California Sports Betting

Is sports betting legal in California?
No.
When will legal sports betting launch in CA?
Too soon to tell.
Can I bet on sports in CA?
Only with illegal operators.
Is there a sports betting bill in CA?Yes.

There is currently both a legislative and constituent-driven push for legalized sports betting in California.

Assemblyman Adam Gray introduced ACA-18 back on July 20, 2017. The measure – a placeholder at the time of its introduction, since the Supreme Court had yet to rule on PASPA — seeks to amend the state constitution by decriminalizing sports betting. The bill remains active in the legislature, and it was most recently referred to both the Governmental Organization (G.O.) Committee and the Committee on Appropriations (APPR).

However, Russell Lowery, who is listed as a consultant for a group calling itself Californians for Sports Betting, also submitted initial petition paperwork with the state’s attorney general on June 12 to put the issue of legalizing sports betting on the November 2020 ballot. The formal name of the initiative as per filed paperwork is the Gaming Fairness and Accountability Act.

For Gray’s measure to have a chance to get in front of voters this coming November, it would have to pass through both houses of the state’s legislature with a two-thirds majority before June 28. Passage through both chambers wouldn’t be sufficient to have it enacted into law, however — any amendment to the state’s constitution requires voter approval.

Past efforts for sports betting legalization have stalled without ever making it out of the legislative process. Time is also running exceedingly short for the measure to pass through the needed committees and be the subject of a full vote.

Moreover, the state’s powerful tribes — which generate approximately $8 billion annually – would potentially be in opposition to the legalization of sports betting as a form of gaming expansion within the state. Notably, various pieces of online poker legislation have experienced an abundance of opposition from the tribes over the last decade in California for similar reasons.

What is the status of California sports betting?

Sports betting is currently illegal in California.

Sports Betting FAQ

When will sports betting be legal in California?

When and if sports betting will be legal in California remains firmly up in the air. The next opportunity that a measure seeking to legalize the activity – Assemblyman Adam Gray’s ACA-18 — will have to move forward is by June 28. If it were to pass both house of the legislature with at least a two-thirds majority by that date, it would then be placed in front of voters on the November 2018 ballot.

If Gray’s measure fails to meet the deadline for passing through the legislature, the next opportunity may be if Californians for Sports Betting can gather enough signatures to get their initiative on the November 2020 ballot as a referendum.

How old will I have to be to bet on sports in California?

Bills that have either passed or are actively under consideration around the country typically designate 21 as the minimum age required to legally place a wager in California.

Which California sports teams will I be able to bet on?

Should the state pass legal sports betting legislation, betting on the following teams, in addition to the major colleges, will likely be permitted:

  • Los Angeles Angels (MLB)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)
  • Oakland A’s (MLB)
  • San Diego Padres (MLB)
  • San Francisco Giants (MLN)
  • Los Angeles Chargers (NFL)
  • Los Angeles Rams (NFL)
  • Oakland Raiders (NFL)
  • San Francisco 49ers (NFL)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (NBA)
  • Golden State Warriors (NBA)
  • Sacramento Kings (NBA)
  • Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
  • Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
  • San Jose Sharks (NHL)

Can I get into trouble for placing bets with unregulated online sportsbooks?

As a practical matter, placing wagers with unregulated online sportsbooks won’t lead to any legal complications for the individual bettor.

The risks that are involved with utilizing such entities is that there is typically zero recourse for the bettor if the operator is shut down, refuses to pay out winning wagers or engages in any otherwise questionable activity. As such, a regulated market with corresponding penalties for operators that do not adhere to established legal protocols is the optimal manner in which to engage in sports betting.