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California Online Casinos

California online casinos in the traditional sense are not yet legal. However, you can play your favorite casino games legally at social and sweepstakes casinos. 

Before we get into the details, you should know that you can play at these sites entirely for free. Furthermore, you can win cash prizes in the process. Read on to find out more about your options for online casinos in California.

Our top recommended online casinos in California

Please note: Online casinos are not legal in California at this time. The list below reflects the sweepstakes and social casino options that are legal and available in the state.

Rank
Casinos
Offer
Features
Play
1

35 FREE
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2
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3
5 sweeps coins
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5
Funzpoints
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6
250,000
gold coins
PLUS $25 Stake Cash
Over 200 Slots + Live Dealer Casino-Style Games
10,000 GC + $1 Stake Cash Daily Bonus
Partnerships with Drake, Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake, Everton FC and more!
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7
up to 27.5 free sc
PLUS 65,000 GC
GC 15,000 PLUS SC 2.5 Free on Sign Up
Pragmatic Jackpot Play + Over 700 Slots Games
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Use Exclusive Promo Code: BONUSPLAY
8
20 free Sweep coins
On First $20 Purchase
PLUS 2 SC + 10,000 Gold Coins on Sign Up
PLUS 20 FREE Spins on Account Verification
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9
10 FREE SWEEPS
COINS ON SIGNUP
+ 7,777 FREE Gold Coins
US Players Accepted
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Chance to Win Cash Prizes
11
100,000 gold coins
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12
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Are online casinos legal in California?

No, traditional online casinos are not legal in California.

However, anyone who is 18 or older can play slots and table games at social and sweepstakes casino sites in the Golden State. You can redeem cash prizes at these sites if you earn free Sweeps Coins.

California sweepstakes law stipulates that sweepstakes must be free to enter, so you cannot buy Sweeps Coins. You can earn them for free via bonuses and promotions, and you may also be awarded free Sweeps Coins if you buy extra Gold Coins.

Legal online casino options in California

Californians can legally play slots and table games at sweepstakes and social casino sites. Here are some of the best sites you can visit right now.

Sweepstakes and social casinos

Sweepstakes casinos in California are similar to online casinos and allow you to play only with virtual credits—often referred to as Gold Coins—for entertainment purposes. Some sweepstakes and social casinos give you the chance to redeem cash prizes if you earn free Sweeps Coins and clear the playthrough requirements.

WOW Vegas

WOW Vegas is a social casino site that launched in California in 2022. It hosts more than 800 slots from established providers such as Pragmatic Play and 3 Oaks. They are similar to the games found at large tribal casinos such as Yaamava’ and Pechanga, but you can use the WOW Vegas welcome bonus and play them on your phone or computer.

High 5 Casino

High 5 Casino logo

Californians can play a wide range of online slots, virtual table games, and live dealer games at this established sweepstakes casino. High 5 is one of the world’s foremost providers of casino games. Many of its best titles are available at this California sweepstakes casino, along with third-party games from leading suppliers such as NetEnt.

Pulsz Casino

This California social casino offers more than 800 slots, plus table games, scratch cards and arcade-style games such as Mines and Dice. It offers a simpler user experience than many rivals, so this is one of the best sites for new casino players in California. You can hone your skills by playing for fun with Gold Coins, or you can try to redeem cash prizes by playing through Sweeps Coins.

Chumba Casino

This popular social casino has been available in California since 2017. Anyone aged 18 or older can play a range of exclusive slots at Chumba Casino. It also hosts live bingo games each day. They are similar to the bingo games at tribal casinos and bingo halls in California, but you can play online with Gold Coins or Sweeps Coins.

McLuck Casino

McLuck logo

This California social casino houses a broad array of slots from renowned providers such as NetEnt, Pragmatic Play, Relax Gaming, and Playson. McLuck also recently added live dealer games. They stand out by offering a variety of McLuck bonuses and games with progressive jackpots.

