As the second largest city in California, San Diego has a very large sports betting population.  The city did lose it’s NFL team in 2017 when the Chargers moved to Los Angeles. The Chargers relocation was a blow to the local sports loving community, with the Padres of the MLB becoming the cities lone top level pro sports franchise.

Horse racing fans have one of the most famous race tracks in the USA just a short drive away in the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, which hosts several high profile races each year.  Horse racing bettors are able to wager directly at the track, but unfortunately San Diego residents are unable to bet on sports at California based casinos.  That said, it is very easy for San Diego residents to open an online betting account to place their sports wagers.

Is Sports Betting Allowed in San Diego

It’s not legal to accept bets as a sports betting operation in the State of California.

That said, it is not illegal to place wagers with sportsbooks that are licensed outside of the United States.  I’ve highlighted two of the most recognized and respected online betting sites below, both of which accept sports bettors from the San Diego region.

Two propositions (Prop 26 and Prop 27) to legalize sports betting were on the November 2022 ballot. Both propositions failed by a significant margin, meaning that legalized sports betting is not coming to California in the near future. The next time California sports betting can be vote on is now 2024.

Best Sportsbooks for San Diego Residents

Bet Now
  • Built for American bettors
  • Wide variety of competitive betting lines
  • Easy to navigate betting platform
50% up to $250
  • Accepts players worldwide
  • Competitive betting lines
  • Fast & easy deposits and withdrawals (including Bitcoin)
50% up to $1000

Both Bovada and BetOnline are extremely popular betting sites for San Diego residents, as well as Americans nationwide.  Both sites are safe and secure, and Bovada in particular caters only to American residents.

Offline Sports Betting in San Diego

There is no offline sports betting allowed in California.  If you want to place a bet at a land based sportsbook then you will need to travel to Nevada.

One thing that the State of California does allow residents to bet on is horse racing.  And luckily enough for San Diego residents they have one of the best race tracks in the country only a short drive away.

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is located a half hours drive north of San Diego.  The racetrack offers live racing from Thursday to Sundays during their racing seasons and also allows you to place wagers on races from other tracks across the USA.

Del Mar is one of the top horse race tracks in the world. It is now a recurring destination for the Breeders Cup having held the Breeders’ Cup in both 2017 and 2021, with the 2024 Breeders Cup also scheduled to take place at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

Del Mar also hosts the Pacific Classic Stakes race every year, which is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series and usually holds a purse of $1,000,000.

***I should note that you can also bet on any Del Mar races at either of the sportsbooks I recommend above, and although you can wager on other tracks at Del Mar, you are still unable to place sports wagers at the track.

San Diego Major Sports Teams

  • San Diego Padres (Baseball – MLB)
  • San Diego Loyal SC (Soccer – USL)
  • San Diego Seals (Lacrosse – NLL)
  • San Diego Gulls (Hockey – AHL)