San Francisco is a huge betting market and a big part of that has to be attributed to the success of their two major sports teams in the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL and San Francisco Giants of the MLB.

The 49ers have a strong team that has become perennial contenders in recent years, losing in the Super Bowl in 2019 and the NFC Championship game in 2023. The 49ers have brought the city 5 Super Bowl championships, which is the second most in the history of the NFL, only next to the 6 Super Bowl wins by the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots.

The Giants are another team that has had a tremendous amount of success over the past decade, although they have struggled somewhat in some recent seasons.  The Giants won 3 World Series championships between 2010 and 2014, which is as close to a dynasty as you will see in the MLB these days.

Is It Legal To Bet On Sports in San Francisco?

First, I should note that it is not legal to accept bets as a sports betting operation in the State of California.  For this reason you will not find any California casinos with sportsbooks and if any betting site claims to operate in California they are not being truthful.

That said, there are plenty of online betting options for San Francisco residents in the form of sportsbooks that are licensed outside of the United States, but still accept American residents.  These sportsbooks, like the two I recommend below, are safe, secure and legal for San Francisco residents to use.

**California residents voted against two different Propositions (Prop 26 and Prop 27) on the November 2022 ballot that would have legalized sports betting in the state. With these propositions failing by significant margins it does not seem like there’s a path towards legal sports betting in California in the near future.

Best Sports Betting Sites for San Francisco 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

These are our two recommended offshore sportsbooks for San Francisco residents.  Both Bovada and BetOnline are hugely popular across the entire USA and offer a secure environment for Americans to bet on sports online.

Offline Sports Betting in San Francisco

Offline sports betting is not allowed in the State of California.  If you’d like to place a wager at a brick and mortar casino you will have to travel to Nevada.

That said, you are able to place wagers on horse races at the track in San Francisco.  Below I’ve outlined a great track near San Francisco where you can place some bets on the ponies.

Golden Gate Fields

Golden Gate Fields is one of the best horse racing tracks in California and it’s just a short 45 minute drive from San Francisco (just north of Oakland).  Golden Gate Fields holds live races most days of the week and also allows you to bet on other horse races from around California and the entire United States.

***I should note that you cannot place sports wagers at Golden Gate Fields.  You are only able to bet on the horses.

Major Sports Teams in San Francisco

  • Golden State Warriors (Basketball – NBA)
  • San Francisco 49ers (Football – NFL)
  • San Francisco Giants (Baseball – MLB)