Gambling in California

Over the years, gambling laws have changed in the state of California. Today, there are a number of gambling-related activities that are legal in the state, and residents can safely take part in these. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how to navigate the legal gambling scene in California.

History of gambling in California

For many decades, different types of gambling have been legalized in California. These have opened the doors for residents to take part in betting, playing the lottery and wagering in certain types of casinos. Below, we give a rundown of the history of gambling in California:

  • 1933: Betting on horse races was first legalized.
  • 1976: Charitable gambling such as bingo, raffles and poker nights are allowed for eligible non-profit organizations.
  • 1985: The first California State Lottery tickets were sold after approval in a 1984 voter referendum.
  • 1988: Indian casinos could operate under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
  • 1997: California’s Gambling Control Act came into force and established the California Gambling Control Commission to oversee cardrooms.

Based on the California State Constitution, gambling is illegal. In fact, commercial types of casinos that are focused on profit are not allowed to operate. Over many years, the state has attempted to legalize online poker and online casinos within the state lines.

However, there are some forms of gambling that you can participate in legally in the state. These are:

  • Cardrooms
  • Indian casinos
  • The state lottery
  • Horse racing parimutuel wagering
  • Gambling to raise money for charity

Just like any gambler in the world. California residents are always on the lookout for exciting games to bet on. Each person has their own preferences, but there are certain games that the majority love. We discuss some of them below:

  • Slots: Those who choose to play at an Indian Casino will find themselves drawn to the flashy graphics, animations and music of the slot machines.
  • Lottery: Playing the state lottery is a favorite pastime of locals.
  • Poker: This card game has a huge following with many eager to place bets on the cards dealt to them.

As of now, people located in California are not allowed to gamble within the state. This means they don’t have access to online sports betting and online gambling. In fact, there are no online casinos that are licensed to operate in California. Therefore, in order to play at an online casino, you will have to visit an Indian casino.

However, there are some other options available that are perfectly legal. These include betting on horse races, daily fantasy sports betting as well as sweepstakes online casinos.

Benefits of gambling in California

There are a number of benefits to gambling for players, the casinos and the state in general. These are:

  • Players: Punters get to enjoy the thrill of playing. The excitement that comes with the highs of winning and the lows of losing is like no other form of entertainment.
  • Casinos: First, they create jobs within the casinos. In addition, they provide a safe and regulated space for players to relax and enjoy themselves.
  • The state of California: Tax revenue from the casinos operating in the state will provide much-needed funds to their coffers.

Cons of gambling California

There is always the risk of having to battle gambling addiction. Studies from other states show that people who earn the least are most likely to spend their hard-earned money on lottery tickets in the hopes of landing a big win.

If you choose to gamble online, there are usually strict terms and conditions associated with casinos. These can make it difficult for you to withdraw your funds, or it may take several days for your payouts to reflect on your account.

Always gamble responsibly

While gambling in California is a lot of fun, it’s also important that you play responsibly. Knowing when to stop and walk away will ensure that you always have a positive association with gambling, even when you lose. It is basically just a game, and getting too involved can be dangerous.

Fortunately, most casinos have responsible gambling tools which can include:

  • Limiting the amount you can deposit or bet in a day
  • Self-suspension
  • Self-exclusion

With the above resources on your side, you’ll avoid going into debt just to satisfy your desire to gamble.

Summary of gambling in California

It’s clear that the state of California takes gambling seriously. While there are certain types of gambling, such as online casinos and online sports betting, that aren’t legal, there are plenty of other options.

The state lottery, Indian casinos and horse racing are the legal activities associated with gambling that California residents love. Therefore, just remember to be responsible in order to avoid getting into financial trouble.