- We use trusted sources such as: Los Angeles Times and the The San Francisco Examiner to stay on top of all industry related news and developments.
- We aren’t just experts in sports betting, we have dedicated teams across the gambling industry including for casino games such as video poker and video poker.
- We keep on top of any changes to the law by closely following the movements of the California Gambling Control Commission and the California Department of Justice.
Online Daily Fantasy Sports in California – Overview
In 2015, California’s lawmakers began to consider DFS legalization. They even passed a bill that would legalize, regulate and tax DFS in January of the following year. But since then, there has been very little world of the bill progressing through the Senate. There is a number of reasons that this has happened, and they have to do with the major gambling stakeholders in the state struggling to come up with an agreement that will suit everyone.
Card rooms, racetracks, and the tribal groups all have a high degree of political clout, collectively bringing in billions of dollars annually in state revenue. They each have tense relationships with each other and are trying to ensure that none of their rivals will unfairly benefit from DFS activity. For now, the unregulated usage of the websites seems to be working for these groups, but the state of California stands to lose millions in tax revenue if it remains untaxed for the distant future.
Despite this, players in California have nothing to worry about. For now, they can enjoy the wide selection of leagues at their fingertips. Below, we have listed the top sports leagues in California and how they are played.
Online Daily Fantasy NFL – Charged Up For A Good Time
California is a mecca for NFL, with major league teams including the Los Angeles Chargers and record-breaking San Francisco 49ers. This gives Californian NFL fantasy contestants loads of opportunities to fill their teams with local talent. In NFL Fantasy, contestants are to draft 9 players into their teams, with players scoring points based on their real-life performance of players. This can be done through things like a running touchdown for example, which earns 6 points, while defensive interceptions can earn 2 points, etc.
Online Daily Fantasy NBA – Shoot For The Stars
Another Californian favorite is basketball, and what teams are more iconic than the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers? In NBA daily fantasy, contestants are to build a lineup of 8 players that will be playing in at least two different NBA games that week. Scoring is based on real-life statistics for that round, e.g. 1 point is given for every point scored and 2 points for a block, etc.
Online Daily Fantasy MLB – Playing With Giants
The San Francisco Giants are one of the best-known sports franchises in the world, with five world championships to their name earning them a huge following in the state and across the nation. For this reason, MLB Fantasy drafts are often filled with Giants players, who alongside other players make up a team of 10 others. Contestants score points with their chosen players in a number of different ways, with 5 points earned for stealing bases, 10 points given for a home run, etc.
Online Daily Fantasy NHL – The Mighty Ducks
The Anaheim’s Ducks – formerly the Mighty Ducks – were conceived by the Walt Disney Company to tie into their film of the same name, but their success isn’t a Hollywood fantasy. The Ducks have earned themselves a firm foothold in the NHL, even going on to win a Stanley Cup in the 2006-2007 season! In the NHL Fantasy League contestants to draft teams of 9 players from at least 3 different teams – Ducks included. Points are awarded to players for their goals, assists, and blocked shots, with goalkeepers also earning more points for successful gameplay.
College Fantasy Sport – something catchy
California is home to a massive amount of reputable academic institutions, and within those are an impressive number of collegiate athletics programs that perform at the NCAA Level. With Football being a popular sport to both watch and bet on in daily fantasy sports, the most interesting of these teams to betters will be the University of Southern California’s USC Trojans football team. With a history dating back to 1888, the program holds an impressive record of 13 undefeated seasons and claims 11 national championship titles.
On top of this, 7 Heisman Trophy winners are alumni of the program as are 500 NFL draft picks – the most out of any university in the United States. Thanks to the current uncertainty of laws surrounding DFS, Californians can count themselves lucky to be able to build their teams with such a pool of homegrown talent from the USC Trojans team.
Timeline of Daily Fantasy Sports Legislation
After the bill to legalize, regulate and tax DFS sports in California came to an abrupt halt in 2017, there has been little progress on pushing DFS towards formal legalization. Despite this, DFS operators are adamant that daily fantasy sports betting is a skilled game and therefore legal, citing a clause in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2016 that allow real-money fantasy sports as supporting this claim.
Below is a table of important years in California’s gambling history. For more information on gambling in the state, visit our dedicated California gambling page.
|1872||California outlaws casino games and gambling that profits the house.|
|1933||Betting on horse racing is legalized throughout the state.|
|1976||Bingo games are approved in the state by voters on the grounds that they are charitable.|
|1984||For the first time in state history, the state lottery is launched.|
|2001||One year after charitable raffles are legalized, tribal casinos are launched across California.|
|2016||A bill that seeks to regulate and tax DFS passed through the lower house, though it fails to gain traction in the Senate.|
|2016||After the overhaul of PASPA in New Jersey, California campaigns to legalize sports betting and online poker.|
Legal Daily Fantasy Betting Age in California
The gambling age laws in California stipulate that players must be over 18 years old to play DFS, the lottery and bingo, and over 21 years old to gamble at casinos and on horse racing. If a player is caught gambling underage, it is considered a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable with no longer than six months in prison or a fine of $1,000.
DFS Betting AgePlayers must be over 18 years old to legally gamble in California.
Alcohol AgeThe legal drinking age in California is 21 years old.
Weed AgeRecreational cannabis smoking is restricted to those over 21 years of age in California.
Is Daily Fantasy Betting Legal Outside of the State?
Daily Fantasy League betting is legal in most states in the USA, with only nine states that specifically stand for its illegality. Other states yet to legalize include Hawaii, Georgia, and Nevada. While states like Georgia look to legalize but still need to classify DFS as games of skill, states like Nevada are holding back operators who do not wish to pay the hefty licensing fees from starting a business there. That’s not to say that all are open to allowing DFS in their states, as both Arkansas and Hawaii have strict anti-gambling cultures that seem to not be interesting in tabling the matter now or at any later date. In contrast, Indiana daily fantasy betting is alive and kicking and backed by the existing legislation.
The Best Fantasy Sports App in California
Many Fantasy Sports operators have built dedicated DFS apps to guarantee that you can bet anywhere, anytime. This makes drafting your teams, betting and checking scores more convenient and is our preferred way to play. Based on our research, we recommend the DraftKings app the most for DFS betting.
Taxes on Daily Fantasy Winnings: Legal Overview
All winnings from gambling activities, including from DFS, are subject tofederal taxes in Colorado. Winnings are fully taxable at a rate of 25% for federal taxes, and at a state level gambling winnings are to be classed as income and are taxed accordingly to residents’ tax classes. For more info, visit the website of the IRS or the Colorado Department of Revenue.
Upcoming Regulation Changes to Be Aware Of
Since January 2016, when the bill to regulate and tax was passed in the lower houses of government but failed to progress through the Senate, there hasn’t been much action on DFS legalization in the state. As mentioned above, there are numerous interests that need to be considered before California can fully move towards DFS legality. For now, Californian players can rest easy knowing that there are have been no convictions around illegal DFS gameplay in the state and that the grey area that it exists in does not seem to suggest that playing is a crime.
For the benefit of players and the state, it would be a shame if DFS is not regulated and taxed sometime soon in the future. As the largest DFS market in the country, the state of California stands to earn a lot of money in state tax revenue if taxed, and consumer protection laws that come with defining a product’s legality are important no matter what the industry.