  • Login for daily free sweeps
  • Games are similar or near identical to real casinos
  • Most offer slots and live dealer games
  • Gold Coin and Sweeps Coins can be confusing
  • Redemptions for cash prizes take longer
  • Limited options to fund your account

Latest California gambling news

  • Jan. 12, 2024 – A California sports betting lawsuit against Fliff social sportsbook will be settled by arbitration, a district court judge ruled.
  • Jan. 11, 2024 – A bill that would give standing for California Indian tribes to sue cardrooms to resolve issues regarding the legality of table games has been moved to a new committee.
  • Jan. 9, 2024 – National sports betting operators announce their opposition to the California sports betting initiative, asking proponents to withdraw their proposal.
  • Jan. 2, 2024 – A California sports betting initiative proponent says he will begin collecting signatures to qualify the measure once the attorney general releases the circulating title and summary.

Is online gambling legal in California?

Most forms of gambling are still illegal in California. The Golden State does not permit online casinos, poker rooms, or sportsbooks, and you cannot buy online lottery tickets either.
Fantasy sports apps accept players based in California, although state law does not explicitly permit them to do so. Online racebooks such as TwinSpires, TVG, and FanDuel Racing are also legally available in California. You can play at social and sweepstakes casino sites too, but traditional casino sites and apps are prohibited.

California’s Native American tribes have thwarted previous attempts to expand the state’s online gambling market. They rely on the income they receive from their tribal casinos, which support more than 184,000 jobs and deliver an annual economic impact of $34.56 billion, according to the American Gaming Association.

The tribes were concerned that online gambling could damage the economic prospects of their brick-and-mortar casinos, so they campaigned against a ballot initiative seeking to legalize online sports wagering in 2022. Two tribal coalitions spent a combined $244 million on high-profile campaigns opposing the plans, and more than 83% of voters ended up opposing the proposal.

However, the tribes appreciate that California will eventually need to introduce regulated online sportsbooks and casinos. They are now focused on devising a plan that ensures they receive the lion’s share of the proceeds from online gambling, but they may need to appease California’s commercial cardrooms, so any future legalization attempts could prove to be complex.

Legalization timeline

Here’s a brief list of relevant gambling legalization efforts that have occurred in California in recent years:

2024: Tribal leaders in California said they feel an “urgency” to roll out online gambling in the Golden State, but they said they will take the time to do it right.
2023: Two proposed ballot initiatives were filed with California’s attorney general, both seeking to provide Native American tribes the exclusive rights to control in-person and online sports betting in the state.
2022: Californians voted “no” to Prop 26 and Prop 27, rejecting the chance to introduce legal sports betting.
2021: Dozens of California tribes joined forces for a campaign to legalize in-person sports betting on tribal lands, and they gathered enough signatures to place a measure on the 2022 ballot. Online sportsbooks such as DraftKings and FanDuel spearheaded a separate campaign seeking to legalize online and in-person sports betting.

Will California legalize online casinos in the future?

California is likely to legalize online gambling in the future. Tribal leaders admit that there is an urgent need to move gambling online, but they insist it needs to “benefit all tribes.”

The companies that run the country’s largest online casinos and sportsbooks have also acknowledged that the tribes are in the driving seat. “Tribal sovereignty around gaming is sacrosanct, and that goes for iGaming [online casinos] as well,” said FanDuel President Christian Genetski at a conference in February 2024. “It will be tribally led if it does, about what do tribes want on iGaming, what timetable would they want, what shape or form would they like that to take.”

All parties will be keen to avoid a repeat of the messy situation that unfolded in 2022, when rival groups spent approximately $460 million promoting their measures and attacking the rival initiatives.

If online casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks are to be legalized, the tribes will need to control the industry, while also finding a way to placate the commercial cardroom owners. They could then all unite behind one ballot measure seeking to introduce online gambling, which would stand a significantly better chance of gaining voter approval than Prop 27.

Indian Gaming Association conference chair Victor Rocha believes that in-person sports betting could begin in 2026, followed by online sports wagering in 2028. Johnny Hernandez Jr., vice chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, acknowledges that online sports betting will “eventually lead into iGaming,” but that may take several years to play out.

Tip icon
Insight:
The nearest state with legal online gambling is Arizona. Learn more with our casino bill tracker.

What online casino games are available in California?

Social and sweepstakes casinos in California offer hundreds of games. Many are similar to the games found at cardrooms and tribal casinos, but there are also some unique options. The main categories are outlined below.

Slots

You can play online slots at every social and sweepstakes casino in California. Some of them replicate the slot machines on offer at brick-and-mortar casinos run by tribes in the Golden State. You simply spin the reels and hope to match up symbols on one or more paylines.

