Being the largest State in the USA with almost 40 million residents, it’s no surprise that California is a hotbed for sports betting in the United States.
California, like the majority of states in the USA, does not allow sports betting within the State. This means that if you’re a California resident that would like to bet on sports you will need to open an account at an online sportsbook that is licensed and regulated outside of the State.
On this page I’ll explain the legality of betting on sports in California, recommend some offshore betting sites and touch on some specific cities within California.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in California?
First off, I want to point out that it is currently not legal to accept bets (run a sportsbook) in the State of California. This is due to California not licensing or authorizing any sports betting operator to run a betting service in the State. For this reason, if you see any online sportsbook that is run out of California you can be sure that it is not legal and likely not safe.
That said, it is NOT illegal for residents of California to bet through offshore betting sites. Offshore sportsbooks do not violate California’s gambling laws by instead being licensed by and regulated in a different jurisdiction. It is legal and safe for residents of California to open accounts and place bets at these offshore sportsbooks.
Two ballot measures related to sports betting were voted on in California in November of 2022. One measure (Prop 26) proposed to allow in-person sportsbooks at California tribal casinos and racetracks, while the other measure (Prop 27) proposed to legalize online sports betting with no cap on the number of regulated sports betting sites allowed to operate in the state. Both propositions failed by a significant margin, meaning that we will likely not see regulated sports betting in California until at least 2025.
Best Sports Betting Sites for California Residents
Here are our two favourite offshore sportsbooks that accept residents of California….
- Built for American bettors
- Wide variety of competitive betting lines
- Easy to navigate betting platform
Offline Sports Betting in California
There is currently no offline sports betting allowed in California. If you do come across a bookie you should realize that the bookie is operating their business illegally.
The only way to currently bet on sports in the State of California is through an offshore betting site, like I outlined above.
Even California casinos are currently unable to take sports bets. That said, depending where you live in California, Nevada may only be a short drive and almost every casino in Nevada will have it’s own sportsbook.
Major Sports Teams in California
There’s a long list of Major League sports teams in the State of California. I’ve added a quick list below including teams from the big 5 North American sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS). Click on the city name for more information on betting on sports in that specific city.
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (MLB)
- Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)
- Los Angeles FC (MLS)
- LA Galaxy (MLS)
- Los Angeles Clippers (NBA)
- Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)
- Los Angeles Chargers (NFL)
- Los Angeles Rams (NFL)
- Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
- Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
- Golden State Warriors (NBA)
- Oakland Athletics (MLB)
- Sacramento Kings (NBA)
- San Diego Padres (MLB)
- San Francisco 49ers (NFL)
- San Francisco Giants (MLB)
- San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
- San Jose Sharks (NHL)
Horse Racing in California
It is legal to bet on horses at the track in California. Here are some of the major tracks located in the State, as well as some of their bigger races.
I should note though that you can also place bets for all the races at the following tracks online at either of the offshore sportsbooks I outlined above.
- Cal-Expo Race Track in Sacramento.
- Del Mar Racetrack in Del Mar.
- Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley.
- Los Alamitos Race Course in Cypress.
- Santa Anita Park in Arcadia.
- Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar Racetrack. Part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge with a $1,000,000 purse.
- Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park. For three-year-olds with a purse of $750,000.
- Santa Anita Handicap at Santa Anita Park. Ten furlong race for four year olds and up with a purse of $500,000.