California Online Casinos

Real money California online casinos are not presently legal and likely won’t become legal any time soon. In truth, California has had very little luck in its efforts to legalize online gambling of virtually any kind. That includes online casinos, which are not on the legislative docket now and probably won’t be in the near future.

However, Californians can play at top sweepstakes and social online casinos right now, including at sites such as WOW Vegas, McLuck Casino, High 5 Casino, Pulsz and others. Anyone 18 years old or above in California can play slots, table games, and even live dealer games at these sites. The games are free to play and in some cases offer ways to redeem winnings for cash prizes.

Read on for everything you need to know about California online casinos, including information about current options and more about what may come in the future.

Best sites accepting California players

Rank
Casinos
Offer
Features
Play
1
35 Free Sweepstakes Coins
With 1.5 Million WOW Coins Purchase
WOW Vegas Casino Review
  • Get 5 Free SC + 250,000 WOW Coins on Sign Up
  • Over 1000 Slots Games
  • Welcome Bonus and Daily Login Bonuses
  • Use Promo Code: WOWBONUS
2
Up to 27.5 FREE SC
PLUS 57,500 GC
McLuck Review
  • US Players Accepted
  • Get 2.5 Free SC + 7,500 GC on Sign Up
  • Live Dealer Blackjack, Roulette, and MORE
  • Use Promo Code: PLAYBONUS
3
5 Sweeps Coins
 250 Game Coins & 600 Diamonds on Sign Up
  • US Players Accepted
  • 1200+ Slots & Live Dealer Games!
  • FREE Daily Rewards
  • Authentic Brand, Made in the USA
4
Up to $22.50 Free
New Player Welcome Bonus
Funzpoints Casino Review
  • US Players Accepted
  • $2.50 in Premium Funzpoints at Sign Up
  • + Up to $20 Free With Your First Deposit
5
10 FREE Sweeps Coins On Signup
PLUS 7,777 FREE Gold Coins
LuckyLand Slots Review
  • US Players Accepted
  • Daily FREE Coins on Log In
  • $10 Gold Coin Offer on your first Purchase for $4.99
  • Chance to Win Cash Prizes
6
100,000 Crown Coins
Plus 2 Sweeps Coins on Sign Up
Crown Coins Review
  • 800K CC + 40 SC on 1st Purchase for $15.99 (150% Bonus!)
  • FREE Daily Rewards & Weekly Challenges
  • Available iOS Mobile App
  • To Claim: Click Play Now
7
30 FREE Sweepstakes Coins
With 362,000 Gold Coin Purchase
Pulsz Review
  • Free 2.3 SC + 5,000 GC on Sign Up
  • Daily FREE Sweepstakes When Logging In
  • Choose From Over 700 Games
  • Use Promo Code: BONUSPLAY
8
Get $30 of Gold Coins for $10
PLUS 30 FREE Sweeps Coins
Chumba Casino Review
  • US Players Accepted
  • Daily Free GC and SC
  • 2 FREE Sweeps Coins on Signup
  • Redeem Cash Prizes
9
100,000 Gold Coins
PLUS 2.5 Sweeps Coins on Sign Up
Ding Ding Ding Social Casino Review
  • Unique In-House Casino Games
  • Chance to Win Bingo, Gems & Sweepstakes
  • Save Coins on Every Unlucky Spin
  • To Claim: Click Play Now
10
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
  • Free Daily Coins Reward
  • Use Exclusive Promo Code: BONUSPLAY
11
20 Free Sweep Coins
On First $20 Purchase
  • US Players Accepted
  • PLUS 2 SC + 10,000 Gold Coins on Sign Up
  • PLUS 20 FREE Spins on Account Verification
  • Live Blackjack, Roulette, and MORE
  • Instant Redemptions for US Players
12
5,000 SC Free
Plus 10,000,000 Coins 
  • Free SC 5,000 + 10,000,000 Coins on Sign Up
  • Daily, Weekly & Monthly Lucky Draws
  • Available in most US States
  • To Claim: Click Play Now

Are California online casinos legal?

No, real money casinos have not been legalized in California. The state’s Native American tribes have resisted any attempts to expand online gambling in California, making it difficult for proponents to enact change. However, anyone in California who is 18 and older can legally play at social and sweepstakes casinos.

Top casino options in California

Our reviewers have evaluated the game selection, bonuses, software, security, and customer support at every social and sweepstakes casino in California. Here are our current picks for the top sites to play in California.

WOW Vegas

WOW Vegas offers a large library of over 700 slots including favorite titles from top developers such as Pragmatic Play, Novomatic, and Betsoft. You’ll find several progressive jackpot slots among the selections as well as lots of ongoing promos such as daily and weekly giveaways in the Prize Drops Lobby, Lunchtime Loot, Wowzer Prize Drop Games, and Wake Up and Win.