There are also lots of innovative games, many of which are still uncommon at tribal casinos in the Golden State. The slots at social and sweepstakes casinos in California follow lots of different themes, and they can also have different features, volatility levels, and theoretical payout rates.

Slot machine odds

Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most popular table games in California, as it offers a simple format, a low house edge, and fast-paced action. You can play blackjack in-person at tribal casinos and cardrooms, but it is often quicker and easier to play online at a social or sweepstakes casino.

The goal is simply to get closer to 21 than the dealer without going bust. However, you need to follow the optimal strategy in order to reduce the house edge as low as possible. These casinos offer online blackjack games:

  • Sweeptastic
  • SweepSlots
  • Pulsz
  • High 5 Casino
  • Chumba Casino
  • LuckyLand Slots
Online Casino Concept Blackjack Table Dealer

Roulette

Online roulette is another hugely popular casino game in California. If you play in-person, tribal casinos must introduce cards into the mix, but you won’t find this wrinkle online.

Simply watch the ball spinning around the wheel and wait for it to nestle into a pocket.
You’ll find variants like European roulette (single zero) and American roulette (double zero) at social and sweepstakes casinos. These sites offer roulette games:

  • Chumba Casino
  • Sweeptastic
  • High 5 Casino

Sweeptastic stands out by offering a dozen roulette games, including French roulette, which has a higher RTP percentage than European or American roulette.

Roulette Wheel Close Up Ball On Lucky 13

Video Poker

In video poker, you compete against the house rather than your fellow players. However, the format is similar to live poker, and you are rewarded for compiling the best hand possible.

Unlike live poker, you do not have to visit a cardroom and wait for a game or tournament to begin. You can dip in and out whenever you like, and there is no need to bluff or set traps, so it may appeal to anyone that struggles to maintain a poker face. A few leading free online casinos offer video poker, including:

  • Chumba Casino
  • LuckyLand Casino
  • Sweeptastic
  • High 5 Casino
free video poker games

Poker-style table games

There are also various table games, which follow a similar format to poker. To be clear, these games allow you to play against the house, not other players. Playing these games is not the same thing as playing poker against other people. However, some games are more intricate than video poker.

Some are similar to the poker-style table games found at California cardrooms, such as 3 Card Poker and Pai Gow Poker. Other games include Caribbean Stud Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’em. The following sites offer poker-style table games:

  • Sweeptastic
  • SweepSlots
  • High 5 Casino
WSOP offered new incentives to attract dealers

Live dealer

These games connect Californians with real dealers based in dedicated studios. You can play on your phone or computer, from anywhere in the Golden State, and you can interact with the dealer throughout.

Live dealer games include blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and poker-style games. These sites offer live dealer games for Californians:

  • High 5 Casino
  • McLuck
  • Stake.us
  • Chanced Casino
Live Online Casino Dealers Deal Blackjack at Playtech studio

Other games

Additional games at social and sweeps casinos in California can include virtual baccarat, Sic Bo, Andar Nights, and three card rummy. Arcade-style games such as Dice, Mines, and Plinko are available at certain social casinos, including Pulsz and Stake.us.

In addition to casino games, some sites (like Chumba) offer bingo and keno for Californians. Scratchcards and other instant win games are sometimes available too. Another reasonably common game is Slingo, which is a hybrid of slots and bingo.

Californians can play first-person or live dealer online craps for fun at BetRivers.net. If you play in-person at a physical casino in California, you will need to use playing cards alongside the dice, due to a quirk of California’s unique gambling laws. If you play online, no cards are required.

California retail casinos & cardrooms

Tip icon
Fun fact:
There are 89 cardrooms and 66 tribal casinos in California. These are the three largest retail casinos to visit:
  • Number of slots: 7,000+
  • Number of table games: 150+
  • Poker room: Yes
  • Year opened: 1986
  • Owner: San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Yaamava’ Resort became the largest casino in California when it reopened in 2021. The venue offers a 290,000 sq. ft. gaming space, featuring more than 7,000 slot machines, a vast array of table games, a poker room, and four high-stakes rooms.

