Pari-Mutuel/Horse Racing 1933
Card Rooms 1872
Charity Games 1976
Tribal Casinos 2000
All Gambling 18+ (21+ where alcohol is served)
Tribal Casinos 66
Card Rooms (licenses) 86
Known as ‘The Golden State,’ California borders the Pacific Ocean on the west coast.
Article IV of the California Constitution makes most gambling forms illegal. However, some exceptions which permit gambling exist and are regulated by the state or Native American tribes. These include bingo, horse race wagering, pari-mutuels, lotteries, card rooms, and tribal casinos. California does not have any online gaming legislation, and non-sports betting and mobile gambling are prohibited.
Legal forms of gambling mainly fall under legislation concerning the Gambling Control Act (GCA) (California Business and Professions Code §§ 19800 et seq. (West)).
California has no state law that explicitly defines gambling. Still, case law has determined the three elements necessary to constitute gambling. These include a prize, awarded through an event of chance in exchange for a consideration.
No explicit laws prohibit poker in California since it’s considered a game where players compete against each other rather than the bank (which would otherwise be illegal). Poker is legally permitted at tribal casinos and card rooms. Not-for-profit poker games are also legally allowed. At present, there are 86 facilities that are licensed to offer card rooms.
Lotteries in California were legalized in 1984 after a state referendum. The California State Lottery runs statewide lotteries (draw games and scratch cards). Participation in interstate lotteries such as Mega Millions games and Powerball is also possible.
No specific laws exist for social gaming in California. Still, it is legal, provided that there is no prize consideration and is a game of skill. Defining social gaming as a skill game has been challenged in federal courts but shot down each time.
California Penal Code § 326.5(o) defines bingo as a game of chance with prizes. Furthermore, a player must have a tangible card with symbols or numbers. These are marked or covered, corresponding to numbers randomly drawn and announced by a live caller. Aside from bingo, charity raffles and poker are also permitted.
Horse race wagering and pari-mutuel wagering are governed by California Horse Racing laws. They are the only legal forms of sports betting, set out in the California Business and Professions Code §§ 19590-603. Pari-mutuel wagering on horses is allowed online, at off-betting facilities and racetracks.
Commercial casinos in California are unlawful, and in recent years no attempts have been made to change this. However, there are presently 66 tribal casinos scattered throughout the state. Regulations, limitations, and terms concerning tribal casinos are set out in compacts between the state of California and individual tribes. Tribes work with the CGCC to develop regulations in line with the tribe–state compacts.
|Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs||140 North Indian Canyon Drive – Palm Springs, California 92262||www.sparesortcasino.com|
|Agua Caliente Casino Rancho Mirage||32-250 Bob Hope Drive – Rancho Mirage, California 92270||www.hotwatercasino.com|
|Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City||68960 E Palm Canyon Dr – Cathedral City, CA 92234||www.aguacalientecasinos.com/cc/|
|Desert Rose Casino||901 County Road 56 – Alturas, CA 96101||www.desertrosecasino.net|
|Augustine Casino||84-001 Avenue 54 at Van Buren – 3 Miles East of PGA West Coachella, California 92236||www.augustinecasino.com|
|Barona Resort & Casino||1932 Wildcat Canyon Road Lakeside, CA 92040||www.barona.com|
|Bear River Casino||11 Bear Paws Way Loleta, CA 95551||www.bearrivercasino.com|
|Gold Country Casino||4020 Olive Highway Oroville, CA 95966||www.goldcountrycasino.com|
