California Sports Betting – Is It Legal?
California has not yet legalized sports betting and the latest push to get it done, with two separate sports betting propositions called Prop 26 and Prop 27, proved that California sports betting still faces an uphill battle.
Even though California is trailing behind the rest of the U.S., residents can still access a wide range of online sports betting sites from the Golden State. Below, we dive into the best online gaming options in CA.
Best California Sports Betting Sites 2023
Our experts set out to find the top 10 sites for online sports betting in the state of California. They signed up with hundreds of sportsbooks, put them through their paces and eventually narrowed it down to these online sports betting operators:
- BookMaker – Provides early lines and accepts action from all players
- Heritage Sports – Best for live betting and elite customer service
- Bovada – Offers a huge choice of prop bets
- BetOnline – Releases opinionated lines and offers same-day payouts
- BetAnySports – Offers reduced juice on popular sports leagues
- BetUS – Provides lots of large sign-up and reload bonuses
- WagerWeb – Offers very quick Bitcoin payouts
- GTbets – Best for competitive bonuses
- JustBet – Releases sports betting odds earlier than most sites
- Everygame – Offers a variety of bonuses and promotions
These sportsbooks are all based offshore. That means they can offer online sports betting to anyone in California, as they do not have to adhere to state or federal regulations surrounding online gaming. There are no laws to prevent you from placing bets at these sports betting sites in CA, and we have carefully vetted them to ensure they pay out on time and treat customers fairly.
Is sports betting legal in California?
Our readers regularly ask: can I bet on sports in California? The answer is yes, but only if you visit an offshore sportsbook.
The Golden State does not have its own locally regulated online sports betting market right now. Voters went to the ballot in November 2022 to vote on two different ballot initiatives. One would allow retail sportsbooks to operate at casinos owned by the state’s Native American tribes; the other is an online sports betting measure that would allow online wagering and betting from mobile devices.
Unfortunately, California failed to change any of its gambling laws. Both measures, for retail sportsbooks at tribal casinos and online betting, failed to pass.
Until the legalization of sports betting becomes a reality in the Golden State, you can sign up with an offshore sportsbook to bet on a wide variety of sports in California. There are no laws to prevent you from doing so; these are fully-established sportsbooks that have been offering online betting for decades. Just make sure you stick to the best online sports betting California sites recommended by our experts, as you will then be guaranteed a high-quality user experience and a prompt payout if you win.
The most common options on these sites are American sports. However, players can also bet on the top European Leagues and major sports from all over the world, golf events, college football and horse racing tracks.
The Best California Sportsbooks Reviews
The top 10 sites for sports wagering in California offer unique features and attributes. You can read our reviews of the best online sportsbooks California bettors can access below, as that will allow you to find your ideal match.
1. BookMaker: Best for Large Betting Limits
Bookmaker.eu is the best all-around sportsbook for Californian bettors. It is known as the site “where the line originates,” as it publishes betting odds before rival sportsbooks. BookMaker is also renowned for accepting action from all players, including professionals, and for offering very large betting limits, as detailed in the Bookmaker.eu review.
This online sportsbook, racebook and casino is based in Costa Rica. Players can choose from a wide range of convenient deposit options. The betting interface makes it easy to find any athletic event and see the latest odds.
You will be offered a choice of sign-up bonuses if you decide to register with BookMaker. If you deposit using crypto, it will give you a 20% cash bonus worth up to $500. There are also generous reload bonuses, and it offers the most comprehensive sports betting loyalty program on the market too.
- Early lines make it perfect for sharp bettors
- Welcomes all action and does not limit winning players
- Trustworthy reputation after years of quick, secure payouts
- Large limits for sports bets on the National Football League and other popular sports
- Professional bettors will be excluded from the loyalty program.
- Does not offer an online poker room
2. Heritage Sports: Best for Live Betting
Heritage Sports was an invite-only betting site when it first broke into the online gambling industry. Members appreciated the sharp odds, VIP service and the wide variety of generous promotions it provided, and the clamor to join continued to grow. Heritage Sports eventually relented and allowed anyone in the United States to sign up for an account. However, it has not lost its magic after growing the customer base substantially over the past few years.
