With a population of over 40 million people, California is one of the most populated states in the US. The state is often advertised as an ideal touristic destination, and many people choose to visit it due to the cheerful vibe it has. Despite California’s reputation as a carefree state, it’s surprising that casinos are still illegal, and strict laws regarding sports betting are enacted.
Here is the complete list of the gambling activities prohibited by law in California:
- Rouge et Noire;
- Making money from any game played with dice or cards;
According to section 330 of the California Gambling Law, Regulations, and Resource information, people caught betting on any of the games mentioned above are guilty of a misdemeanor, and they can end up with a fine of $1000 and six months in jail.
Is any form of gambling legal in California?
According to the California laws, the following gambling activities are legal, as long as players and operators pay taxes on their winnings:
- Indian Casinos – these gambling establishments are Las Vegas-inspired casinos where people are allowed to wager on poker, blackjack, bingo, and slot machines. The Vegas-style casinos are limited to Tribal casinos, which are located in Indian reservations.
- Card clubs – these casinos are different from the Vegas-style ones because their primary revenue comes from the fee they charge the gamblers that want to play. In a nutshell, at a card club, people bet against each other instead of wagering their money against the house.
- Charitable gambling – in California, charitable gambling refers exclusively to bingo games in which the profits go to charity. Most of the time, these games are organized by charities themselves.
- Parimutuel Horse Betting – also known as mutual betting, is a form of gambling in which all the bets placed on horse racing are pooled so that the players are wagering their money against each other instead of going versus the house.
- State Lottery – the California Lottery provides various scratch tickets and lottery draws, including games like SuperLotto Plus and Mega Millions.
Online Gambling in California
Technological advances have created a new environment in which players can bet their money. Online casinos are quickly becoming the norm, and more people are inclined towards gambling on the Internet. However, the most popular question remains, “Is online gambling legal in California?” Well, the answer is yes, as long as you are a player.
No laws surround the online casino industry that specifically state that you cannot gamble on the web. Still, you need to be over 21 years old, which is California’s legal gambling age. On the other hand, it is completely forbidden to operate an online casino business in this state.
Over the years, there were several attempts to begin regulating online casinos, but they all failed. For example, in 2012 and 2014, there were some discussions brought in front of the California Senate to regulate online poker, but they were rejected. From that point on, no official announcements have been made regarding this matter.
Slot Machines – Online Vs. Land-based Casino Laws
Despite the popularity of slot machines, California’s law for land-based casinos is quite strict. Except for Indian Casinos, which were mentioned above, owning a slot machine is entirely illegal, even if it is for entertainment purposes only. For instance, if you would like to legally buy a slot machine in your home, it will have to be classified as an antique, which essentially means it has to be more than 25 years old, and you can’t use it for winning real money.
Since California doesn’t have any licensing regime for online gambling, playing slots online is allowed, as long as you pay your taxes accordingly. There’s been a surge in demand for online slots in recent years, and the market is expanding at an unprecedented rate, with thousands of new titles being released every year.
So, if you want to spin the reels, it’s better to go for an internet-based casino. Not only will you be able to play directly from your mobile device, but you will also have access to a comprehensive collection of games that are exclusively available on the web. Gamblers should be aware that the rapid expansion of the iGaming market has created new opportunities for scammers, which operate illegal platforms stealing data and money from people that don’t know how to tell them apart from legit ones.
To make sure that you’re gambling in a safe environment, use a specialized tool like the advanced Canadian gaming platform finder. On this site, you will find in-depth reviews of all the gaming platforms regulated by top-tier authorities such as the Malta Gaming Commission, which will ensure that your data is stored in a secure environment. All slot machines are tested with Random Number Generator software and inspected by a governmental institution.
The Future of the Gambling Industry in California
Based on recent studies, the online casino industry will continue its race to overtake the land-based gambling establishment. Moreover, the Internet allows players to connect to a casino within seconds, enabling the industry to continue expanding. Promotional offers, such as free spins and welcome bonuses, represent a competitive advantage of Internet-based casinos since regular venues only offer additional perks to members that pay a subscription. Have fun and remember to gamble responsibly.