transfer the chalk date for the awful actor clause up to the end of 2011. To put it differently, sites such as PokerStars that operated after the UIGEA but subsequently left the market following the Black Friday indictments in 2011. This could stop the most egregious violators from entering the sector but manage PokerStars a chance to offer online poker legally in California. You can read more about the proposal .
Looking back in 2018: The Good and Bad
The Poor Lawmakers and tribal groups have been stuck in stalemate for going on four years now. It is nice to see some progress on this front, but it is also discouraging to see the stubbornness on the portion of varying factions. Poker players are better served through an open and competitive market and player-sharing agreements with other nations.
Worse than that, online poker appears to have taken a step back in 2018. For the first time in more than a decade, no invoices trying to legalize online poker have been introduced. Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sayer told Online Poker Report that he’s giving up on internet poker legislation for this year since there is simply no progress being made in reaching a compromise between the tribes, local card rooms and other interested parties.
The Great There are a number of positive things to say about all this. If poker is really legalized in California, the potential player pool will much bigger than what we’ve seen in other nations that have already legalized online poker. Aside from the fact that 38 million people call California home, the state has a poker civilization already thanks to its many brick-and-mortar card rooms.
California is likely to have fewer issues with geolocation of players due to the sheer size. New Jersey had all kinds of problems verifying players were actually located within the state. This ended up with loads of possible players being unfairly barred from the state-sanctioned websites there. California doesn’t need to compete with congested cities piled up on state boundaries.
Whenever the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) has been passed in 2006, it provided two noteworthy exceptions to online gaming: horse racing and fantasy sports. The UIGEA did not just exempt those kinds of gambling; it basically gave operators the go-ahead to offer their games to customers right here in the united states.
Some countries have since passed laws banning online fantasy sports but California isn’t among these. If you’ve got a thing for sports betting but prefer to do it in a safe and controlled fashion, fantasy sports is your way to go. You draft a staff just like in regular dream leagues but now you get paid actual money if you win.
FanDuel.com and DraftKings.com will be the two largest players in this marketplace. They accept clients from CA and offer single-day fantasy leagues such as your NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college basketball and college football.
One of the pleasant things about online fantasy sports is each competition only lasts for a day per week in the most. You’re not stuck with one team all season. Instead, your team stands up stats over the course of one week. You can play in heads-up contests against other players or test your ability in massive tournaments which sometimes give more than a million dollars to the first place winner.
You can read more about fantasy sports gambling here.
Legislative Efforts for Daily Fantasy at California
2016 was an important year for the daily fantasy sports industry in California. In January of 2016, lawmakers introduced AB 1437 in a bid to create a regulatory framework for daily fantasy sports sites. If enacted, the bill would need DFS sites to acquire a permit, enforce a minimum age of 21 for all clients, maintain all customers’ funds in a segregated account and extend self-exclusion applications for players.
The bill advanced previous three major votes with a total of 101 for and 2 against. This is an important bill for California and it looks increasingly likely to be passed into legislation. On the other hand, the bill itself does not really legalize online fantasy sports contests; it only places the conditions where the business would be regulated.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris is expected to issue a judgment on whether or not fantasy competitions constitute illegal gambling under law. If she principles favorably, AB 1437 will have everything set up to permit and controlled fantasy sites instantly. The AG’s ruling has been anticipated for more than a year today. In the meantime, California dream sports sites continue to function freely.
As of 2019, advancement on the bill seems to have fully stalled. The good news is fantasy sports websites continue to be active throughout the state. Legalizing fantasy sports in California would basically be a formality now.
There aren’t yet any legal online casinos in California. The nation has not even attempted to pass laws in this regard so it will likely be years before we see legitimate gaming websites open to CA residents.
Don’t be fooled by the hundreds of different sites that are recommending”legal” internet casinos. These are actually offshore gambling sites that have no legal presence whatsoever in the United States. They’re unlicensed and completely unregulated.
Although to be fair, there aren’t any state or federal laws which prohibit playing offshore casinos. Should you choose to play online, nobody is going to come kick in your front door. The biggest risk is financial — you never know for sure who you are working with on the opposite side of the screen. Some offshore casinos may be secure while others are definitely outright scams. But no matter where you play, you don’t have any legal recourse if things go belly up.