As such, Heritage has become one of the biggest names in sports betting and it is one of the best online sports betting sites California players can access. Heritage Sports operates an engaging online casino, complemented by a section for horse racing bets and another dedicated to esports. Its best attribute is the reduced juice pricing model. Most rivals offer standard juice odds of -110 on either side of a point spread or total points line, but Heritage Sports offers -108/-108. That is a 20% discount compared to other online betting sites. It means you stand a better chance of long-term profitability at Heritage Sports.
It is also the best California sports betting site for live wagering. Its in-play betting section is user-friendly, and it provides generous odds on lots of live markets, even college sports. Heritage offers new customers a large sign-up bonus, regular cash-back rebates, free birthday parlays and various other promos.
- Reduced juice betting lines
- Cash back rebates and additional promos
- Excellent live betting section
- User-friendly sports betting interface
- Smaller sign-up bonus than some competitors
- Does not have an online poker room
3. Bovada: Best for Mobile Platform
Bovada is a very popular site among California bettors. It has an extremely comprehensive online sportsbook, which covers a variety of sports in detail. Bovada also offers a large online casino, a racebook and America’s busiest online poker room.
This site was created specifically for American bettors when it was spun off from Bodog a decade ago. If you are interested in sports betting in California, you will receive a very impressive user experience at Bovada. It offers more prop bets than rival sportsbooks, too, which makes it a great site for betting on the NFL. There is also a “What’s ya wager?” feature, which allows you to request any bet.
New customers can claim a 75% Bovada welcome bonus worth up to $750. This is a little smaller than the BetOnline crypto bonus mentioned below, but it also comes with a lower rollover requirement. Bovada also offers same-day payouts for users of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and other cryptocurrencies, a very impressive mobile platform and an excellent loyalty program for online sports betting California customers.
- More betting options than rival sportsbooks
- America’s busiest poker room
- Tons of online casino games
- Excellent mobile sportsbook
- Relatively low rollover requirements on bonuses
- Lower betting limits than other sportsbooks
- Not as quick to release betting lines as other sites
4. BetOnline: Best Opinionated Lines
BetOnline is an A+ rated online sportsbook that welcomes bettors from California. It offers a more polished interface than its rivals, with very impressive software. The sportsbook covers more than 20 sports very comprehensively, but the user-friendly layout makes it easy to find betting options.
This is another Costa Rica-based sportsbook that has been paying out like clockwork for more than 25 years. It offers the highest betting limits by dollar amount in the sports betting industry thanks to its re-bet feature, and you can also enjoy live streaming. BetOnline’s moneyline odds are appealing, and it provides opinionated lines on football, baseball and basketball. It also has an esports hub, a racebook that covers every major race track and lots of smaller tracks, an online casino and a poker room.
The BetOnline welcome bonus for crypto users is a 100% deposit match offer worth up to $1,000. If you use a fiat-based deposit method, you will get a 50% bonus of up to $1,000. It also offers a variety of free bets, odds boosts, rebates and reduced juice NHL odds. You can benefit from same-day crypto withdrawals and 24/7 support too.
- Extremely quick and reliable payout
- Very large betting limits
- Superior sports betting software to rival sites
- Opinionated lines and generous odds on futures
- Reduced juice is only available on NHL
- Offers fewer prop bets than competitors
5. BetAnySports: Best Reduced Juice
BetAnySports is the best online sportsbook for anyone interested in reduced juice betting lines. It offers odds of -105 on either side of a spread or total, which is a 50% discount to rivals. That means you only need to win 51.5% of your wagers at BetAnySports to generate a long-term profit, compared to 53% at rival sites offering standard juice lines.
BetAnySports also takes an exceptionally low house edge on moneylines and other bet types, so it is a great option for anyone seeking value. It covers a reasonable selection of props, and you can compile bets such as parlays and round robins in the betslip.
There are some minor drawbacks to the reduced juice model, as it requires BetAnySports to run on low margins. This site doesn’t have a wide selection of promotions and features less polished software than some rivals, but it is a simple, functional California sports betting site that provides quick, secure and reliable withdrawals, and the odds are fantastic.