McLuck Casino

McLuck Casino is another great option for California players. You’ll find around 750 slots at McLuck including classics from NetEnt, Pragmatic, Playson and other top studios plus many exclusive in-house games as well. You can also even play live dealer games at McLuck, including live dealer blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. 

High 5 Casino

High 5 Casino boasts the largest game library of any of the sites we’ve reviewed with well over 1,000 games from which to choose. Like McLuck, High 5 Casino also boasts live dealer games with 15 tables available where you can play blackjack, baccarat, roulette and casino poker. Keep an eye out for other promos and perks at High 5 Casino such as the “Boosts on Demand” option awarding free spins and multiplier payouts.

Pulsz

If you like playing online slots, Pulsz is another top choice. There are more than 700 slots in the Pulsz collection, sourced from major providers like NetEnt, Playson, and Relax Gaming. You’ll find favorite titles like Starburst and Hot Triple Sevens among the choices. Pulsz also offers a small selection of table games that includes multi-hand blackjack and Texas hold’em poker.

Funzpoints

Funzpoints features a well-curated selection of about 90 different slots plus one keno game. Funzpoints offers frequent promos and rewards to ongoing players, including an invitation to spin the Funzwheel every three hours to win Funzpoints. There are also daily jackpots, holiday bonuses, Boosters, the Funzone, and Mystery Gifts to keep things fun and interesting as well. 

Stake.us

Stake.us also offers a terrific selection of online casino games for players in California. The game library features close to 700 slots from studios such as Pragmatic Play, Hacksaw, BGaming, OneTouch, Rogue, and many more. There are also a dozen live dealer games including blackjack, baccarat, Sic Bo, roulette, and poker-style games. Look as well for the site’s exclusive arcade-style games, plus online scratch cards.

Other options to play online casino games

In addition to the above options, you can also test your luck at:

  • Hello Millions Casino
  • Horseplay Social Casino
  • Loyal Royal Casino
  • Modo-US Online Casino
  • MoonSpin Casino
  • PUNT.com Casino

California online casino and gambling laws

Tribal casinos support 184,701 jobs in California, according to a report from the American Gaming Association. They have a $34.56 billion annual economic impact, and they provide tribal communities with a significant revenue stream. As such, the tribes have fiercely resisted any attempts to legalize online gambling in California, as they fear it would damage their economic prospects.

Not long ago when there was a push to try to legalize sports betting, tribal coalitions pushed back by spending a combined $244 million on campaigns opposing a proposition to legalize online sports betting in California. Their campaign ads filled TV networks, radio, print media, social media, and other digital channels in the build-up to the referendum. The proposition was subsequently crushed, with more than 83% of voters opposing it. The tribes would likely mount an even more robust campaign to combat any plans to legalize online casinos, so nobody has tried to introduce legislation to that effect.

  • Retail casinos: Yes
  • Number of casinos in California: Over 120, counting both tribal casinos and active commercial card rooms
  • Minimum casino gambling age: 21 at tribal casinos and card rooms; 18 at tribal casinos without an alcohol license
  • Top online casino alternatives: WOW Vegas, McLuck Casino, High 5 Casino, Pulsz, Funzpoints, Stake.us
  • Casino slots: Yes
  • Casino table games: Yes

Who regulates casinos in California?

The California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC) and the Bureau of Gambling Control regulate commercial cardrooms in the Golden State. There are currently 81 active commercial card room licenses, according to the CGCC, and of those there are between 60-70 card rooms currently operating. The Bureau of Gambling Control is an agency within the Department of Justice, and it is tasked with conducting audits and criminal background checks for the card rooms

There are also 66 tribal casinos in California, run by 63 different tribes. The tribes have their own gaming commissions, which work with the National Indian Gaming Commission. Each tribe must also adhere to the terms of its gaming compact with the state. The CGCC ensures that the tribes comply with the compacts.

If California were to legalize online casinos, the CGCC and the Bureau of Gambling Control would regulate the industry. They would issue licenses, collect fees, and ensure that online casinos uphold the state’s regulations.

When will real money online casinos be legalized in California?

California is highly unlikely to legalize online casinos any time soon. As mentioned above, efforts to legalize sports betting (including online sports betting) have been met with strong opposition in the state, which makes the prospects for online casinos even less bright. Not only would California tribes oppose attempts to legalize online casinos, but other interested parties in the state would likely work to stop such efforts as well.

