California Sports Betting – Legislation, Timeline, and Latest Updates

After an exciting turn of events, regulated California online sports betting could become a reality sooner rather than later. On May 3, 2022, the political committee behind the proposed California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act referendum announced that it had amassed 1.6 million signatures in hopes of getting online sports betting legislation on the ballot in November.

The committee’s May 3rd deadline originally called for a minimum of 997,139 signatures and after nearly doubling its target, the 1.6 million acquired were then passed on to the California Secretary of State’s Office for further approval. In June the California Secretary of State approved it as an eligible ballot measureOnline sports betting in California will be voted on in November.

The proposal, which is backed by some of the industry’s biggest commercial operators, would tax all sports betting revenue at 10% and includes a whopping $100 million application fee along with a requirement that each applicant is already licensed in 10+ other states.

If verified, it would become the second proposal to reach the ballot, and is considered “complementary” to the state’s already approved tribal-only proposal that would allow retail sports betting at California’s various tribal casinos and four horse tracks.

Now that the wheels are finally in motion, legal sports betting may finally be on its way to the most populous state in the nation. With more than 39 million residents, nearly 10 million more than the next state, the sports betting market in California would dominate the industry right out of the gate.

Follow along here for any and all updates regarding the ongoing legislative battle for California sports betting, including potential operators, rules and restrictions, and other details surrounding the proposed legal market.

California sports betting: What’s on the ballot in November?

California will have its say on sports betting at the ballot box in November 2022. After the California Secretary of State reclassified the ‘California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act’ in June 2022 as a statewide ballot measure, there will be two separate sports betting bills for California to vote on.

One permits in-person betting, one legalizes online betting. Here’s a breakdown of what they are, and what they would mean for sports betting in California moving forward. Keep in mind that since both measures are on the ballot, both measures could theoretically pass together. In each case, a simple majority vote will suffice.

The Tribal initiative – retail only sports betting in California

A group of tribes in California worked together to get the California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act ready for the ballot back in 2021. Generally speaking, it’s a pretty restrictive sports betting solution. If approved, it would legalize sports betting at in-state California tribal casinos and horse tracks. This initiative will only cover in-person wagering, it does not allow for any sort of legal online or mobile sports betting in California. To bet, you would need to visit a licensed California tribal casino or track.

The online initiative – mobile sports betting throughout

A team of major US sports betting companies that includes the likes of FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM has thrown their collective weight (to the tune of around $100m!) behind the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act. If given the go-ahead, this online-focused initiative would legalize online sports betting across the state of California. Each online sports betting platform would still be tied to a California tribal casino for licensing, but there is no retail, in-person betting component here – it only legalizes online sports betting.

Under this proposal, the majority of the tax income from online sports betting would be earmarked for aiding the state’s rising homeless population. It is estimated that hundreds of millions would be raised to help homeless Californians. California Voting Booth

California sports betting alternatives

While sports betting in California is not legal yet, there are still a variety of exciting platforms offering fun alternatives. Specializing in pick’em games, over/unders, and player props, the following operators offer excellent options that are legal for California players right now.

The timeline for California sports betting

Sports betting is hitting the California ballot in 2022, but it’s been a long journey to get to this point. The first post-PASPA discussions involving a potential legalization of sports betting in California began in May 2018, immediately after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey in the famous Murphy v NCAA court case that eventually led to the nationwide legalization of sports betting.

2017: PASPA looms large

Prior to the abolishment of PASPA, California Assemblyman Adam Gray had been patiently waiting for the opportunity to pursue sports betting in the Golden State. Gray actually introduced a Constitutional Amendment, ACA 18, one year prior in July 2017, but with PASPA still in effect at the time, he viewed the proposal as nothing more than a placeholder that would be used to buy time until the Supreme Court’s impending decision. The amendment would allow sports betting in California under the discretion of the state assembly and if passed, would be voted on at the state’s November election.

2018: Assemblyman Gray makes first move in California

Following the official abolishment of PASPA on May 14, 2018, Gray instantly jumped at the chance to start moving on California sports betting legalization, claiming that “the ball is in our court.” He reintroduced ACA 18 after the ban was axed, but once again to no avail.

About one month later in June 2018, political consultant Russell Lowery filed a request with the state’s attorney general in hopes of getting legalized sports betting on the 2020 ballot. The proposal was known as the Gaming Fairness and Accountability Act and was even advertised on social media by Lowery under the moniker ‘Californians for Sports Betting.’ Again, no dice.