- Reduced juice -105 lines on sides and totals
- Very attractive odds on moneylines, props and futures
- Trusted online sportsbook that pays out quickly
- Multiple live betting platforms for sports fans
- Less polished interface than rivals like BetOnline and Bovada
- Smaller welcome bonus than competitors
6. BetUS: Best VIP Service
BetUS is the best online sportsbook for anyone interested in a large bonus. The main welcome offer is a 125% bonus, which earns new customers up to $2,500 in sportsbook bonus credits and $625 in casino credits. The sportsbook bonus comes with a 10x rollover requirement, and the casino credits have a 30x rollover.
There are lots of additional BetUS welcome bonus options, too, along with reload bonuses and promotions. Aside from the bonuses, it offers a clean, simple interface, reasonably competitive odds and video content featuring picks and analysis in the “BetUS TV” section. There are no sports streaming options, though.
Around a decade ago, BetUS had a poor reputation, but a new management team then came in and overhauled the business. It has now been paying out customers on time and with no issues for many years, so it is one of the most trusted sites for online sports betting in California.
- Very large bonuses for new and existing bettors
- Video previews, picks and analysis at BetUS TV
- Excellent esports betting hub with live streaming
- Reasonably broad selection of betting options
- Large rollover requirements on bonus credits
- Slower to release betting lines and odds than competitors
7. WagerWeb: Best Top Bonuses
This is one of the oldest online sportsbooks in the market. WagerWeb launched in 1994 and it holds a BMR rating of A after routinely paying out on time for several decades. If you are interested in high-quality online sports betting in California, this is a great option.
WagerWeb is part of the same group as Heritage Sports. It offers a similar user experience and bonus structure. For example, you can enjoy reduced juice -108 lines and a 10% cash bonus with an 8x rollover requirement.
There is also a strong online casino and racebook available at WagerWeb, which is billed as “the player’s choice.” It offers competitive racebook and casino rebates, along with quick Bitcoin payouts and an excellent all-around California online sports betting experience.
- Offers reduced juice -108 lines
- Provides a variety of bonus options
- Very quick to approve payouts
- Simple sign-up process
- Lower betting limits than some rivals
- Only one free fiat-based withdrawal per month
8. GTbets: Best for Competitive Bonuses
GTbets is an exciting California sports betting site with a large sign-up bonus, great odds and interesting promotions. It was originally known as Game Time Bets when it launched in 2011, but it is now simply called GTbets. The site is licensed and regulated by Gaming Curaçao.
This online sportsbook offers odds of -109 on NFL and NCAAF sides and totals. That amounts to slightly reduced juice, and its moneyline odds are also competitive. There is another great promotion that gives you a half-point on your favorite teams. For example, if you choose the LA Rams as your favorite NFL team and they are favored by 3 points, you can bet on the Rams -2.5.
You will receive a 100% bonus of up to $500 on your first deposit at GTbets. That means it will match your first deposit with an equal amount of site credit. The bonus funds come with a 12x rollover requirement. It will also give you a 50% bonus of up to $250 on your second deposit, which has an 8x rollover.
- Slightly reduced juice football lines
- Earn a half-point on your favorite teams
- Offers 24/7 customer service
- Excellent security record
- Charges frustrating withdrawal fees
- High rollover requirements on bonuses
9. JustBet: Great for Live Betting
JustBet is a sister site to BookMaker – our No. 1 sports betting operator in California. It offers a similar user experience, so you will benefit from a simple interface, early sports betting lines and high limits.
The bonuses and the loyalty program are also the same as those available at BookMaker. It is not as famous as its sister site, so we have not given JustBet such a prominent place on our list of the best sports betting sites California players can access, but it is another very strong all-rounder.
We highly recommend JustBet for live betting. Pages load up quickly and the betslip is simple, so you can place in-play wagers efficiently before the lines change.
