Best California Sportsbooks December 2023
Is sports betting legal in California?
No, sadly, sports betting is illegal in California. Much like New York was before legalizing, California is a sought-after market with the potential to be the biggest in the US.
To that end, two competing ballot initiatives in 2022 would have legalized some form of sports betting in the state, but the tribes pushing for their own form of an initiative pulled out and focused all their efforts combating the initiative spearheaded by DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel. Both secured a position on California's November 2022 ballot, neither initiative passed, leaving players without any options for legal, online betting in the state.
And while there was no movement in 2023, Reeve Collins of Pala Interactive is trying to get things going in 2024 with a couple sports betting initiatives. Both aim to have sports betting (online or retail) run by tribes. However, the California Nations Indian Gaming Association voted against them.
Stay tuned for more updates.
Updated on : 12/08/2023
WHY CAN'T I BET ON SPORTS IN CALIFORNIA?
Well, for starters, it's not legal! Sports betting has been up to states to legislate since 2018, when PASPA, the federal statute banning sports betting, was overturned. A growing number of states are legalizing betting, but California's recent efforts have all fallen flat.
Two measures garnered enough signatures to get on the November 2022 ballot in the form of Propositions 26 and 27, but neither proposition got enough votes to move forward. For 2023, sports betting will remain illegal in CA, but perhaps 2024 could bring better news.
- California Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)
- California Betting Laws
- Best California Sportsbooks: Events and Betting Markets
- Common Payment Options
- Best California Sportsbooks FAQ
- Final Thoughts on Betting in California
BEST CALIFORNIA SPORTSBOOKS (NOT YET LIVE)
*These operators are expected to go live once California legalizes commercial sportsbooks.
FanDuel has both an online sportsbook as well as a daily fantasy app and site. Since fantasy bets are legal in California, there is a strong chance that Fanduel will expand once California laws are finally drawn.
Since there is a Harrah’s retail casino in California and Harrah’s is owned by Caesars, it is highly likely that Caesars would open a CA online sportsbook once California betting sites are legalized. If lawmakers opt to capture some much-needed sports betting revenue, Caesars would be a clear choice.
DraftKings are another daily fantasy based site. The success and popularity of this legal form of "wagering" is a great way for DraftKings to demonstrate trust. They plan to leverage that trust into online betting and join the ranks of the best California sportsbooks after legalization.
MGM’s largest single retail casino is located in Las Vegas, not far outside the California border. Since MGM already has affiliations with the California Gaming Commission, they could prove a valuable resource and a pretty safe bet for a future BetMGM site. Look for BetMGM to take over the California sports betting market!
Unibet, a Kindred Group company, has a strong presence across multiple US and Canadian jurisdictions, in addition to offering their betting services internationally. This well-experienced platform offers a ton of value to its users, and would be one of the best California online sportsbooks.
CALIFORNIA DAILY FANTASY SPORTS (DFS)
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is a great way to play on major league sports teams and players. Major DFS sites are available in California. Try your sports knowledge skills by playing DFS and learn about the PrizePicks Promo Code. Play fantasy games by selecting prop contests on a variety sports events like NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL PGA, soccer, and more.
CALIFORNIA BETTING LAWS
Sports betting is illegal in California. You cannot bet and there are no regulated sites. There are California card rooms that accept players 18 and older, but nothing regarding legal online sports betting in California has come across a governor's desk since the overturning of PASPA in 2018.
Still, professional sports teams and bettors alike are eager to legalize and legitimize betting on regulated websites and CA betting apps through some tribal gaming compacts or, better yet, a signed law that gives the tribes a seat at the table. A 2022 attempt to legalize sports betting was filed by both the tribal entities in charge of offering legal betting and national operators attempting to establish legal online bets in CA, but neither initiative gained enough votes. Sports betting, both online and in-person, remains illegal in California.
Updated on : 12/08/2023
CALIFORNIA SPORTS BETTING TIMELINE ⏰
- November 2023: The California Nations Indian Gaming Association votes against Reeve Collins' initiatives.
- October 2023: Reeve Collins, CEO of Pala Interactive, files two sports betting initiatives for the 2024 election cycle.
- October 2023: News surfaces that the Pala Band of Mission Indians are considering filing an online sports betting initiative for the 2024 election cycle.
- November 2022: As expected, California overwhelmingly voted no on Prop 26 and 27, which would have legalized online sports betting and in-person betting on tribal lands. The chances for sports betting in California are dead for 2022.
- October 2022: The chances for California sports betting legalization continue to dwindle. Major polling ahead of the November 2022 election indicates that California voters will not vote for either Prop 26 or 27.
- August 2022: California Republicans and Democrats announce that they will abstain from voting on at least one if not both ballot measures, the "tribal" and the "corporate" initiatives.
- June 2022: The so-called "California Solutions for Homelessness and Mental Health Act" initiative, backed by giants like FanDuel and BetMGM, officially secured enough signatures to be on the ballot in November 2022.
- May 2022: One referendum spearheaded by local California tribal entities was pulled off the November 2022 ballot, meaning that now only two initiatives would be up for a vote in November.
- May 2022: The political committee spearheading the California Solutions for Homelessness and Mental Health Act referendum announced it has amassed 1.6 million signatures, well over the required amount set forth, and sent them to the California Secretary of State.
- April 2022: Three, count 'em, three referendums make an attempt for the November 2022 ballot.
- February 2022: Taking a look at other states' take from the Super Bowl, California legislators see the missed cashflow as a top reason for legalizing online bets.
- January 2022: Another ballot initiative, California Legalize Sports Betting, gains enough petition signatures to put a vote for legal betting on the November 2022 ballot.
- September 2021: A local California horse racing board, as part of the Santa Anita Park at Del Mar Fairgrounds, internally agrees to offer retail sports betting in-person at the track should CA legalize online betting.
