San Diego Casinos: How to Gamble Online in San Diego California
After two propositions, regarding online betting in California, failed to be approved in the 2022 November midterms, U.S.-licensed sportsbooks are still forbidden to operate in the Golden State. However, that hasn’t stopped San Diego’s love of gambling.
There are ten casinos located across the San Diego county area, nearby cities with horse track betting and, of course, there are hundreds of real-money online gaming options as well.
That is where we can help. BMR has reviewed more than 100 betting sites with online casinos accepting San Diego players. We have done the hard work for you, and we can now point you toward the best San Diego casino sites.
Read on to discover all of your gambling options in San Diego.
Top Online Betting Sites for San Dieo Residents
Land-Based Casinos in San Diego
You can play slot machines, card games, and roulette at brick-and-mortar casinos and card rooms in the San Diego area. There are none in the city itself; all of them are a 30 to 60-minute drive from town. Many casinos in southern California feature video poker machines, weekly poker tournaments, a variety of gaming tables, and even dining options.
Barona Valley Ranch Casino
This casino is on a sprawling reservation and is home to over 2,000 games, a golf course and more. It is located in Lakeside, CA, which is roughly 30 minutes from the center of the city. This is the only non-smoking casino in the San Diego area.
Casino Pauma has a 35,000-square-foot casino floor that features slots and table games; it is a great place to find lively blackjack tables in Southern California. This casino is also known for having low limits, so it can be a great place for beginners and budget gamblers to get in on the action.
Golden Acorn Casino
Golden Acorn casino is one of the smaller land-based gambling venues in the San Diego area. It hosts 750 slot machines and has roughly 50 video poker options to go along with the 20 live-dealer tables. Despite its smaller stature, it still has a lot to offer, including some restaurant options with rave reviews.
Harrah’s Resort Southern California
Harrah’s Resort is a huge, lavish casino getaway location that is in Valley Center, CA. Residents will have to drive almost an hour away from the city to enjoy the Vegas-style experience. There are 7,500 slot machines, dozens of table games and plenty of other gambling and entertainment options here.
Jamul Casino, also called Jamul Casino San Diego, is the closest casino to the city. Fittingly, it is located in Jamul, California. This casino offers all the latest slots and the most popular poker games. There are more than three dozen gaming and poker tables, as well as multiple lounges.
The Pala Casino Spa Resort is located in Pala, California. This is another fully-loaded Vegas-style resort where residents will find over 2,000 slot machines and more than 100 different table games to choose from.
While Pechanga Casino is a bit of a trek for San Diego residents, it is one of the largest casinos in the United States. There is a 200,000-square-foot casino floor at this Temecula gaming venue. Players can enjoy thousands of slot and table games, as well as a non-smoking poker room.
Sycuan Casino is located in El Cajon, California, which is just a 20-minute drive from downtown San Diego. There are 2,000 slot machines, including both video and classic reel slots; among the gaming tables, you’ll also find exclusives like Sycuan-style craps.
Valley View Casino
As long as you are over 21, you can drive over to Valley Center, California to check out the Valley View Casino. This venue features thousands of slot machines, which are known to be the loosest in Southern California. There are also dozens of gaming tables and live entertainment every night.
Thirty miles inland, San Diego residents will find the Viejas Casino. Located on the Viejas Reservation, this casino has a 1,200-seat bingo hall, 2,200 slot machines and more. You can also find off-track horse betting and a huge shopping outlet nearby.
The Best Online Casinos in San Diego
We tasked our team of experts with identifying the top 10 online casinos San Diego players can use. They reviewed more than 100 sites, and they ultimately found these to be the top 10:
- Bookmaker – No. 1 San Diego online casino site
- Heritage Sports – Best online San Diego casino for beginners
- Bovada – Most appealing sign-up bonus for San Diego casino players
- BetOnline – Best selection of online casino games in San Diego
- BetAnySports – High-quality online casino and sportsbook
- BetUS – Large welcome bonus and reload bonus
- WagerWeb – Excellent mobile casino site
- JustBet – Great loyalty program for San Diego players
- Everygame – Huge library of quality online casino games
- SportsBetting – Loads of promos for San Diego casino players
Best Online Casino in San Diego List Reviewed
You can delve into our San Diego online casino reviews below, as they all have different specialisms and attributes. You will learn more about each.
1. Bookmaker: No. 1 San Diego Online Casino Site
Our reviewers crowned Bookmaker the best online casino for San Diego players. It performed very well in each category we focused on when conducting our reviews, including the user experience, the quality of the games, the bonuses and loyalty program, banking, customer service, and security.
If you are unfamiliar with Bookmaker, it is famous for offering early sports betting lines and accepting all action, from pro bettors and recreational gamblers alike. However, it is more than just a world-class online sportsbook, as it also has a very impressive online casino, replete with a generous bonus package and loads of games with exceptionally high RTP (Return to Player) rates.
- Best overall casino in San Diego
- More games with very high RTP rates than rivals
- Best Bitcoin casino
- Comprehensive rewards and VIP program
- Fewer casino games than some competitors
- Bovada has a larger welcome bonus
2. Heritage Sports: Best San Diego Casino for Beginners
We would highly recommend Heritage Sports for any beginners that want to get into online casino gaming, sports betting, and horse racing. It has a very simple, user-friendly online casino lobby, and the customer service is the best in the business, so you will be supported whenever you need help.
