Recently updated on July 6th, 2022
Casinos in California aren’t all that difficult to find if you visit venues located on Native American reservations. In fact, it was the first state to allow such agreements. However, if you are looking to find a casino outside of reservations, a California card room will have to do it for you.
Currently, no other gambling venues are legal off reservations other than world-famous card rooms. If you want to learn more about gambling in California and the complicated history surrounding it, read on below.
Casinos in California Links
- Top California Online Casinos
- Types of Live Gambling in California
- Online Gambling in California
- California Gambling Laws Explained
- Best Indian Casinos in California
- History of Gambling in California
- Top California Casinos FAQs
There are four types of brick-and-mortar gambling options in the state of California:
- Card rooms – there are loads of popular card rooms scattered across the Golden State. These rooms offer players the chance to play a wide variety of games, including baccarat, blackjack, and poker, among others. These card rooms have even been the birthplace of new variations.
- State lottery – during the 1980s, California established a state lottery to help fund public schools. Games available include keno and scratch cards. Both players in Nevada and California play these games, with most tickets being sold at shops located on the two states’ border.
- Indian casinos in California – since being ratified in 2000, Indian casinos have mushroomed across the state, giving players the chance to play even more casino games.
- Horse racing betting – horse racing betting has been available in California since 1933. It is the oldest form of gambling available in the state.
There are a couple of explicitly legal forms of online gambling in California, including:
- Horse Racing – it is possible to bet on horse racing online in California. However, the race that gamblers bet on needs to occur at one of the state’s racetracks.
- Daily Fantasy Sports – there aren’t any laws preventing daily fantasy sports operators from offering their service to gamblers in California. Operators claim it is a game of skill rather than a game of chance.
There have been attempts to legalize online poker rooms, but all attempts have turned sour towards the end. Offshore online casinos are not explicitly banned, so joining them without facing legal consequences is possible.
California legal processes require gambling laws to be approved by citizens, which includes issuing a state referendum. Every form of legal gambling in the state went through this process to be legalized.
In terms of legal gambling, horse racing was the first to be permitted. Bettors are allowed to make off-track bets only on races taking place in California. Following horse racing, a state lottery program including scratch-off tickets and keno-style games, was legalized to help fund public schools. Since then, interstate games like Powerball and Mega Millions have also been introduced.
Charity-based gambling games are also legal; however, the overall prize-pool needs to be less than 20% of the proceeds going to charity. Events cannot be run with business intent. People operating the event need to be volunteers.
In terms of casino-style gambling venues, California is very famous for its legal card rooms. At first, only poker was permitted in these venues, but this has since grown to include other famous casino games, including blackjack, baccarat, and pai gow poker.
Finally, if players want to play more than just card games, they need to look at an Indian casino. These venues allow California players to play games, such as slots, video poker, and bingo. The only two games that are not allowed are craps and roulette. Casinos are required to pay tax on games not allowed at card clubs or racetracks.
If you are looking to visit California casinos that allow you to play slots and other less accessible games of chance, we recommend visiting one of these casinos:
|Augustine Casino – Coachella||84-001 Avenue 54 at Van Buren|
|Barona Casino – Lakeside||1932 Wildcat Canyon Road|
|Agua Caliente Casino – Rancho Mirage||32-250 Bob Hope Drive|
|Bear River Casino – Loleta||11 Bear Paws Way|
|Blue Lake Casino||777 Casino Way|
|Black Oak Casino – Tuolumne||19400 Tuolumne Road North|
|Cahuilla Creek Casino – Anza||52702 Highway 371|
|Cache Creek Casino – Brooks||14455 CA-16|
|Cher-Ae Heights Casino – Trinidad||27 Scenic Drive|
|Chicken Ranch Casino – Jamestown||16929 Chicken Ranch Road|
|Casino Pauma – Pauma Valley||777 Pauma Reservation Road|
|Chumash Casino – Santa Ynez||3400 East Highway 246|
|Chukchansi Gold Casino – Coarsegold||711 Lucky Lane|
|Colusa Casino||3770 Highway 45|
|Cloverdale Rancheria Casino||Highway 101|