Perhaps the only realistic way to legalize online casinos in CA would be to hand the tribes total control of the market. However, that would be a long, drawn-out process, which could take many years, so there are no immediate prospects of legal online casinos in California.

How are casino winnings taxed?

Californians must pay state and federal income taxes on their gambling winnings. That means if you win money at California tribal casinos or in the card rooms, from pari-mutuel wagering on horse races at the tracks, from playing the California State Lottery, you have to report your winnings as income when filing both your state and federal tax returns.

It is possible in both cases (state and federal) to deduct gambling losses as well, but in order to do so you have to forgo the standard deduction and instead itemize all your deductions (something most people don’t want to bother doing). If you do go that route, however, be aware the amount you deduct for gambling losses cannot exceed the amount of gambling winnings you report.

All of this means you should expect to report your gambling winnings and as a result that will increase your income tax for the year. The increase in taxable income could theoretically change your tax bracket and thus increase the percentage of taxes you owe. In California, there are several income tax thresholds, with the lowest rate 1% and the highest 12.3%. For federal income tax, the brackets range from 10% to 37%.

Bonuses to expect at California online casinos

If California legalizes online casinos, you can look forward to many bonuses. Legal operators will offer large sign-up bonuses to attract new customers, plus ongoing promotions to reward existing customers for their loyalty. These are some of the most common promo types that online casinos offer.

Welcome bonuses

Welcome bonuses provide new customers with an incentive to register with a particular online casino. Examples include no deposit bonuses, deposit match bonuses, and bonus spins. You usually can only claim only one welcome bonus at each online casino.

No deposit bonuses

This offer provides you with bonus funds immediately after you set up a new account. You do not need to deposit or risk your own money to receive the bonus funds. If you complete the wagering requirements, you can cash out a profit.

Deposit bonuses

An online casino may offer to match a percentage of your first deposit with bonus credits. For example, you may be offered a 100% deposit match of up to $1,000. You must then satisfy playthrough requirements before cashing out.

Bonus spins

Some California online casinos may provide you with bonus spins as part of your sign-up package. For example, you might be offered a 100% deposit bonus worth up to $500, plus 100 bonus spins on a particular slot.

Reload bonuses

A reload bonus rewards existing customers for topping up their balances. The online casino will match a percentage of your deposit with site credit. For instance, you might be offered a 50% reload bonus worth up to $100. Be aware that in most cases bonuses are awarded as site credit (e.g., “bonus cash”) and cannot be withdrawn but must be wagered.

Games at California online casinos

If California online casinos are legalized, they will offer similar games to those at tribal casinos and card rooms in the Golden State. Until then, you can play hundreds of online games at the best social and sweeps sites in California. Some of the games you’ll find include the following:

Online slots

The sites described above host hundreds of slots, and in some cases even more than 1,000. They cover dozens of different themes, from fruit and gems to Ancient Egypt and outer space. You can play simple three-reel slots with low volatility rates, modern games with progressive jackpots, Megaways slots, cluster pays slots, bonus buy slots, and much more.

Online blackjack

You can also play virtual blackjack at these sites, and a few of them even offer live dealer blackjack. These games can have a very low house edge, but you need to know when to stand, hit, double down, and split cards.

Online roulette

Roulette is another popular table game you’ll sometimes find at the sites discussed above. The best ones offer both virtual and live dealer roulette games, including French, European, and American variants. You can only play a card-based roulette game at tribal casinos and card rooms in California, so the online roulette games offer a strong alternative.

Online craps

Craps is a commonly found table game option at real money casinos. Online casinos that use real money typically offer virtual and live dealer craps games, which provide a vast range of betting options. However, you usually won’t find craps at the non-real money sites. In the meantime, you can play card-based craps at tribal casinos and card rooms in California.

Signing up at online casinos in California

It will be easy to sign up at online casinos in California if they are legalized. You will just need to provide your name, address, date of birth, phone number, email address, and last four SSN digits. You’ll also likely be asked to create a password, to accept the terms, to complete the form, and to verify your identity if necessary.

The process of signing up at a social or sweeps site is even simpler. You normally just need to provide a name and email address to get started. However, you will need to provide additional details and verify your account before making a purchase or when you decide to redeem winnings for a cash prize.

If California legalizes online casinos, you will be able to use a wide range of deposit options to fund your account. They will include credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, PayPal, Venmo, VIP Preferred e-checks, online bank transfers, and bank wire transfers. Withdrawals should be quick and easy, too, with PayPal, Venmo, Play+, and Visa Direct among the fastest payout options.