|Mono Wind Casino||37302 Rancheria Lane – Auberry, California 93602-1060||www.monowind.com|
|Konocti Vista Casino Resort, Marina & RV Park||2755 Mission Rancheria Road – Finley, CA 95435||www.konocti-vista-casino.com|
|Wanaaha Casino||2742 North Sierra Highway – Bishop, California 93514||www.wanaaha.com|
|Blue Lake Casino||777 Casino Way – Blue Lake, CA 95525||www.bluelakecasino.com|
|Harrah’s Northern California Casino||4650 Coal Mine Road, Ione, California 95640||www.caesars.com/harrahs-northern-california|
|Fantasy Springs Casino||84-245 B Indio Springs Dr., Indio CA 92203.||www.fantasycasino.net|
|Colusa Casino Resort||3770 Highway 45 – Colusa, California 95932-1267||www.colusacasino.com|
|Red Fox Casino & Bingo||200 Cahto Drive Laytonville, California 95454||www.redfoxcasino.net|
|Cahuilla Casino||52702 Highway 371 – Anza, California 92539||www.cahuillacasino.com|
|Golden Acorn Casino||1800 Golden Acorn Way – Campo, CA 91906||www.goldenacorncasino.com|
|Havasu Landing Resort & Casino||1 Main Street – Havasu Lake, California 92363||www.havasulandingresortcasino.com|
|Cher-Ae Heights Bingo & Casino||27 Scenic Drive – Trinidad, California 95570-9767||www.cheraeheightscasino.com|
|Chicken Ranch Casino||16929 Chicken Ranch Road – Jamestown, California 95327-9779||www.chickenranchcasino.com|
|Coyote Valley Casino||7751 North State Street – Redwood Valley, CA 95418||www.coyotevalleycasino.com|
|River Rock Casino||3250 Highway 128 East – Geyserville, California 95441||www.riverrockcasino.com|
|Elk Valley Casino||2500 Howland Hill Road – Crescent City, California 95531-9241||www.elkvalleycasino.com|
|Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento At Fire Mountain||3317 Forty Mile Road, Wheatland, CA, 95682||www.hardrockhotelsacramento.com/casino|
|Graton Resort & Casino||288 Golf Course Dr W, Rohnert Park, CA 94928||www.gratonresortcasino.com|
|Running Creek Casino||635 E. Highway 20 – Upper Lake, CA 95485||www.runningcreekcasino.com|
|Lucky Bear Casino||Shopping Center, Highway 96 – Hoopa, CA 95546||www.hoopa-nsn.gov/enterprises/lucky-bear-casino|
|Hopland Sho-Ka-Wah Casino & Bingo||13101 Nokomis Road – Hopland, California 95449-9725||www.shokawah.com|
|Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort||12222 New York Ranch Road – Jackson, California 95642||www.jacksoncasino.com|
|Jamul Casino||14145 Campo Road – Jamul, CA 91935||www.jamulcasinosd.com|
|Rain Rock Casino||777 Casino Way, Yreka, CA 96097||www.rainrockcasino.com|
|Garcia River Casino||22215 Windy Hollow Road – Point Arena, CA 95468||www.thegarciarivercasino.com|
|Twin Pine Casino||22223 Highway 29 – Middletown, California 95461-9754||www.twinpine.com|
|Feather Falls Casino & Lodge||3 Alverda Drive – Oroville, California 95966-9379||www.featherfallscasino.com|
|Morongo Casino Resort Spa||49750 Seminole Drive – Cabazon, California 92230-2200||www.morongocasinoresort.com/casinomorongo|
|Pala Casino Spa Resort||11154 Highway 76 – Pala, California 92059||www.palacasino.com|
|Rolling Hills Casino||2655 Barham Avenue – Corning, California 96021||www.rollinghillscasino.com|
|Casino Pauma||777 Pauma Reservation Road – Pauma Valley, California 92061||www.casinopauma.com|
|Pechanga Resort & Casino||45000 Pala Road – Temecula, California 92592-5810||www.pechanga.com|
|Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino||711 Lucky Lane – Coarsegold, California 93614||www.chukchansigold.com|
|Pit River Casino||20265 Tamarack Avenue – Burney, California 96013-4064||www.pitrivercasino.com|
|Quechan Casino Resort||525 Algodones Road – Winterhaven, CA 92283||www.playqcr.net|
|Win-River Casino||2100 Redding Rancheria Road – Redding, California 96001-5530||www.winriver.com|
|Harrah’s Resort Southern California||777 Harrah’s Rincon Way – Valley Center, CA 92082||www.caesars.com/harrahs-socal|
|Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino||1545 East Highway 20 – Nice, California 95464-8619||www.rrrc.com|
|San Manuel Casino||777 San Manuel Blvd, Highland, CA 92346||www.sanmanuel.com|
|Valley View Casino||16300 Nyemii Pass Road – Valley Center, California 92082||www.valleyviewcasino.com|
|Tachi Palace Casino Resort||17225 Jersey Avenue – Lemoore, California 93245-9760||www.tachipalace.com|
|Chumash Casino Resort||3400 East Highway 246 – Santa Ynez, California 93460-9405||www.chumashcasino.com|
|Sherwood Valley Casino||100 Kawi Place – Willits, California 95490-4674||www.svrcasino.com|
|Red Hawk Casino||1 Red Hawk Boulevard – Placerville, CA 95667||www.redhawkcasino.com|
|Soboba Casino||22777 Soboba Road – San Jacinto, CA 92583||www.soboba.com|
|Diamond Mountain Casino||900 Skyline Drive – Susanville, California 96130||www.dmcah.com|
|Sycuan Casino||5469 Casino Way, El Cajon, CA 92019||www.sycuan.com|
|Table Mountain Casino||8184 Table Mountain Road – Friant, California 93626||www.tmcasino.com|
|Lucky 7 Casino||350 North Indian Road – Smith River, California 95567||www.lucky7casino.com|
|Red Earth Casino||3089 Norm River Road Salton Sea Beach, CA 92274||www.redearthcasino.com|
|Eagle Mountain Casino||681 South Reservation Road Porterville, CA 93257||www.eaglemtncasino.com|
|Black Oak Casino||19400 Tuolumne Road North – Tuolumne, California 95379-9724||www.blackoakcasino.com|
|Spotlight 29 Casino||I-10 at Dillon Road – 46-200 Harrison Place Coachella, California, 92236||www.spotlight29.com|
|Tortoise Rock Casino||73829 Base Line Rd – Twentynine Palms, CA 92277||www.tortoiserockcasino.com|
|Thunder Valley Casino||1200 Athens Avenue – Lincoln CA 95648||www.thundervalleyresort.com|
|Viejas Casino||5000 Willows Road – Alpine, California 91901||www.viejas.com|
|Cache Creek Casino||14455 Highway 16 – Brooks, California 95606-0065||www.cachecreek.com|
|Redwood Hotel Casino||171 Klamath Blvd – Klamath, CA 95548||www.redwoodhotelcasino.com|
Non-banked card games, including poker, were considered legal since 1872 by virtue of the fact that they were excluded from mention in the Constitution as prohibited gambling forms.
A voter referendum in 1933 legalized horse race wagering, followed by off-track betting at fairgrounds in 1985, off-track betting elsewhere in 2008, and online race betting in 2002.
In 1984, a voter referendum approved the California State Lottery. A decade later, in 1995, a moratorium on card rooms started that only ended in 2020.
The California Constitution was amended in 1976 to legalize charitable bingo. There were further amendments in 2000 to allow raffles and again in 2007 to enable charity poker.
In 2000, Proposition 1A amended the California constitution to allow tribal casinos to offer slots and card games on Native land.
In 2018, The US Supreme Court struck down The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (1992), allowing individual states to decide whether to legalize sports betting.
The last few years have seen several failed attempts to legalize online poker and other online games. Sen Bill Dodd attempted to introduce legislation in 2020 (Bill ACA 16) to legalize sports betting through a referendum. He was forced to retreat after opposition from California’s tribal casino operators.
Before that, Assembly Bill 2863 was introduced in 2016, which would legalize online poker. It ran into opposition from horse racing and state tribes, both fearing the potential loss of revenue.
California only allows tribal casinos in the state.
No, there are no California tax laws. However, all gambling winnings are subject to federal income tax.
Yes, California offers state and interstate lotteries.
No, sports betting is not legal in California.
California permits charity games, tribal casinos, pari-mutuel & race betting, lotteries, card rooms, and social gambling.