California Sports Betting Guide - Best CA Sportsbooks Reviewed

California Sports Betting Guide - Best CA Sportsbooks Reviewed

California Sports Betting Guide - Best CA Sportsbooks Reviewed

Sports betting in California is extremely popular and on the rise so there are a wide range of options out there to cope with the demand from players. 

On this page, we will look at what options are available, what the best ones offer, and more about the current Californian gambling scene. 

The Best California Sports Betting Sites List 2021

There are many betting sites offering online gambling in California so to try and help players, we have made a list of the best California sports betting platforms: 

  • BetOnline – Biggest California sports betting site for choice
  • Bovada – A massive range of betting sports and markets to enjoy
  • MyBookie – Some of the best odds for sports betting in California online
  • BetUS – Simple, easy to use website ideal for new players
  • XBet – One of the best California sportsbooks with excellent coverage of top events
  • Intertops – Huge coverage of the big US sports leagues
  • Sportsbetting.ag – Best California betting site for props and futures bets
  • BetNow – Wide-ranging sportsbook offering worldwide sports to bet on
  • GT Bets – Great California sports betting site with competitive odds
  • BUSR – Fantastic in-play betting section with many markets

Is Sports Betting Legal in California?

Inside the state boundaries of California, sports betting is not currently legal. While this might change over the next couple of years, there are no firm plans or timelines. As well as in-person betting opportunities, this is also the case for betting on a computer and mobile sports betting with companies based in California. 

So if you want to place bets in California, you’ll have to visit an offshore sportsbook, like those listed above. These serve the US market, allowing users to wager until authorities legalize sports betting with companies based in California. 

Online Sportsbooks

Online sports betting in California is available for those who want to get involved. Offshore online sportsbooks offer their services to players inside California. They are allowed to do so because the bets are not technically being placed inside California itself but, rather, offshore where the companies are based. 

Many online sportsbooks offer a great range of sports betting markets to those who sign up, offering bonuses and promotions and coverage of all the top events. Unfortunately, until sports betting becomes legal within the state, offshore companies are the only option for players and there is nothing to suggest that this will change soon. 

Land-Based Betting

There are currently no land-based sportsbooks in California, so there are no options for players that want to place a physical bet other than to travel to Las Vegas. The California sports betting bill is the big piece of legislation that would change all of this. 

If this does happen, it is likely that tribal casinos – which we will discuss shortly – and racetracks would be able to put their applications in first to offer sports betting. After this, other commercial premises and requests would be considered by the state and it is at this moment where sports betting in California would become far more widespread. 

California Horse Racing & Off-Track Betting

As a sport, horse racing is treated differently from the general world of sports betting, and this has been legal in California since 1933. Currently, there are two options for placing bets on horse racing – betting at the track or taking part in off-track betting in California using the TVG product. 

Horse racing is already very popular in California and there are numerous operational race tracks throughout the state. This means that those involved in state gambling have experience and know what is required. Total sports betting would of course take this to an entirely new level, but at least the people tasked with that will have experience on their side. 

California Sports Betting Legislation Timeline

Here is a look at the timeline to date for the legalization of sports betting in California:

  • November 2020 – This is the first time that legal sports betting in California was discussed. It was initially about general legalization but, after that, focused on tribal-state sports betting
  • May 2021 – The California sports betting initiative receives enough votes to be on the 2022 voting ballot, allowing California residents to vote on the legalization of online sports betting in California
  • August 2021 – Californian cities, sports leagues, and operators have put together an initiative for legal retail and mobile sports betting that would also be voted on in 2022
  • August 2021 – Further to this, a third proposal has been put forward for the state to consider, providing even more options for legalizing the sports betting industry

Offshore Betting in California

Currently, the only option for legal sports betting in California is to use an offshore provider. Sportsbooks are prohibited from being run within California and offering sports betting to residents, so you won’t find any way to legally place bets in the state.

However, offshore betting is different – these bookmakers are licensed and regulated elsewhere, away from California, so they are not breaking any Californian betting rules. People of California can then use one of these legal betting sites to get their wagers on. So if you are looking for the best sports betting app in California, then offshore is where you need to look.

Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in California? 

The rulings around daily fantasy sports in California are confusing, and there is no specific answer to their legality. However, it is much clearer when it comes to sports betting in California because laws rule that operators cannot work inside the state.

Daily fantasy sports are different because no one has made a definitive ruling on whether these games are gambling games or games of skill. So while there are no rules to say it is legal, at the same time there is nothing in place to say that this is illegal. 

Many big players in the daily fantasy industry accept players from California and allow them to join in with their online games. 

Casino Laws in California

Casino laws in California are different and more complex than the California sports betting rules we just discussed. This is because casino gaming is legal in California, but only in certain establishments. These establishments are tribal casinos, and there are 69 of them in California at the moment. 

Mobile and online casino gambling with companies based in the state is not allowed, so the same rules as online betting in California apply – companies are not allowed to be situated inside the state boundaries and offer casino gaming to players. 