- August 2021: The California legislature closes out deals for six tribal groups to have gaming compacts, indicating this legislature's openness to legalizing wagering in some form.
- May 2021: The "Legalize Sports Betting on American Indian Lands Initiative" enables voters to indicate their preference for legal sports betting in California in November 2022.
BEST CALIFORNIA SPORTSBOOKS: EVENTS AND BETTING MARKETS
Since the sports industry is so large in the state, the potential for having your choice of the best California sportsbooks is substantial! From types of wagers to the sheer number of California teams to bet on, there will be plenty of options when online sports betting is legalized.
COMMON TYPES OF BETS
The wide variety of sports leaves the market open for a ton of innovation in betting styles. Now that mobile sports betting in California might become a possibility, there's a new crowd of eager bettors that might not know their way around the terminology. Here's a breakdown:
These are the most common types of bets in the industry. When the betting line is set, bettors decide whether to bet on the favorite or the underdog. If you choose the favorite, you increase your betting odds. However, the favorite has to win the game with a higher number of points than the point spread for you to cash in. If you choose the underdog, they have to win or at least lose by less than the point spread. Therefore, while your betting odds increase when betting for the favorite, so does the burden of requirements.
Total Line Bets
This is also a popular sports bet. It’s also pretty straightforward. A number is set for the predicted combined final score of both teams. Then, you would guess whether you believe the actual total will be over or under that amount. It can often be a bet made for half a game in sports like football or basketball.
Money Line Bets
Mostly used in baseball and hockey, these types of bets can be a risk as they do not involve a point spread. Meaning the amount you have to bet varies whether you choose to bet on the favorite or the underdog. For instance, if the Yankees are favored to win against the Dodgers, you may see the betting odds described like this: Dodgers (+120), Yankees (-135). This means to bet on the Dodgers, you would only need to put down $100 and you could potentially win $120. Whereas, you would need to bet $135 on the Yankees to win $100.
If you want to learn about different odds formats, feel free to read our Odds Converter article.
These are probably the highest risk bets out there. They involve grouping together multiple bets together and can often be bets that last an entire season. There is very little room for error in these types of bets because you need to win all of your separate bets to see any money.
This bet is a bit of a twist on a parlay. It is not as high risk and also not as high reward. Bets are still grouped together like a parlay, but you are able to tweak the point spread in this style of betting. Making it a bit less lucrative and a bit more controlled.
These bets are made on non-team sports. In sports such as golf and NASCAR, these bets simply represent which of two competitors will win. Often, a money line will be attached as a way to handicap a race. Though this is a popular style of sports gambling in CA, it’s also a hard bet to make considering the size of the field.
MOST POPULAR SPORTS TO BET ON
- Football (both NFL and college)
- Basketball (NBA)
- Hockey (NHL)
- Baseball (MLB)
- Formula 1
POPULAR CALIFORNIA EVENTS
- Auto Club 400 - this is the only NASCAR event held in Southern California. It’s held at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana and usually takes place in March. The best California sportsbooks are expected to have lines on this yearly race!
- Vans U.S. Open of Surfing - this is known as the biggest surfing event in the world. It’s held in Huntington Beach over nine days in July/August.
- AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AM- this golfing event started in 1937 with an idea from Bing Crosby. It’s a fun event held in February involving golf professionals and A-list celebrities so it draws a huge crowd of in person as well as at home spectators.
- BNP Paribas Open - held in March, this is the largest international tennis tournament other than the four Grand Slams.
- Sea Otter Classic - known as a “celebration of cycling”, this Monterrey based biking event features a wide range of cycling opportunities.
BEST TEAMS TO BET ON
Below is a list of the major league teams in California. California has nearly twice the amount of major league teams than any other state. All of them present great betting opportunities. This would become a huge market for California sportsbooks.
- LA Galaxy
- Los Angeles FC
- San Jose Earthquakes
COMMON PAYMENT OPTIONS
For most states, there are a few common payment methods in online sports betting. Here are some of the more popular options.
- Debit/Credit cards
- Prepaid Cards
- Cash at a retail partner’s sportsbook
- ACH/Wire Transfer
BEST CALIFORNIA SPORTSBOOKS FAQ
CAN I USE BETMGM IN CALIFORNIA?
No, you cannot use any legal online sportsbooks in California, including BetMGM. If and when California legalizes online sportsbooks. that's likely to change.
HOW DO YOU BET ON SPORTS IN CALIFORNIA?
When California sports betting does become legal, betting on your favorite events is simple. Refer to our How To Bet On Sports guides for a step-by-step guide!
IS FANDUEL LEGAL IN CALIFORNIA?
FanDuel is expected to go live with a sports betting platform in CA whenever sports betting goes live. FanDuel DFS is legal in California.
CAN I USE CAESARS SPORTSBOOK IN CALIFORNIA?
When California sportsbooks finally achieve legal status and can offer online betting, Caesars Sportsbook is likely to be one of the first applicants to secure a license.
ARE THERE ANY SPORTSBOOKS IN CALIFORNIA?
No, California does not have any forms of legal sports betting, in-person or online.
IS BET365 LEGAL IN CALIFORNIA?
Not yet, but efforts to legalize online sportsbooks in California will continue into 2024, and bet365 may apply for an online wagering license if and when they become available.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BETTING IN CALIFORNIA
Though it’s still unregulated now, sports betting has some great groundwork for legalization. Since other states have been paving the way, there's expected to be a long list of the best sportsbooks in CA.
Bettors are looking forward to potential future California online sportsbooks. In addition to serving a purpose for vested bettors, legalizing any kind of online sports betting app in CA also stands to bring in tons of tax revenue for the state. A win-win solution!