- Great option for live sports betting
- Releases betting lines before most rivals
- Strong betting limits on major leagues
- Provides a cash welcome bonus of up to $500
- Does not offer reduced juice lines
- No poker room
10. Everygame: Slick Mobile Experience
This is the world’s oldest online sportsbook. It was formerly known as Intertops, but the site was rebranded as Everygame in 2021. Everygame does not quite cover every game in the world, but it takes bets on more sports events than the vast majority of its rivals and is still an excellent sports betting website for California players.
Everygame is primarily known as a sports betting site, but it also offers a very impressive online casino. There is a reasonably busy poker room, too, with players of various skill levels. The team recently fixed one of the most glaring issues – the lack of in-play sports betting – by creating a thorough live betting section.
New users receive a 100% welcome bonus worth up to $50. It must be rolled over 8x at minimum odds of -200 before you can cash out. In order to get the highest value out of this percentage match offer, you have to deposit $50. This bonus is available on your second and third deposits, too, and there is a variety of promotions available for existing customers.
- Covers more games than most of its competitors
- Great option for worldwide sports leagues
- Slick user experience for mobile bettors
- Terrific online casino section
- Smaller bonuses than most rival sites
- Has had some delays in the account verification process
Latest California Sports Betting News and Developments – Legalize sports betting?
Several attempts to legalize sports betting have been made in California. Two of the most recent campaigns were backed by rival factions. Many of the state’s tribal leaders banded together to push for a tribal retail gaming industry. If it had been successful, this proposition would have limited legal sports betting to in-person betting at tribal casinos and horse racing tracks. Prominent supporters of this tribal initiative included:
- The Rincon Band of Luisueño Indians
- The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
- The Wilton Rancheria
They went up against the country’s largest commercial operators:
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Penn National Gaming
The gambling companies sought full online and mobile sports wagering in California. Their legislative efforts also allowed for retail casinos to obtain a sports betting license.
Both the online sports betting initiative and the retail sports betting initiative failed in November. Now, California residents will have to wait to see what the future of the state’s betting industry will look like. In the meantime, offshore sites offer a legal sports betting option.
California Sports Betting Initiatives: What are Prop 26 & Prop 27?
Prop 26 and Prop 27 were rival ballot measures that sought to legalize sports betting in California. One would limit sports betting in California to a handful of retail venues; the other was an online measure that would have resulted in a competitive market featuring a variety of California sports betting apps and websites.
Prop 26: California Tribal Sports Betting Initiative
A coalition of tribes banded together to drum up support for Prop 26. It would have resulted in the legalization of sports betting at physical casino locations and horse tracks only. The tribes backing Prop 26 vehemently opposed online sports betting. They formed the Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming Committee to promote retail-only wagering leading up to the vote.
These tribes branded the rival proposition – which would have legalized California betting sites – as the “Corporate Online Gambling Proposition.” They called it “a direct attack on Indian gaming and tribal self-sufficiency,” and warned it would “expose millions of kids to online gambling.”
Prop 27: California Mobile Sports Betting Initiative
The country’s largest online sports betting companies joined forces to gather more than 1.6 million signatures supporting Prop 27. That allowed the online measure to appear as a ballot question in November 2022. If it had passed, the measure would have allowed gambling companies to offer online sports betting statewide via a California sports betting app or website.
It was known in full as the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act, as 85% of tax revenue would have gone towards eradicating homelessness and supporting mental health treatment. The remaining 15% of annual revenue would have gone to Indian tribes that are not affiliated with the gaming industry. It would have also required online sportsbooks to tie up market access deals with tribes before launching in the Golden State, meaning they would have gotten a slice of the gaming revenue.
For that reason, some tribes were supportive of Prop 27. “We’re supporting the Solutions Act because it gives us an opportunity to protect our sovereignty and also create opportunities for economic wealth for the next seven generations for our tribe,” Jose “Moke” Simon, chair of the Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians, said in a 2021 campaign ad.