Pechanga
  • Number of slots: 7,000+
  • Number of table games: 200+
  • Poker room: Yes
  • Year opened: 2002
  • Owner: Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians

The $262 million Pechanga Resort & Casino opened its doors for the first time in June 2002. The gaming floor is 200,000 sq. ft., making it one of the largest casinos in the country, five times the size of MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

  • Number of slots: 4,000+
  • Number of table games: 80+
  • Poker room: Yes
  • Year opened: 2004
  • Owner: Morongo Band of Mission Indians

Morongo Casino is one of the largest tribal casinos in the country, with a 150,000 sq. ft. gaming space. Visitors can play slots, 3 Card Poker, 7 Card Stud, baccarat, blackjack, card craps, Fortune Pai Gow Poker, Face Up Pai Gow Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and various other games.

Sites claiming to be legal online casinos

If you search for online casinos in California, you may encounter several sites claiming to be legal online casinos in the state. Sites like Bovada and BetOnline are slick, convincing, and professional.

However, these sites are not legal in the United States. Because they are often based in Costa Rica or Curaçao, we usually refer to them as “offshore” casinos.

Offshore casinos are unregulated, meaning they have no legal permission to operate in the United States. You are not covered by any state or federal consumer protection laws if you play casino games at those sites, so you have no recourse if they scam you.

This consumer vulnerability presents two major issues. First, you cannot trust the casino games hosted at those sites to deliver fair, accurate results. Licensed, legal online casinos in the United States can only host games that are independently verified for fairness and accuracy at labs approved by American regulators. That is not the case at offshore casinos.

Secondly, you cannot rely on an offshore casino to pay out if you request a withdrawal. They may simply decide not to pay you, and you cannot report them to any state or federal authorities, as they are unregulated. For those reasons, it is wise to steer well clear of offshore casinos. Stick to the legal options in the US.

Online casino payment options in California

You cannot make deposits and withdrawals at social casinos in California. Some sites allow you to buy Gold Coins, and you can often redeem cash prizes via a bank transfer or Skrill, but they do not offer traditional payouts. Most of these casinos pay California players in 5-7 days, whereas traditional instant withdrawal casinos pay in 24 hours or less.

If California legalizes online casinos in the future, players will be offered a wide range of secure payment options. These are the most common deposit and withdrawal methods at online casinos:

Skrill is available for social and sweeps casinos in California. Players can use this method to purchase Gold Coin packages. You will not be able to use this banking option for redemptions.

Skrill Casinos

Credit cards are also accepted at social and sweeps casinos. Similar to Skrill, this method is only available for purchases and cannot be used for redemptions.

Credit Card Casinos
All Banking Options

Use this page for information on all banking options including how to deposit, withdrawal and which methods are best and cheapest.

Banking Options

Responsible gambling in California

California provides a range of free resources for anyone that wants to learn more about responsible gambling. The California Office of Problem Gambling site offers tips and advice, along with warning signs that could indicate a gambling problem.

If you have a gambling problem, you can get free help from a certified gambling counselor or licensed therapist in California. This service is normally free.

There is also a state-funded, no-cost inpatient treatment program in California, where you will live in a residential facility and receive around-the-clock care.

You can play for free and win cash prizes in the same way that you can enter and win cash prizes with other giveaways. Thus, it can become a cash prize in your pocket fairly easily.

There are a few different gambling regulators in California. The California Gambling Control Commission oversees card rooms in the state. It also works with the Bureau of Gambling Control and the California Tribal Gaming Agencies to regulate tribal casinos. The California Horse Racing Board regulates pari-mutuel betting on horse racing, while the California Lottery Commission runs the state lottery.

The minimum gambling age in California is 18. Players who are 18 or older can play casino games, buy CA lottery tickets, or bet on horse racing. However, many retail casinos serve alcohol, which means you must be 21 or older to visit them.

There are 76 retail casinos on tribal lands in California. The Golden State also has five mini-casinos, along with 72 state-licensed card rooms. The largest tribal casinos in California include Yaamava’ Resort Casino, Pechanga Casino, and Morongo Casino Resort & Spa.

Yes, you must pay taxes on any net profits you earn from gambling activities in California. The IRS deems gambling winnings to be taxable income. However, you only need to pay tax if you end the year with an overall profit- losses can be deducted from wins.

It is unwise to try to gamble online with a VPN if you are in California. Legal real money online casinos have sophisticated software that will detect your VPN, and you will not be accepted. A VPN may allow you to play at certain offshore casinos, but they are best avoided, as they may not pay out if you win.

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