Should sports betting be legalized in the future, it will be interesting to see what happens with online casino gaming. In other parts of the world, companies typically offer both services so we could see the best sports betting sites in California also offer casino gaming to their players. While this would require a different bill, casino gamers should still watch the California sports betting bill closely. 

Land-Based Casinos

If you are looking for land-based casinos in California, there are currently 69 to choose from, spread across several different counties. 

There are far too many casinos to list them all individually here, but the following counties are where you will find at least one tribal casino open for business:

Amador County, Butte County, Colusa County, Contra Costa County, Del Norte County, Eldorado County, Fresno County, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Inyo County, Kings County, Lake County, Lassen County, Madera County, Mendocino County, Modoc County, Placer County, Riverside County, San Bernadino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Shasta County, Sonoma County, Tehama County, Tulare County, Tuolumne County, Yolo County, Yuba County

Online Casinos

Just like with sports betting in California, the only way to play with an online casino is to use one based offshore. These casinos operate online and from outside of California, meaning that they are licensed and regulated but also allowed to offer casino gaming to people in many states, including California. 

Customers who want more choice for online casino gaming will be looking at California sports betting and waiting to see what happens with that. If things go well, the next step could be to offer casino gaming in the same way. 

California Gambling Taxes

One of the downsides for those who participate in California sports betting is that all winnings are eligible for taxes from the state. The tax rate varies and can be anything from 1% up to 13.3%. 

This is because winnings are taxed as regular income, just as if you were bringing home your wage from work. But, unfortunately, the 13.3% tax rate is the highest state tax rate anywhere in the US and a real downside for gamblers in California at the moment.

Best California Sportsbooks Reviewed

1. BetOnline – Biggest California sports betting site for choice

BetOnline Sportsbook Homepage

BetOnline offers a wide range of sports for you to bet on, with really excellent coverage. On top of this, they offer players the chance to bet on live events so things do not stop when a game kicks off – it is the complete sports betting in California service. 

Whether you are looking for local US leagues or other sports and leagues from around the world, BetOnline have this on offer as part of their California sports betting service. Big soccer leagues, European basketball and hockey, golf, tennis, and more all come together here to give this site the reputation of being the best California sportsbook currently available. 

BetOnline offers a welcome bonus for their new players of a 50% deposit match up to $1000. This is a big offer and to claim it, you’ll need to use the bonus code BOL1000. There are no minimum odds you have to use with this bonus, but a 10x wagering requirement is attached. 

Click here to visit BetOnline

BetOnline Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer for new players
  • Great coverage of sports from all over the world
  • A wide selection of sports and events available for in-play betting
  • Existing customer promotions include reload bonuses and mobile bonuses

BetOnline Cons

  • Mobile betting is available but no downloadable app

2. Bovada – A massive range of betting sports and markets to enjoy

Bovada Sportsbook

If you are looking for the largest site for sports betting in California then it may be Bovada. This site is vast and boasts a long list of betting markets available on each event and game across multiple sports. If it’s choice you are looking for, this is the best California sportsbook.

On top of this, the odds available at Bovada are solid, so you are going to get a good deal here from this betting site. 

New users can sign up with Bovada and claim their welcome bonus to boost their account from the start. This is a matched deposit offer of 50% up to $1000. In addition, you have the freedom to bet on anything you like, with no odds restrictions. However, there is a 5x rollover requirement of the bonus before you can withdraw funds from your account. 

Click here to visit Bovada

Bovada Pros

  • Brilliant welcome offer for new players to use
  • One of the biggest and best sports betting sites in California with thousands of daily markets
  • Competitive odds to take and get a good deal
  • Unique markets on games from the NFL and NBA

Bovada Cons

  • Mobile betting is available but no app to download

3. MyBookie – Some of the best odds for sports betting in California online

MyBookie Sportsbook

MyBookie has put together a solid betting service that includes some impressive betting odds. When running comparisons, the odds at MyBookie constantly came out as some of the best odds for sports betting in California. 

The main focus here is undoubtedly US-based sports and it might be the best California betting site for US sports given the level of service here. So if you want football, hockey, basketball, baseball and more, MyBookie has you covered. 

New players here can sign up and claim the MyBookie welcome bonus, a 100% matched deposit offer up to $1000. This also comes with a $20 casino chip to spend inside their casino. There are no minimum odds needed when placing bets with your bonus, but the bonus is subject to a 10x wagering requirement before a withdrawal is possible. 

Click here to visit MyBookie

MyBookie Pros

  • Excellent odds on offer, some of the best available
  • Great for betting on sports at home – strong for NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB
  • Huge welcome bonus, 100% matched up to $1000
  • Further reload and rebate bonuses available for existing customers

MyBookie Cons

  • The site is highly populated and new players may take some time to understand the navigation

4. BetUS – Simple, easy to use website ideal for new players

BetUS Sportsbook

If you are looking for the best California sports betting site to navigate then BetUS may be it. This site has been designed with novice punters in mind, giving it a simple layout to easily follow the menus and find the betting markets you want. 

