California Betting Sites and Mobile Sportsbooks

California is the biggest state in America and naturally, it’s also one of the most thoroughly served when it comes to sports. But can you go about betting on sports in California and if so, how?

Every major sports league across North America is heavily invested in California, and there’s no doubt that sports betting will be enormous in the state. There’s sure to be a huge push from every major bookmaker to get into the state, and there will likely be some juicy bonuses offered up by them to try and lure in California sports fans.

There is currently no legal sports betting in California, except for betting on horse racing. Though California has tens of millions of sports fans, they don’t currently have a legal option for wagering in the state in any form. Odds are that this will change in the future, with states across the country currently looking to cash in.

When Will Sports Betting Launch in California?

Sports betting in California is currently illegal, but that could change in the near future. Two propositions are on ballot for voting on November 8, 2022. One would legalize retail sports betting at casinos and horse tracks, while the other would legalize online sports betting.

If one or both of these propositions pass, it will legalize sports betting in the state of California. From there would be a registration and licensing process for any hopeful bookmakers. This would then 

Best Online Sportsbooks Coming to California?

Up to 25 licenses will be handed out to online sportsbooks by local authorities in Ohio. The full list of licensed entities has not yet been confirmed, but partnerships with major sports organizations and institutions offers some very strong hints regarding who the best online sportsbooks will be in Ohio. Here are some of the bookies that have already made inroads in the state and will be available for action moving forward.

Caesars Sportsbook

Caesars Entertainment is well entrenched in gambling in California at this point, operating two Harrah’s locations in the state. That puts the company’s online sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook, in a uniquely strong position for when California legalizes sports betting. Though the company is officially neutral on whether online sports betting should be legalized in California, it likely will pounce on the opportunity to roll out its sportsbook if the chance appears.

Should the doors fully open on sports betting in California, Caesars Sportsbook will almost certainly have multiple retail locations across the state. Though many sportsbooks will be looking to push into California, Caesars is basically already cemented in place. 

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings is still primarily known for its daily fantasy sports operations, but the company is rapidly expanding outside that. The DFS format was regarded as a kind of sports betting for a time, and DraftKings eventually decided to actually just make good on that concept by rolling out the DraftKings Sportsbook.

There has been a great deal of posturing and lobbying when it comes to legalizing sports betting in California. Hundreds of millions have been spent and a good chunk of that comes from DraftKings. The sportsbook is clearly bullish on its ability to expand into California and become established there. Given its partnerships across MLB, odds are DraftKings Sportsbook would get settled in quickly.

FanDuel Online Sportsbook

DraftKings and FanDuel have a lot in common. Both are daily fantasy sports sites. Both expanded into sports betting. Both are official NBA league betting partners. And both have been contributing heavily to support the ballot measure to legalize online sports betting in California.

The inroads FanDuel has built in California are already very strong and would likely serve to carry the company into the market. The company is perfectly positioned to become a big player in the state.

BetMGM Sportsbook

MGM Resorts is a juggernaut in the casino and resort industry, and the company has been making major pushes to expand the reach of its sportsbook as well. BetMGM Sportsbook is already big and the legalization of sports betting in California would make it even bigger.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been the staging ground for a push into California. MGM Resorts is officially partnered with the team, despite not actually having any locations in the state. The company was also the official gaming partner of the NBA.

BetMGM Sportsbook

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Bet365

  • Tech Partner: Bet365
  • Full Sportsbook Review: Bet365

United Kingdom-based sportsbook Bet365 was one of the first sportsbooks to make direct overtures towards California sports fans. It did so in an unconventional way, developing a game in conjunction with the San Antonio Spurs entitled Call Your Shot.

The game itself was free-to-play and not actually sports betting, but it’s clear that a foundation was being laid by the large sportsbook. If California legalizes sports betting, expect that partnership to grow further.

How to Register for an Online Sportsbook in California?

California residents cannot currently register to use an online sportsbook in-state. Once online sports betting is legal in the state, the process will likely work the same as anywhere else. 

To begin the process, figure out which sportsbook you’d like to use from the list above. Follow the links to reach the site and then start the registration process by hitting the “join” or “register” buttons.

Registering for an online sportsbook requires a relatively large amount of personal information, including a real name and address. Be sure to use legitimate information. If bogus information is given, it can result in the account not being created or being deactivated later.