The rival factions spent millions of dollars in attempts to sway the direction of the state’s potential sports betting industry. The bitter rivalry between these two factions was a major source of confusion for voters. The ballot question they were faced with, however, was pretty clear-cut. Californians had three choices:
- Legalize retail sports betting only (Prop 26)
- Legalize online and retail sports betting (Prop 27)
- Vote no on each ballot question
Despite both groups’ strong efforts for sports betting legalization to come to fruition, both ballot measures ultimately failed.
California Sports Betting Updates
A timeline of updates for the legalization of sports betting and online wagering in California.
- January 2023: Despite the start of California’s 2023 legislative session, there is no proposition regarding sports betting yet. New discussions aiming at a potential launch in 2024 should be expected soon.
- November 2022: Californians vote against Prop 26 and Prop 27 in the November midterms. Sports betting continues to be illegal in the Golden State and the situation will likely remain the same throughout 2023.
- August 2022: Major League Baseball announces its support for Proposition 27, which would lead to legal online sports betting in California.
- July 2022: The California Democratic Party reveals its opposition to Proposition 27 and that it will abstain from Proposition 26.
- June 2022: Brandon Castillo, a campaign strategist for the tribal-backed sports betting ballot initiative, says that both ballot measures cannot co-exist. Voters could be asked two separate questions in November about different forms of sports betting – yes or no on the tribal-backed, retail-only proposal that would allow in-person sports betting, and yes or no on the online ballot initiative backed by sportsbooks. If both pass, the tribes plan to take the matter to court.
- May 2022: An online sports betting proposal pitched by the country’s largest sports betting companies gains more than 1.6 million signatures before the deadline. It means the measure will go on the ballot in November. A retail sports betting proposal will also go on the ballot. Many are wondering, is sports betting legal in California? Not yet, but these proposals could pave the way for legal sports wagering in the Golden State.
- April 2022: Mayors, city councilors and other elected officials in California declare their opposition to the tribal-backed retail-only sports betting initiative.
- March 2022: Card rooms in the state oppose one of the sports betting initiatives – the ballot measure that would allow retail sports wagers at American casinos controlled by the tribes – as they fear losing business and legal battles with tribes.
- February 2022: A UC Berkeley poll suggests that 45% of California voters favor legal sports wagers, compared to 33% who oppose it, but many remain undecided.
- February 2022: The California sports betting initiative backed by the country’s largest sports betting companies purported a “guarantee hundreds of millions annually to help solve homelessness and support mental health care,” according to campaign spokesperson Nathan Click. These gaming companies committed to donating sports betting revenue to the cause, which will help the state expand housing and mental health services.
Unfortunately, it is back to the drawing board for California. While residents wait for sensible sports betting laws, they can count on offshore betting sites.
California Sports Betting Teams
California is the most populous state in the country, with around 40 million residents. It also receives tens of millions of tourists each year. The Golden State has a larger GDP than New York and Florida combined. It also has more professional sports teams than any other state. No other state has more NCAA Division 1 college teams either; California is a powerhouse in college football and basketball. With that said, it’s no surprise that there are a number of great professional teams across the major sports leagues across the state.
Fans and sports bettors can keep up with Californian teams like the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco Giants and the LA Clippers along with over a dozen other popular sports teams.
How to Bet on Sports in California
You need to sign up with an offshore sportsbook to bet on sports in California. These sites do not fall under the jurisdiction of the state or the federal government, so it is important to find trustworthy, reputable sportsbooks with a history of paying out on time.
That is where BMR can help. We have assigned 100+ ratings to the offshore betting sites listed in the BMR Sportsbook Rating Guide.
A+ rated companies listed on the BMR Best Sportsbooks page have been serving California sports fans for many years, and are recommended for the best experience.
They have all been paying out their customers for many years, without any problems, so they are highly recommended for sports fans in California.
Registering at a sportsbook normally takes a minute or two, and you can then make a deposit, redeem a sign-up bonus and place your first wager.
Compare the Best California Betting Sites & Sportsbooks
Key Features of the Best California Sportsbooks
The best sportsbooks for Californians share a variety of traits:
Offshore sportsbooks live and die on their reputations. They only manage to build up large and loyal customer bases if they can be relied upon to consistently grade bets fairly and pay out on time and in full. We only recommend legitimate sites that you can trust.