This site operated on an invite-only model for many years, but it is now open to the wider public, which is excellent news for San Diego online casino players. It has a great casino section, with lots of fun slots, high RTP table games, and specialty games such as scratchcards. Payouts are secure and the funds arrive quickly, so we can vouch for the quality of this San Diego online casino site.
- Simple interface is perfect for beginners
- Great mobile casino site
- Best online casino for scratchcards
- World-class customer service
- Does not have a casino sign-up promotion
- BetOnline has more table games
3. Bovada: Best Sign-Up Bonus for Casino Players
Bovada is the perfect site for anyone that wants to bet on casino games, sports, horse races, poker tournaments, and cash games in one place. The poker room is the busiest in the United States, the sportsbook provides more betting markets than any offshore competitors and the racebook is user-friendly, while the casino is terrific.
The live dealer section stands out, offering a long list of options to suit any budget or playing style. The feeds are reliable and smooth, and the dealers are friendly and professional. The sign-up bonus is also market-leading. You will receive a 125% bonus of up to $1,250 on each of your first three deposits, so you can redeem up to $3,750 in bonus money. It does not run many additional promos, but the loyalty program is strong.
- Best sign-up bonus in San Diego
- Top poker room in America
- Strong choice of slots and table games
- Trusted brand with quick payouts
- No recurring casino promotions
- Fewer video slot games than BetOnline
4. BetOnline: Strongest Range of Casino Games
BetOnline offers an exciting library featuring more than 350 slots, dozens of table games, lots of specialty games, and two live dealer casinos – Red and Black. Many different software studios are represented, creating a very diverse portfolio. There are low-stakes games for casual players and high-limit games for players with larger bankrolls.
There is a 100% bonus of up to $1,000 available on each of your first three deposits, with a competitive rollover requirement. BetOnline also provides more recurring promos than any of the sites it competes with. Additional strengths include swift payouts, high-end software, and helpful customer service.
- Broadest range of quality casino games
- Best online casino for promotions
- Large welcome offer for San Diego casino players
- Crypto payouts arrive very quickly
- Fiat-based payment methods may incur fees
- Bovada’s poker room has better liquidity and traffic
5. BetAnySports: Excellent Casino and Sportsbook Site
BetAnySports rounds out our list of the top five San Diego casino sites. It is more famous for sports betting – this is the ultimate destination for reduced juice lines on leagues such as the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL – but it also has an exciting casino built into the site.
There are actually seven different casino platforms within BetAnySports, each with a slightly different theme, so the choice of games is immense. Additional attributes include the payout speeds, the reliability of the site, and the rebate program, which is up there with the very best on the market. We recommend signing up with this online casino in San Diego today.
- Huge choice of casino games
- Appealing rebates for casino players
- High-speed withdrawals
- 24/7 customer service
- Larger sign-up bonuses available elsewhere
- Not as well-established as Bookmaker
Gambling Laws in San Diego – What types of gambling are legal in San Diego?
Gambling is legal in San Diego in a variety of forms:
- Betting on horses online or at nearby venues such as Del Mar Racing.
- Daily Fantasy Sports contests on a variety of leagues and sports.
- Lottery games such as Mega Millions and Powerball.
- Slot machines and table games at retail casinos such as Jamul Casino and card rooms.
- Charity games such as bingo and poker.
Is online gambling in San Diego legal?
California has a locally regulated market for certain forms of online gambling, but casino games are not included. That means you need to use an offshore betting site. There are no city, state or federal laws that prevent you from using offshore casinos. We can highly recommend Bookmaker, Heritage Sports, Bovada, BetOnline, and BetAnySports, as they are legit and they always pay out.
History of Gambling in San Diego
These are some notable developments in the history of gambling in San Diego:
- 2018: Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego rebrands as San Diego.
- 2016: Penn National Gaming opens Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego with 1,700 slot machines.
- 1991: Viejas Casino & Resort near San Diego opens.
- 1987: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that California cannot stop Native American tribes from opening Californian casinos.
- 1984: The California Lottery is founded.
- 1983: Sycuan Casino Resort near San Diego opens, initially as a bingo hall.
- 1933: Horse racing betting gets underway in San Diego.
- 1850: Poker is declared a game of skill, leading to legal card rooms opening in the Southern California city.
FAQs – San Diego’s Casinos
There are no locally regulated San Diego casino sites, as Californian lawmakers have not yet passed an online gambling bill. In lieu of local San Diego casinos, you will need to use an offshore betting site to play table games, slots, and live dealer games.
You can win real money at online casinos, but you should only sign up with reputable sites that have been paying out on time for years. For that reason, we suggest using Bookmaker, Heritage Sports, Bovada, BetOnline, BetAnySports, or Everygame.
Bookmaker is the San Diego casino site with the best payout rates. The metric to look out for is called Return to Player (RTP), which explains the theoretical payout on every game. Bookmaker has a higher average RTP than rival online casinos in San Diego.
Jamul Casino is the closest casino that offers slots; it is about a 30-minute drive. If you want to start playing slots immediately, you can use an online casino such as Bovada, BetOnline, Bookmaker, or Heritage Sports.
There are ten land-based casinos located in the San Diego area; however, none of them are located directly in the city. The closest casino to downtown is Jamul Casino in Jamul, CA.
You can find resort and casino venues throughout San Diego County, such as Sycuan Casino Resort, Pauma Valley, Pala Casino Resort Spa, Valley View Casino & Hotel, Barona Resort & Casino, Viejas Casino & Resort, and Harrah’s Valley View. All of these locations are tribal casinos.
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