|Desert Rose Casino – Alturas||901 County Road 56|
|Coyote Valley Casino – Redwood Valley||7751 North State Street|
|Eagle Mountain Casino – Porterville||681 South Tule Road|
|Diamond Mountain Casino – Susanville||900 Skyline Drive|
|Fantasy Springs Casino – Indio||84-245 Indio Springs Parkway|
|Elk Valley Casino – Crescent City||2500 Howland Hill Road|
|Garcia River Casino – Point Arena||22215 Windy Hollow Road|
|Feather Falls Casino – Oroville||3 Alverda Drive|
|Gold Country Casino – Oroville||4020 Olive Highway|
|Golden Acorn Casino – Campo||1800 Golden Acorn Way|
|Havasu Landing Casino – Needles||1 Main|
|Graton Casino – Rohnert Park||288 Golf Course Drive West|
|Hidden Oaks Casino – Covelo||76700 Covelo Road|
|Hollywood Casino Jamul||14191 Highway 94|
|Hopland Sho-Ka-Wah Casino||13101 Nokomis Road|
|Harrah’s – Valley Center||777 Harrah’s Rincon Way|
|Konocti Vista Casino – Lakeport||2755 Mission Rancheria Road|
|Jackson Rancheria Casino||12222 New York Ranch Road|
|Lucky Bear Casino – Hoopa||12510 State Highway 96|
|Lucky 7 Casino – Smith River||350 North Indian Road|
|Morongo Casino – Cabazon||49500 Seminole Drive|
|Mono Wind Casino – Auberry||37302 Rancheria Lane|
|Pala Casino||11154 Highway 76|
|Paiute Palace Casino – Bishop||2742 North Sierra Highway|
|Pit River Casino – Burney||20265 Tamarack Avenue|
|Quechan Casino – Winterhaven||525 Algodones Road|
|Pechanga Casino – Temecula||45000 Pechanga Parkway|
|Red Fox Casino – Laytonville||200 Cahto Drive|
|River Rock Casino – Geyserville||3250 Highway 128 East|
|Red Earth Casino – Salton City||3089 Norm Niver Road|
|Red Hawk Casino – Placerville||1 Red Hawk Boulevard|
|Rolling Hills Casino – Corning||2655 Barham Avenue|
|Robinson Rancheria Casino – Nice||1545 East Highway 20|
|San Pablo Lytton Casino||13255 San Pablo Ave.|
|Running Creek Casino – Upper Lake||35 E. Highway 20|
|Sherwood Valley Casino – Willits||100 Kawi Place|
|San Manuel Indian Casino – Highland||777 San Manuel Blvd.|
|Soboba Casino – San Jacinto||23333 Soboba Road|
|Spotlight 29 Casino – Coachella||46-200 Harrison Place|
|Sycuan Casino – El Cajon||5485 Casino Way|
|Spa Resort Casino – Palm Springs||401 East Amado Rd.|
|Tachi Palace Casino – Lemoore||17225 Jersey Avenue|
|Table Mountain Casino – Friant||8184 Table Mountain Road|
|Tortoise Rock Casino – Twentynine Palms||73829 Base Line Rd.|
|Thunder Valley Casino – Lincoln||1200 Athens Avenue|
|Viejas Casino – Alpine||5000 Willows Road|
|Valley View Casino – Valley Center||16300 Nyemii Pass Road|
|Winnedumah Winn’s Casino – Independence||135 South Highway 395|
|Twin Pine Casino – Middletown||22223 Highway 29|
|Win-River Casino – Redding||2100 Redding Rancheria Road|
Poker has never been considered gambling in the Golden State. So, it has always been possible for gamblers in California to play poker for real money. Thus, the first form of gambling to be legalized in the state was horse racing, which happened in 1933.
Following the legalization of horse racing, it took more than fifty years until another form of gambling was made legal. In November 1983, the state lottery was made legal, which proved very popular with both people living in California and Nevada.
Two years later, off-track betting was made legal, meaning sports bettors could bet on any horse race taking place at a California track without having to be there.
In 2000, the state gave approved tribal casinos on Native American reservations. Since then, several casinos have formed, with California players having a wide variety of options available.
California is now looking to the future of gambling. While very little progress has been made to legalize online poker and sports betting, state legislators have looked at it.
Yes, there are several casinos in California with slot machines located on Native American reservations. It is important to not confuse these with card rooms, which are located across the state.
The only form of online gambling that is formally legal in the state is horse racing betting. Daily fantasy sports games are also allowed, but they are considered a game of skill and not chance. However, that said, there isn’t legislation officially banning offshore online casinos.
Players need to be 18 to play the lottery or bingo games but 21 to visit a casino or racetrack.
It is possible to play card games, slots, bingo, lottery games, and bet on horse racing in California. Two popular casino games notably absent from this list are craps and roulette, which are currently not allowed.
Yes, they do. Players in California can play scratch card or lotto games, including multi-state games, such as Powerball and Mega Millions.
At the time of writing, the only form of sports betting legal in California is horse racing.
Check out our other state guides: