Could Online Casinos Become Legal in California in the Near Future?

While online casinos are not currently legal in California, many hope that this could change in the near future. At present, while it’s illegal to run an online casino from California, those who live in the state can patronize international online casinos without the risk of incurring a legal penalty. Tribal casinos and properties also offer the opportunity for visitors to play slots and try their hand at card games. However, even here, the type of games that can be offered are restricted in order to stay compliant with state laws. For example, craps and traditional roulette are outlawed.


However, the winds may be shifting. A proposition in November 2022 that could have opened the door to a relaxation of California’s gambling laws was voted down two-to-one. Despite the defeat, this shows that the appetite for further discussion around this issue is there. Further, new propositions are expected to be tabled over the coming years that could see online gambling in California eventually be legalized.

Why Are Craps and Roulettes Illegal in California?

The law in California prohibits a casino game outcome from being decided on by the roll of a dice or a bouncing ball. Plus, playing against the house is also outlawed in the state. The tribal casinos get around the ‘not against the house rule’ by having players only play against each other – dealers don’t receive their own hand and rotate having the role of banker or house. When in the role of banker, the player maintains the house edge over the other players at the table.

The Role of Sports Betting

While sports betting is currently against the law in the Golden State, many commentators predict that getting legislation passed on this score will open the gate to a wider legalization of gambling that will encompass online casinos. The issue will next be on the legislative agenda in 2024.


Online social sports betting, however, is legal in California, in which a wide variety of prizes – including cash – can be won. Residents could also consider checking out the sports betting apps available in neighboring states, such as Arizona and Nevada.

Latest Developments

The prospect of a California online casino real money scenario becoming legal recently received a potential boost. In October 2023, the Pala Band of Mission Indians announced plans to submit a new online sports betting initiative. The tribe requires 874,641 valid signatures for the proposal to move forward: it would mean a new referendum on the issue being held in 2024. As yet, other tribes in the region have not publicly come forward to support the initiative – although the Pala are known for their propensity to walk their own path. 


What could also significantly impact the bid’s chances of success is the potential of the US Supreme Court hearing a case regarding sports betting rights and tribes in Florida over the coming months. This would inevitably affect the chances of sports betting becoming legal or otherwise in California in the near future.



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