After the account is created, users can add funds to their account via one of several payment methods. After there are funds in the account, users can start betting. Navigate around the site to the desired sport, find the right game, and place your bets. Here’s a step-by-step guide to signing up on a sportsbook:

  • Pick out a sportsbook from the selection above
  • Click on the links and begin the registration process
  • Enter personal information and promo codes if applicable
  • Finish account verification and creation process
  • Make a deposit
  • Start betting

Is Retail Sports Betting Live in California?

Sports betting is currently illegal in California, both online and at retail. That’s likely to change at some point however and when it does, there are several probable landing spots for in-person sports betting in the state. Tribal casinos and established horse tracks in the state will very likely be the first destinations for retail sports betting in California. Here are some of the probable landing spots for when it becomes legal:

Tachi Palace Casino Resort

  • Location: 17225 Jersey Ave, Lemoore, CA 93245
  • Features: Slots, table games, bingo

The Tachi Palace Casino Resort has a comparatively small 60,000-square-foot gaming floor but the casino has long looked to sports to entertain its customers. The casino also moonlit as one of the top mixed martial arts promotions in the United States, hosting a number of fighters that went on to have success in UFC, Bellator, and other major promotions.

The Tachi Palace Fights promotion no longer exists, but the enterprising spirit is likely still there. When sports betting becomes legal in California, Tachi Palace can be expected to take advantage of it.

Harrah’s Resort Southern California

  • Location: 777 S Resort Dr, Valley Center, CA 92082
  • Features: Slots, table games, golf

Harrah’s Resort Southern California is another probable landing spot for retail sports betting in California. The casino and resort has slots alongside a variety of entertainment options for those wanting a weekend trip.

What makes it a likely spot for sports betting in the state is the fact its casino is operated by Caesars Entertainment. Caesars has made a hard push to become a leader in sports betting in multiple states. If it has the chance to do so in California, the company will most certainly take advantage of the opportunity.

Harrah’s Northern California Casino

  • Location: 4640 Coal Mine Rd, Ione, CA 95640
  • Features: Slots, table games

Harrah’s doesn’t just have one location in California. Alongside its SoCal location that lies smack in the middle of Los Angeles and San Diego, it has its Northern California location east of Stockton and Sacramento.

This location is also operated by Caesars Entertainment, a gambling and resort conglomerate that is making aggressive moves to become the top sports betting company in the USA. If retail sports betting is legalized in California, expect a retail option to be available here.

Thunder Valley Casino Resort

  • Location: 1200 Athens Ave, Lincoln, CA 95648
  • Features: Slots, table games, poker, bingo, golf

The Thunder Valley Casino Resort is one of the biggest casinos in the United States and the largest in California, with an enormous 250,000-square-foot gaming floor. Alongside that it has all the strappings of a massive casino, letting visitors enjoy table games, slots, bingo, and more.

Given the sheer size of the casino and its active efforts to give gamers anything they could hope on, it would be a surprise if the casino didn’t adopt sports betting at the first opportunity.

Pechanga Resort Casino

  • Location: 45000 Pechanga Pkwy, Temecula, CA 92592
  • Features: Slots, table games, poker, bingo, off-track betting

The Pechanga Resort Casino is among the largest casinos in the United States and the second-largest in California, with 222,000 square feet of gaming space. This includes the full roundup of gaming options, including off-track betting on horse races.

Los Angeles and Anaheim residents often find themselves landing here if they’re looking to gamble. Once retail sports betting is legal in California, they will likely find themselves coming to the Pechanga Resort Casino for that as well.

How Can I Bet On Sports Online in California?

California residents cannot bet on sports legally in-state at this time. Though there is no longer a nationwide ban on sports betting, California has not yet legalized it. Bettors in the state cannot yet bet on sports either online, or in-person.

The process toward legalizing sports betting in California starts in November 2022 with multiple ballot propositions appearing in ballot boxes. If the measures pass via popular vote, they will start to get implemented. A legal battle after is a possibility however, which could drag out the process further.

Once those hurdles have been cleared, the state will need to expand its gaming commission efforts and begin handing out licenses to both retail betting hopefuls and for established online sportsbooks to operate in the state. Other states have set a start date for sports betting and handed out licenses ahead of that, though it’s possible California could handle things differently.

Regardless, those living near any of California’s borders can hop state lines if they want to bet on a specific sports event. Oregon, Arizona, and Nevada all have legal sports betting.

What Sports Can I Bet on in California?

