California Gambling Laws


Californian gambling legislation is one of the most liberal in the US, but there are still some restrictions. Read our comprehensive overview of the gambling laws of California and find everything you need to know before gambling in this state.

Is Gambling Legal In California?

The world remembers the Gold Rush from the mid 19th century in California, and since then, gambling has become a part of this country’s tradition. When it comes to contemporary gaming, the legislation of the state of California is close to that of Nevada, in terms of liberty and progressiveness. Besides, California is coming closer to Nevada’s gambling income too. This makes California’s gambling environment extremely player-friendly. Nevertheless, there are some restrictions we are about to address.

In California, it is illegal to deal, play, or conduct the following games:

  • Faro
  • Monte
  • Games played with cards or dice (such as craps)
  • Hokey-pokey
  • Roulette
  • Lansquenet
  • Twenty-one
  • Rouge et Noir
  • Rondo
  • Seven-and-a-half
  • Tan
  • Fan-tan

On the other hand, allowed forms of gambling are:

Legal Gambling In California

  • Cardclubs
  • Casinos (but only on Indian soil)
  • Horse Betting
  • Pari-mutuel only, including on-track, online and betting in one of the permitted outlets
  • Bingo
  • In charity purposes only
  • State lottery
  • Private gambling (i.e., only if the house doesn’t make any profit from it)

As we have seen, California gives a lot of space to its citizens to gamble in various ways, without too much legal pressure. It is worth mentioning that online gaming is not well regulated in California. The thing that slows these procedures—regarding the regulation of online gambling—down is the dispute over whom will be the one to issue licenses in the future. Native groups involved in the tribal casino business insist on continuing the regulation of the online realm too, whereas software providers and brick-and-mortar establishments have the same aspirations. The future of online gambling in California will depend on the outcome of this dispute.