When you find what you want, the first thing that many will notice is that this is a fantastic sportsbook for home sports coverage. Worldwide sports betting is available but not at the same level as home betting, so this is the place for you if you want online betting in California on US sports. 

BetUS have a massive sign up bonus for players – to claim this, make sure you use the promo code JOIN125. 

The offer gives you a 100% matched sports deposit of up to $2,500 with a 10x rollover required. On top of this, you also get a 25% casino bonus up to $625 with a 30x rollover required. The minimum deposit for the bonus is $100 and if you’re looking for both California sports betting and casino gaming combined, this offer gives you just that. 

Click here to visit BetUS

BetUS Pros

  • Huge welcome offer, combined sports betting and casino gaming
  • Great US sports coverage
  • Simple and easy to use website – ideal for new players
  • Look out for solid props and futures markets

BetUS Cons

  • $100 minimum deposit for the bonus is high 

5. XBet – One of the best California sportsbooks with excellent coverage of significant events

XBet Sportsbook

XBet have a wide range of events on offer for those looking to find sports betting in California. The site is set up perfectly for top events, with a ‘featured’ tab that highlights upcoming big games across many different sports. This allows you to find them and get your bets on very quickly. 

The site also has featured sports in a separate menu to aid with navigation. Most big US events are on this menu so you see them first before heading further down the page. 

New players can claim the XBet welcome bonus when they sign up. This is a 100% matching of your first deposit up to $500. There is a 7x rollover requirement and no minimum odds attached to your bets when you are using this. 

Click here to visit XBet

XBet Pros

  • A substantial welcome bonus offering 100% up to $500
  • Finding the top events is easy with featured menus showcasing what is coming
  • Navigate around the site and locate what you want with ease
  • Competitive odds on offer across all markets

XBet Cons

  • Live betting is available but the layout is a little confusing

California Betting Sites Comparison

Betting Site Bonus Promo Code Payment Methods
BetOnline 50% matched up to $1000 BOL1000 Debit cards, credit cards, cryptocurrency, Person 2 Person
Bovada 50% matched up to $1000 None Debit cards, credit cards, Rapid Transfer
MyBookie 100% matched up to $1000 None Debit cards, credit cards, cryptocurrency, Person 2 Person
BetUS 100% matched up to $2500 + casino 25% up to $625 None Debit cards, credit cards, cryptocurrency
XBet 100% matched up to $500 None Debit cards, credit cards, cryptocurrency, Person 2 Person
Intertops 100% matched up to $200 None Debit cards, credit cards, cryptocurrency, Skrill, Neteller
SportsBetting.ag 50% matched up to $1000 SB1000 Debit cards, credit cards, wire transfer, cryptocurrency, cheque, EcoPayz
BetNow 100% matched up to $500 BN100 Debit cards, credit cards, cryptocurrency, Person 2 Person
GT Bets 100% matched up to $500 plus 50% matched up to $250 None Debit cards, credit cards, cryptocurrency, quickcash
BUSR 50% matched up to $500 None Debit cards, credit cards, cryptocurrency, Direct Deposit

How to Use a California Sportsbook

If you are ready to sign up and use a Californian sportsbook, here’s a walkthrough of the sign-up process through to placing your first bet. We will use BetOnline as an example as it’s one of the best California sportsbooks available. 

  1. First, click on the BetOnline link above which will take you to their website
  2. When you are on their page, you need to click the green ‘join now’ button
  3. This will take you to the sign-up form, where you enter your name, address, date of birth, email and create a password Sign up for BetOnline on Mobile
  4. At this point, you will have created an account with BetOnline, so the next step is to verify your details by uploading your ID Make a Deposit to BetOnline
  5. Then it is time to make your first deposit – when you choose a deposit method and amount, make sure you think about the welcome offer terms and conditions
  6. The funds will be in your account and you can now explore the sportsbook and place your first bet on the site

Conclusion

While the landscape of sports betting in California may be changing, it is unlikely to happen any time soon, so players should familiarize themselves with what is available right now. 

California’s best sports betting sites offer strong odds, a wide range of markets, live betting, and a fantastic welcome offer alongside existing customer bonuses. With a great choice on offer for players, the standard is strong and only set to increase as more people take part in California sports betting.

Sign up now to BetOnline with promo code BOL1000 to get your $1,000 welcome bonus.

FAQs

Can you bet on sports in California?

Yes, you can bet on sports in California by using an offshore bookmaker or by visiting one of the horse racing tracks throughout the state. 

Is it illegal to bet on sports in California?

It is illegal to bet on sports within California, which is why people turn to offshore betting companies to place their wagers. 

When will sports betting be legal in California?

This all depends on when the bill readings go through. There does appear to be support for it but 2023 is the earliest it could happen. 

Is DraftKings sportsbook legal in California?

Draftkings and other daily fantasy providers operate in a grey area at the moment. There are no laws to say daily fantasy games are illegal but, at the same time, no regulations are clarifying that it is legal either. 

What is the best sports betting app in California?

If you are looking to play on mobile, check out BetOnline, a fantastic offshore bookmaker open to California residents.