When sports betting goes live in California, residents will be spoiled for choice regarding which sports they can bet on. The one big caveat is that it’s unlikely that sports betting in the state will extend to in-state colleges. One of the propositions to legalize sports betting in relation to teams based out of colleges in California.

  • NBA
  • MLB
  • NHL
  • NFL
  • Boxing
  • MMA
  • PGA
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Racing
  • Lacrosse
  • Esports

Available Bet Types in California

Sports betting is not available in California but whenever that changes, sports betting fans in the state will be able to look forward to the normal roundup of options. This ranges from straightforward bets on teams to some quirkier selections for big events.

Moneyline

Moneylines are the easiest type of bet to figure out. Bettors just need to pick which side they’re expecting to win a contest. No other considerations are made and there’s nothing to fuss about, making it the easiest type of bet to pick up.

Spread

Spreads are called handicaps in other regions, and that name explains it simply. Betting with spreads means that one team has to win by a certain number of points in order to have a bet hit. For example, if a bettor bets on Team A to beat Team B with a -4.5 spread, Team A will need to win by five points or more to have a winning bet. 

Live betting

Live betting starts one the game actually begins. While a game or match is underway, many betting sites will still offer lines on the outcome. The lines shift as the action goes on, so if you feel like there’s a comeback brewing, live betting lets you put your money where your mouth is.

Over/Unders

An over/under lets bettors guess whether a team will score a certain number of point. For example, an over/under line will be set at 15.5. If the team scores 15 points or fewer, the under line wins while 16 points or more will pay off for bets on under.

Totals

Want to bet on a game but don’t like either of the teams involved? Or maybe you like both of them and don’t want to root against one of them? Then consider a totals bet! This allows bettors to wager on the total number of points that will be scored by both teams, with a format and presentation similar to over/unders. 

Prop bets

Prop bets look at things beyond just points and the winner of a contest. Each sport has its own standard prop bets and the selection can be specially tailored to a specific competitor or event. These can technically not even be related to the contest at all, with lines being offered on how many times cheerleaders will be highlighted during a game’s broadcast and whether certain celebrities will appear on-screen.

Parlays

Parlays package together multiple bets, letting bettors escalate both the risk and the reward. This lets bettors pull multiple bets, potentially from multiple games or even completely different sports. People will do this to try and wager on the outcome of every fight during a boxing card or every NFL game during a week. If someone can get a clean sweep, it yields a huge payoff.

California Sports Teams

Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers is quite possibly the most popular team in the NBA, with a history that warrants it. The franchise has everything a fan could want, from regular on-the-court success to a revolving door of celebrity stars.

Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Lebron James have all worn the iconic purple and yellow. Almost every year sees the Lakers stand as a championship contender, and that doesn’t seem like it will change anytime soon.

Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles is a very big city. Big enough to actually accommodate another NBA franchise even next to the Lakers. 

The Clippers long stood as a definitive second fiddle to the Lakers, including multiple seasons where the team clocked in at under 20 wins. The team still doesn’t have that same championship pedigree, but the team has pulled itself together in recent years and gotten into the playoffs on several occasions.

Golden State Warriors

Though the Lakers are likely the most identifiable basketball team in California, the most successful team in the state over recent years is the Golden State Warriors. The Bay Area team became utterly dominant after hiring Steve Kerr as head coach.

From 2015 to 2022, the team won four NBA championships. Even when it wasn’t hoisting the championship trophy, it notched six conference titles and five division titles. That stretch arguably stands among the best dynasties in American sports.

Sacramento Kings

Bringing up the rear when it comes to the California NBA teams are the Sacramento Kings. The franchise struggled with a more than 70-year championship drought as of 2021 and struggled to finish the regular season with a winning record, outside a stretch from 1999 to 2006.

The Kings are hoping to turn things around by scooping up Mike Brown. The Warriors’ associate head coach will be serving as the head coach for the Kings starting with the 2022-2023 NBA season.

Los Angeles Rams

The city of Los Angeles is quite kind to the Rams franchise. In the six seasons after it moved back from St. Louis, the Rams qualified for the playoffs on four occasions and won Super Bowl LVI.

The Rams were no slouches in St. Louis, winning Super Bowl XXXIV and running the Greatest Show on Turf at the turn of the millenia. This latest stint in California could actually be even better, though.