Redeeming cash prizes at social and sweepstakes casinos

You can redeem cash prizes by earning premium coins at social and sweepstakes casinos in California. These tokens are often referred to as Sweeps Coins (SC). You will receive free SC when you sign up, and you can unlock additional SC via daily login bonuses and other promotions. Some sites will also give you free SC if you buy extra Gold Coins, but you are never obligated to make a purchase.

If you complete a playthrough requirement on your SC, you can redeem a cash prize. Most sites impose a simple 1x playthrough requirement. The minimum prize redemption is normally $100, which means you must win at least 100 SC, although in some cases you can redeem fewer. Just click the “Redeem” button to request your prize, and follow the directions from there to receive your prize.

Five largest California casinos

There are more than 120 land-based casinos in California, if you count both the tribal casinos and the commercial card rooms (which often call themselves “casinos”). The largest venues are the tribal casinos, which can host thousands of slots and a variety of table games. There are also dozens of card rooms spread across the state. These establishments are not permitted to host slots, but they can offer table games such as blackjack, baccarat, card roulette, Pai Gow poker, and Texas Hold’em.

Here are the five largest brick-and-mortar casinos in California:

CasinoSlot MachinesTable GamesCasino TypeOwnerAddressPhone Number
Yaamava' Resort & Casino at San ManuelYesYesTribalSan Manuel Band of Mission Indians777 San Manuel Blvd S, Highland, CA 92346800-359-2464
Pechanga Resort & CasinoYesYesTribalPechanga Band of Luiseno Indians45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula, California 92592877-711-2946
Morongo Casino Resort & SpaYesYesTribalMorongo Band of Mission Indians49500 Seminole Dr, Cabazon, California 92230800-252-4499
Thunder Valley CasinoYesYesTribalUnited Auburn Indian Community1200 Athens Ave, Lincoln, CA 95648916-408-7777
Graton Resort & CasinoYesYesTribalGraton Rancheria288 Golf Course Drive West, Rohnert Park, CA 95441855-588-7100

There are lots of small tribal casinos in Northern California. The Bay Area hosts a large variety of card rooms, along with a few large tribal casinos, such as Graton Resort & Casino. You will find lots of card rooms in the north-central and central regions, too, plus major tribal casinos, including Thunder Valley Casino and Cache Creek Casino. Players in Southern California can visit dozens of famous card rooms as well, such as Commerce Casino & Hotel in Los Angeles, plus huge tribal casinos like Yaamava’ and Pechanga.

California responsible gambling

We urge all readers always to gamble responsibly. Set a strict budget, and do not exceed it. Do not chase losses, and do not gamble when you are stressed, bored, angry, or drunk. Take regular breaks and enjoy casino games in moderation.

If you have a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER. The California Office of Problem Gambling can also help, as it provides support and pays for treatment. Another useful resource is the California Council on Problem Gambling site that provides details about the local support networks in the Golden State, plus information about the statewide voluntary self-exclusion program.

What does the future of California online casinos look like?

A proposition seeking to legalize online casinos in California could be added to a future ballot if proponents can gather enough signatures. However, an online casino proposition would probably face fierce resistance from California tribes, making it highly unlikely to succeed.

Just seven states have legalized real money online casinos so far, and they are all east of the Mississippi River. If legal online casino gaming spreads across the country at a rapid pace, California may follow suit, but the chances of legalization currently appear slim. In the meantime, anyone aged 18 and up in California can play slots, blackjack, video poker, and other games at social and sweeps sites.

California online casino FAQ

No real money online casinos are legal in California. You can only play casino games for real money if you visit a tribal casino or a card room in the Golden State. If you would prefer to play online, you can sign up with a sweepstakes casino. They allow you to play for fun, but you can also in some cases redeem your winnings for cash prizes.

The California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC) regulates card rooms in California. The CGCC also oversees the tribal-state gaming compacts, which allow Native American tribes to run casinos on their lands. The Bureau of Gambling Control helps regulate card rooms, while the California Horse Racing Board regulates pari-mutuel wagering, and the California Lottery Commission oversees the state lottery.

You must be 18 or older to play casino games in California. However, some casinos only accept players aged 21 or older, as they serve alcohol on-site. Anyone aged 18 and up can play at social and sweepstakes casinos in California.

Online casinos should be perfectly safe if they are licensed and regulated by the California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC). The CGCC is part of the Department of Justice, and it will ensure that legal online casinos are secure. They will need to offer fast, reliable payouts, and their games will need to be independently verified for fairness.

You cannot win real money in the traditional sense when playing at social and sweepstakes casinos. However, in some instances you will be able to redeem your winnings for cash prizes or gift cards if you receive free premium coins and successfully play them through. Check the instructions at the individual site for how to go about redeeming your winnings in this way.

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