Guide to Online Casinos in California: The Best California Casino Sites for 2021

Online Casinos in California
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On this page we take a detailed look at the capacity and legality of California online casinos. The current legal situation is one of the least defined out of all jurisdictions in the United States. California is a unique exception as gambling online is not yet legal, yet there is no law that explicitly prohibits online gambling for residents of the state. The important details that result from this ambiguity in the law are; gambling online in California is free to play and you will not receive any negative repercussions. Secondly, due to the absence of a clearly defined legal framework, the industry is unregulated and without the player protections that you can expect in a regulated gambling state.

Why You Can Trust

Available Casino Games in California

The wealth of casino games available to state residents is somewhat surprising given the lack of a well-defined state regulator. In California you’re free to access online casinos offering Roulette, Slots, Blackjack, Poker and State Lottery. Despite online casinos not being completely legal, there are many online gambling operators that accept players residing in the state of California.

  • Roulette: available in both European and USA format.
  • Slots: enjoy a wide range of high-quality slot games.
  • Blackjack: one of the most popular card games in California.
  • Poker: is due to receive full state legalization imminently.
  • State Lottery: can be played online or in local vendors.

Biggest State Land-Based Casinos

Despite the impediment of the state senate to introduce legislation for California online casinos, there are indeed many licensed land-based casinos all over the state. These venues allow residents to enjoy a whole plethora of casino games, slot machines and sports betting facilities under one roof. With online casinos being fully accessible to Californians the vast majority of gambling is conducted online; leading to calls for an increase in the way customers can gamble with state licensed land-based casinos. In a state that is considered strongly liberal, it is surprising to see how stalled the legalization process has become.

  1. Pechanga Resort & Casino: 45000 Pechanga Parkway, CA
  2. Thunder Valley Casino: 1200 Athens Avenue, CA
  3. Table Mountain Casino: 8184 Table Mountain Rd, CA
  4. Barona Casino & Resort: 1932 Wildcat Canyon Rd, CA
  5. Pala Casino Resort: 11154 Highway 76, CA

History of Casino Gambling in California

The state of California is one that has a long and vibrant history with gambling. Prospectors back in the 1800’s following the Californian Gold Rush took a huge gamble to travel across the country in search of riches – and many were known to gamble in the notorious card rooms. Nowadays, focused efforts are being made to legalize online gambling. More information can be gathered from our California gambling page. Meanwhile you can follow the history timeline below for a succinct resume of the important events.

California Casino Laws History and Facts
1984 California takes steps to legislate the vibrant card rooms industry which up until 1984 had largely been in a legal grey area. Formalizing these into a legal framework gave legitimacy to gaming entities that had existed since the gold rush.
2001 The turn of the century saw a shift in political attitudes, shifting from a deeply liberal agenda toward a conservative policy of granting Native American communities an exclusive monopoly on land-based casinos. In 2001 the first land-based casinos were established in the state, all of which were exclusively owned by Native Americans.
2007 The heartstrings were targeted in 2007 as gambling legalization advocates rammed through an agreement that made poker games raising money for charitable causes exempt from federal legal blocks. This ultimately has been further bolstered by the pending bill SB1485 to fully legalize the popular card game.
2012 The bill falters after 2 years in the state house as lawmakers fail to agree on details of the new regulation. The societal impact on Native Americas who rely on their exclusive monopoly rights to poker gambling to raise capital is proving to be an extremely divisive and contentious issue.
2018 In the wake of the watershed 2018 Supreme Court decision to strike down the ban on sports gambling in the US, there is an active effort to reach a unilateral agreement in the Californian State government to launch a fully regulated online gambling industry. The advocates cite increased tax revenues and free-market principals as core reasons for the move towards online gambling legalization.

Casino Gambling Age in California

The issue of minors accessing gambling products is one of the major bottleneck points in the current debate in the California State legislature. In land-based casinos within the Californian state it is possible to enter the premises at 18 years old. Although, this remains a minority, and the majority of land-based casinos will demand 21 years old as the minimum age for the clientele.

  • Online Casino Age
    18 years old (for land-based casinos)
  • Alcohol Age
    Alcohol in California is legal from 21 years old.
  • Weed Age
    Marijuana is sold legally in California to persons over 21 years old.

Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention

One of the most important aspects of online gambling is promoting a safe and responsible culture. Without the right protections, the industry can be destructive on a societal and mental health level for disadvantaged communities. Currently, due to the lack of regulation surrounding the online gambling in California, there is very few organizations promoting responsible gambling and assisting individuals that have addiction problems.

Can I Play Without Deposit?

There are very few casino sites in the world that will allow players to play without making a deposit. Even in the most liberalized and open betting markets in Western Europe this is rarely possible. The only possibility of playing without a deposit is using trial funds, essentially fake money, that will give you a chance to test out the most popular games on the casino without making a financial commitment. As regulation looms in California, players should look out for no deposit casino sites that give you this free taste opportunity.

Upcoming Casino Regulation and Expected Changes

There are many delicate issues regarding the Native American population that prevent sweeping law changes for California online casinos. However, the advantages for a regulated gambling industry are being realized. With California being the largest state in terms of its 39 million inhabitants, there is a strong interest from gambling companies to infiltrate this market. In the coming months we expect to see a collaboration between the state and private sector to advance the legal status of online gambling in California from its current grey area into fully legal. Contrary to that, the New Jersey casino laws are ones that allow this type of activity much to the delight of the state’s residents.

Casino Guides for Nearby States

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