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles’ on-again, off-again relationship with being a two-team city was back on in 2017. This came when the San Diego Chargers packed up and headed north to Los Angeles. The team hasn’t enjoyed the same level of success as the Rams since moving to Los Angeles, but the team has had some high points.

The departures of head coach Anthony Lynn and quarterback Phil Rivers put the Chargers into a rebuilding state. The outlook has been solid so far, however. 

San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers boast arguably the best dynasty in NFL history, courtesy of the Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Steve Young years. The team hasn’t been as strong since then, but the Niners have had their moments in the years since.

The team made the Super Bowl in 2013 and 2020, with other playoff appearances along the way. Momentum has been stymied since then due to regular injuries at the quarterback position.

Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels are historically one of the most popular teams in Major League Baseball. The team is often within the top five for average attendance, courtesy of an engaged fanbase at home.

That popularity sagged a bit from 2021, but the team enjoyed even greater relevance nationwide. The rises of superstar players Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, and others made the Angels an even bigger name brand among baseball fans. The team has been in a relative slump since completely forsaking Anaheim from its name, but the individual talent on the team is immense.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Angels are a very popular team, but the Dodgers are even bigger. The franchise is often graded as the second-most valuable franchise in Major League Baseball, behind only the New York Yankees. This is backed up with strong engagement from fans and solid production on the field.

The Dodgers have a pedigree of success but had some struggles in the early 2000s. Since 2013 however, the team has been as consistent as they come. Between 2013 and 2022, the team topped the NL West division every year except one. 

San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants franchise is one of the most valuable in all of Major League Baseball, despite the team’s regular struggles. The consistent strength of the Dodgers over the last decade has generally left the Giants scrambling to get a wild card spot.

Fans have still been spoiled, though. The Giants won the World Series three times between 2010 and 2014, cementing the team as baseball’s latest dynasty. That will maintain the Giants’ mystique for some time.

San Diego Padres

With the Chargers moving to Los Angeles, fans in America’s Finest City have just one true home team. Unfortunately, while the Angels, Dodgers, and Giants have all enjoyed some level of success at the top of Major League Baseball in recent years, that’s not the case with the San Diego Padres. 

Across 15 seasons from 2007 to 2021, the Padres only made the postseason once which came in the shortened 2020 season. There have been hints that this performance wasn’t an aberration and the Padres could be in a position to start becoming a more regular contender in the coming years.

San Jose Sharks

San Francisco and Los Angeles get most of the fun when it comes to sports in California, but San Jose has a team of its own. The San Jose Sharks have been regular contenders despite never actually winning the Stanley Cup.

The Sharks added ex-player Mike Grier to serve as the team’s general manager after three straight seasons of missing the playoffs. Time will tell if he can bring the team back to its former glory, or possibly help the team to its first Stanley Cup. 

Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings bounce in and out of being one of the hottest and most-talked about teams in the NHL. Sometimes this comes from winning two Stanley Cups in a three-year span, sometimes it comes from trading for Wayne Gretzky in one of the biggest trades in American sports history. Either way, the team has a knack for staying relevant.

The team has been in a perpetual state of rebuilding since taking home its second cup. The franchise is frequently wheeling and dealing, so management certainly seems committed to bringing the team back to the top. 

Anaheim Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks were basically a novelty team when they were first added to the league. The Walt Disney Company looked to capitalize on the popularity of its children’s movie The Mighty Ducks and purchased an NHL franchise that became the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Over time, Disney would sell off the franchise and new ownership would turn it into a perennial contender and a Stanley Cup winner in short order.

After years of solid play the team struggled to make the playoffs from 2018 onward. A massive scandal involving general manager Bob Murray in 2021 didn’t help matters. The franchise is hoping former player Pat Verbeek will be able to once again mold the Ducks into force in the western conference.

USC Trojans

California has a number of prominent NCAA teams, but the Trojans out of the University of Southern California are the most successful. USC has what is regarded as possibly the greatest pedigree in collegiate sports, with over 100 NCAA national championships.

USC has a number of notable rivalries, most notably its football rivalries with the UCLA Bruins and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. With the team taking home gold in a wide variety of sports at the national level, basically everyone is rivals with USC.

UCLA Bruins

The UCLA Bruins aren’t just rivals to USC in name. The University of California, Los Angeles also has over 100 NCAA national championships with strong success across almost every sport imaginable.

