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Betting in California: The Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

If you are visiting the state of California shortly, and you love wagering and frequenting casinos, you are probably wondering about the legalities regarding gambling in California. It’s better to be prepared on what to expect and what is allowed than to find yourself in a situation where you’ve been involved in shady or illegal betting practices.

In this post we take a closer look at the legal side of betting, casinos and sports betting in the state of California.

Land-Based Tribal Casinos

While the gambling laws are strict in California, betting and playing at land-based tribal casinos is legal. These establishments are overseen by the California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC). Here you’ll be able to play cards or slots to your heart’s content, legally. There are currently about 90 poker rooms and 60 legally operating tribal casinos in the state.

California Gambling Laws

The Gambling Control Act of California was passed in 1997. This was done to ensure better governance of all gambling activities within the state. All poker rooms and tribal casinos are required to run their businesses according to the Gambling Control Act and operate under the CGCC. Poker rooms and land-based casinos who do not adhere to this are considered illegal operations.

Sports Betting: Legal?

When visiting California, you won’t be able to bet on sports, whether online or offline. Sports betting and the operating of sportsbooks are illegal in California. Residents who wish to punt on sporting events and matches either visit other states, or refrain from the activity altogether. Sports betting operators are not authorized or permitted to function in California.

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Poker Rooms vs Casinos

While online gambling is not allowed in California, you’ll be able to visit all and any brick-and-mortar poker rooms and casinos situated in the state. As long as the CGCC approves them, you can wager and win at any of the poker rooms or casinos you find while visiting the state of California.

Online Gambling

Online casino operators are not allowed to operate their online casinos from within the state borders of California. Those who are residents are situated in the state are however able to gamble at reputable online casinos and sportsbooks legally. The CGCC governs the operation of illegal casino and online casino operators and players won’t be prosecuted for visiting an online casino.

Now that you’re clued up with the legalities of gambling and sports betting in the state of California, you probably feel better about getting there and playing your favorite games at a local land-based casino. It’s always better to be prepared and know what you are allowed and not allowed to do than to end up being locked up due to your ignorance. Have a safe trip and have fun gambling in California!