Quick and Secure Sportsbook Payouts
The best sportsbooks process and approve all payment requests rapidly. They send funds in a quick and secure fashion with a variety of sportsbook banking methods, meaning you do not have to wait for days on end to receive your winnings. If you opt for a crypto withdrawal at a sportsbook such as BetOnline or Bovada, you will often receive the funds on the same day, as is the case with many of the best Bitcoin sportsbooks.
Competitive Betting Odds
It is important to hunt out the best betting odds on each bet you wish to place. The best sportsbooks provide competitive odds across the board, but you might like to sign up with a few different bookies. That means you can compare the odds on each game and claim the best lines.
Abundance of Betting Options
Many bettors stick to standard point spreads, moneylines and totals. However, you should find a wide variety of additional markets at the best sportsbooks. Your choices should include:
- Game props
- Player prop bets
- Alternate lines
- Same game parlays
- Live Betting
- Progressive parlays
- Reverse bets
- If bets
- Round robins
Mobile-Friendly Sports Betting Interface
The top California mobile betting sites run on high-quality, powerful software. It should be easy for you to find games you want to bet on, browse your options and add selections to the betslip. The sportsbook should be quick and dependable, with exciting features to enhance the customer experience across any smartphone or tablet device, including Apple and Android smartphones. You cannot currently download a sports betting app in California, but offshore sportsbooks offer mobile-optimized sites that behave similarly to apps.
Sportsbook Banking Methods
You should find a wide selection of sportsbook banking options at the best California sportsbooks. The best operators accept:
- Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
- Check (via online banking)
- Bank wire transfers
- P2P payment services like PayPal
- Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum or LiteCoin
Bitcoin and a variety of altcoins are great options for your transactions as well. Additional banking methods can include an e-check, a P2P transfer, a wire transfer or e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller.
Helpful Sportsbook Customer Service
California bettors can access multilingual customer service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at the best sportsbooks. They offer support via phone, live chat or email, along with a large help center.
The best bookies answer calls and live chat requests very quickly, without leaving you on hold, and they provide helpful answers.
Bonuses and Promotions
You will receive a large deposit match sign-up bonus at the best California sports betting sites. They will also provide you with
- Reload bonuses
- Loyalty programs
- Odds boosts
- Risk-free bets
You can expect these and other promotions on a rolling basis, including special deals that require exclusive sportsbook promo codes that have been compiled by Bookmakers Review.
California Betting Guides
To learn more about sports wagering, horse race betting and more in your state, check our guides to other forms of gambling in California.
- Horse Racing
- Sports Betting Apps
- Gambling Sites
- Online Poker
- Online Lottery
- Online Casino Apps
- Los Angeles Casinos
- Palm Springs Casinos
- San Diego Casinos
- Online Casinos
FAQs – Online Sports Betting in California
Sports betting is not yet legal in California. California voters had the opportunity to usher in a new era of legal sports betting in California on the November 2022 ballot; however, both Prop 26 u0026 Prop 27 failed.
For now, because neither proposition passed, California still considers locally-regulated sports betting illegal.
California residents can access a wide selection of excellent betting options at offshore sites. Users can bet on major sports from all over the world, their favorite college teams, horse racing events and more.
As things currently stand, there is no definitive date on when sports betting will be legal in California. Until traditional methods like Caesars Sportsbook become available, you can bet on all your favorite major sports leagues and more using offshore betting sites.
You will need to use an offshore sportsbook if you are located in California, as there are no locally regulated sports betting brands.
The BMR team reviewed all the different sites that accept bettors from California, and we concluded that BetOnline, BookMaker, Bovada and Heritage Sports are the best.
It is perfectly safe to place bets at certain sportsbooks in California. We have recommended high-quality online sportsbooks with spotless security measures and robust safety measures, including BookMaker, Heritage Sports, BetOnline and Bovada.
Regulated sportsbooks are only available in certain states and prohibited in many parts of the country, including California.
Offshore sportsbooks are not regulated by state or federal authorities – although they may be regulated in their home markets – which allows them to accept players from across the United States.
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