The sheer list of all-time greats in baseball, basketball, and football is staggering. It’s not just America’s most popular pro sports either, with the school producing loads of Olympians and national team competitors as well.

Stanford Cardinal

Stanford actually has the most national championships of any NCAA Division I school, with over 130 to date. These achievements are shared among a long list of sports, but the team’s biggest feat in recent years is winning the 2021 women’s basketball championship.

In men’s basketball and football, the team hasn’t been particularly fearsome in any consistent way. Still, it remains a prominent figure as it continues competing in the PAC-12.

California Golden Bears

The California Golden Bears playing out fo the University of California, Berkeley aren’t as roundly accomplished as the Bruins or Trojans. The school’s football team almost singlehandedly keeps it a major player in the NCAA, though.

A slew of prominent players have made names for themselves with the Golden Bears then gone on to become top NFL stars. Aaron Rodgers, Marshawn Lynch, and DeSean Jackson are some of the team’s most decorated alumni.  The school’s greatest athletic accomplishments mostly happen in the water though, with alumni winning over 150 Olympic medals to date.

Though these are the biggest NCAA teams in California, that isn’t even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to California’s collegiate sports scene. Here are all the NCAA Division I teams from the state:

  • California Baptist Lancers
  • Cal Poly Mustangs
  • Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners
  • Cal State Fullerton Titans
  • Cal State Northridge Matadors
  • California Golden Bears
  • Fresno State Bulldogs
  • Long Beach State Beach
  • Loyola Marymount Lions
  • Pacific Tigers
  • Pepperdine Waves
  • Sacramento State Hornets
  • Saint Mary’s Gaels
  • San Diego Toreros
  • San Diego State Aztecs
  • San Francisco Dons
  • San Jose State Spartans
  • Santa Clara Broncos
  • Stanford Cardinal
  • UC Davis Aggies
  • UC Irvine Anteaters
  • UC Riverside Highlanders
  • UC San Diego Tritons
  • UC Santa Barbara Gauchos
  • UCLA Bruins
  • USC Trojans

Between the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, California sports bettors have plenty of events to bet on even before considering college sports. But even on top of those, there are plenty of other notable teams in other sports worth keeping tabs on across the state. Here are some other notable sports teams from California: 

  • Los Angeles Sparks
  • Los Angeles Thieves
  • Los Angeles Valiant
  • Los Angeles Gladiators
  • San Francisco Shock
  • Los Angeles Guerrillas
  • LA Galaxy
  • San Jose Earthquakes
  • Los Angeles FC
  • Sacramento Republic FC
  • San Diego Seals
  • Santa Cruz Warriors
  • South Bay Lakers
  • Ontario Clippers
  • Stockton Kings

History of Sports Betting in California

As with almost all other states, residents were long unable to bet on sporting events due to a nationwide ban. That changed in 2018 when the United States Supreme Court struck down the ban, allowing each state to set its own guidelines and laws regarding sports betting.

Many states moved to legalize sports betting within their jurisdictions with varying degrees of haste. The gears started spinning quickly in California in 2022 with Propositions 26 and 27. The two propositions had overlapping interests, but ended up butting heads in a massive lobbying battle.

Prop 26 would authorize sports betting at tribal casinos and four horse racing tracks across the state of California. Certain casinos in the state also can’t offer dice games and roulette, and Prop 26 would reverse that as well.

Prop 27 would open the door for online sports betting in the state. This would potentially allow sports fans to wager on sports from the comfort of their home with minimal restrictions.

Though one might think that these are overlapping interests, this isn’t actually the case. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent by lobbying groups in the state, with both sides pleading their case. This sometimes comes with one side calling on voters to approve one prop while opposing the other.

If Prop 26 passes and Prop 27 doesn’t, it would effectively give tribal casinos and established horse tracks sole control over sports betting in the state. This could generate huge revenue for the tribal casinos, who would enjoy minimal competition. Prop 27 offers a potentially serious threat, however. 

Prop 27 is heavily supported by out-of-state sportsbooks who want the enormous California market to open. The worry among the tribes is that it wouldn’t just introduce much more gaming competition, but could also potentially open the door for online casinos to aggressively cut into their revenue. On the other side, advocacy groups have been stating that the cash windfall from legalizing online sports betting could help tackle homelessness and other issues in the state.

If both propositions pass, it could potentially result in a legal battle due to the wording and implementation of the measures. The first step toward finding out the resolution to this is seeing the voters’ choice on November 8.