Your very best option is to look at any of the other authorized, accredited and safe forms of gambling that are available at this time in California. Between horse racing, fantasy sports and most likely online poker very soon, there are still lots of different ways to play real money games online at protected, licensed websites based in the US.
Online horse racing is alive and well in California. The horse betting situation here is not nearly as complicated as the poker scenario. California does permit residents to perform at US-licensed horse wagering sites for example TwinSpires, BetAmerica and TVG.
All the significant US-based horse betting sites accept customers from California. The state also enables off-track betting (OTB) facilities. OTB facilities operate as brick-and-mortar betting shops where people may walk in, place bets on races and collect their winnings in person.
Five racetracks run upon the country and they too allow for real cash wagering. In total, you are able to bet online at any of the approved horse gaming sites, off-track at an OTB location or in-person at any of the monitors listed below. California is also home to county and state fairs that hold races at different times annually.
The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) manages all horse racing and wagering inside the country. The CHRB’s assignment is to ensure the integrity, ethics and security of the nation’s horse racing industry. They manage wagering, breeding, physical safety as well as the marketing of horse racing.
The California Exposition and State Fair operates a yearlong harness racetrack that runs every day at approximately 5:20 PM.
1600 Exposition Drive
Sacramento, CA 95815
Site Golden Gate Fields
This track is situated in Berkley with races and simulcast events weekly.
1100 Eastshore Highway
Berkley, CA 94710
Website Santa Anita
Santa Anita is one of the most widely recognized racetracks from the USA and home to Significant events like the Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Handicap and sometimes the Breeder’s Cup.
285 W. Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007
Site Del Mar
Del Mar opened in 1937 with a renowned race between Seabiscuit and Ligaroti. Seabiscuit hardly took the race and became a legend of his own. Today, Del Mar plays host to racing festivals, events, family fun days and much more.
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd..
Del Mar, CA 92014
Site Los Alamitos
Los Alamitos Race Course is home to daylight thoroughbred racing and night quarter racing. The track is home to a number of the largest quarter horse bets races in the united states.
4961 E. Katella Ave.
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Site OTB Locations
There are 31 off-track betting facilities in California. OTB centers are seen in fairgrounds, racetracks, specialty OTB stores, casinos and fairgrounds. You may see a complete list of locations and addresses here.
There seems to be no motivation to especially legalize online bingo in California. The only realistic chance I see of online bingo coming to California is if it gets caught up in some future internet casino legislation.
Ca lottoThe California state lottery is not authorized to sell tickets online or via phone. For years, the federal Wire Act prohibited states from selling lotto tickets over the internet. This might not be the case forever. In 2009, New York and Illinois asked the Department of Justice to explain its stance on the Wire Act and clarify exactly which types of online gambling were prohibited.
The DOJ responded in 2011 with a choice that had far-reaching consequences beyond just the lottery. In September of 2011, the DOJ issued an announcement the official interpretation of the Wire Act only applies to sports betting over the internet. This gave states the go-ahead to sell tickets on the internet if they choose.
Lottery Subscription Sites California has not yet joined the growing list of states that sell lottery tickets online. But, there are a number of messenger services which can go buy lottery tickets at face value for a monthly subscription fee. You may log in to all those sites, pay face value for your tickets and the corporation is going to go and buy tickets in your title.
For example, LottoGopher.com is a California-based membership website that provides this specific service. The website is registered in California, its owners are background-checked by lottery commission officers and it abides by all state and federal laws. They aren’t legally allowed to sell lotto tickets for more than face value, so they rather charge users a subscription fee.
A membership at LottoGopher lets you buy tickets online, pick specific amounts and even form lottery pools along with other members. If you win less than $600, Lotto Gopher will charge the winnings to your account which you may then withdraw right to the bank. If you win more than $600, Lotto Gopher will maintain the prize on your behalf in person then send you a check for the full amount.
The site doesn’t take a cut of your winnings. They only way that they make money is by charging customers a flat subscription fee. At this moment, LottoGopher is only available in California. You can learn more and give it a try here:
Is Lotto Gopher legit?
Yes. They’re located in California and state lottery officials understand they are. It is good that you ask though because there are a ton of online lotto websites that look and feel untrue but aren’t. Lotto Gopher actually is lawful and 100% untrue.
They have been all over the press in the past few years as well. Forbes and ABC have both written articles regarding the service.
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