2019: Tribes get involved

The first sign of a major breakthrough for California sports betting came on June 27, 2019 when a pair of coinciding sports betting bills were proposed by Gray and Senator Bill Dodd. Gray’s third proposal, this time known as ACA 16, would “authorize the Legislature by statute to authorize and provide for the regulation of sports wagering” and require the support of two-thirds of the state legislature in order to make the November 2020 ballot. Dodd’s matching bill, The California Sports Wagering and Consumer Protection Act, would be dubbed SCA 6.

Nearly four months later on November 14, 2019, it was announced that at least 18 Californian tribes collaborated to file a petition referred to as the California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act, an attempt to get sports betting on the ballot without having to go through the state general assembly. The proposal included a 10% tax rate, a clause that would prevent bettors from wagering on in-state college teams (yea… this includes college football and basketball!), and zero mention of mobile sports betting, as the tribes were simply pushing for retail wagering at their brick-and-mortar casinos. In order to make the ballot, the proposal would require nearly one million signatures by June 25, 2020.

2020: Pandemic halts any major movement

The state’s first sports betting hearing of the new year took place in early January and featured an emphasis on making sure that any new proposals include statewide mobile betting. At the same time, various potential operators proposed low taxes and fees, while representatives from the professional leagues pushed for a data mandate. The hearings curiously lacked a tribal representative.

A few weeks later on January 22, California’s tribes were officially given the green light to begin collecting signatures after the state published and titled their proposed ballot initiative. Unfortunately for them, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a statewide lockdown during the timeframe they were expected to collect the signatures and as a result, the tribes fell short of their goal.

A few months later in June 2020, the state’s tribal leaders decided to sue the state of California in hopes of getting their deadline to acquire 1 million signatures extended. The tribes ended up winning the case and were ultimately granted the requested extension. As a result, the tribes would now have until October 12th to get it done.

Around the same time, it was made known that Senator Dodd would officially be pulling SCA 6 from consideration, citing the COVID-19 pandemic, legislative deadlines, and most importantly the tribal opposition as to why it likely wasn’t going to happen in 2020.

After another wave of COVID-19 restrictions once again halted the tribes from meeting their goal, the California Superior Court granted a second extension for the tribes to collect 1 million signatures. This time around, the tribes would need to meet a deadline of December 14th.

By the end of December, it was revealed that the tribes had officially submitted 1.4 million signatures to the Secretary of State for their ballot initiative, which would appear on the November 2022 ballot if approved.

2021: California tribes approved for sports betting vote

By May 2021, it was officially confirmed by the Secretary of State that the tribes had collected 1,062,880 valid signatures, surpassing their goal by more than 60,000 submissions. The Coalition to Authorize Regulated Sports Wagering, the tribal group behind the ballot-ready California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act, appeared to have finally reached their breakthrough.

In August 2021, the cities of Colma, Gardena, Inglewood, and San Jose banded together to file a ballot initiative that would allow statewide mobile wagering on top of retail betting at the state’s tribal casinos, horse tracks, card rooms, and even professional sports venues. The initiative, which was essentially an attempt to block the tribes from forming a sports betting monopoly in California, would require at least 997,139 signatures by April 2022 to gain approval for the November ballot. Among the proposal’s details were a whopping 25% tax rate for any and all future operators, a $5 million application fee, and a bi-annual licensing fee of $1 million.

Major sports betting brands eye California

Later that month, a third initiative was filed by three of the nation’s most notable sports betting brands in BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel. Aside from those three, the proposal was also backed by Bally’s, Fanatics, Penn National/Barstool Sportsbook, and WynnBET. The initiative, known as the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act, would need at least 997,139 signatures in order to get on the ballot. On top of that, any initiatives that wish to appear on the November 2022 ballot would need to be qualified by the Secretary of State no later than June 30, 2022.

The proposal included a staggering $100 million initial fee for big-name operators, which would cover the brand’s first five years in California. Tribes on the other hand, would only be required to pay $10 million upfront if entering the industry without any partners. Commercial operators would be subject to a $10 million annual renewal fee, while the tribes would need to ante up $1 million per year. In order to apply, any commercial operator must already offer digital sports betting in at least 10 other states, leaving little room for smaller brands to compete. Lastly, under this proposal, tribes would be permitted to offer mobile sports betting through a back-end operator.

Tribal concerns are heard

In October 2021, in an effort to get the state’s tribes on board with the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act, the supergroup of betting brands offered up an amended version of the initiative tailored to the tribes’ concerns. The proposal’s wording was slightly altered to confirm that it would be the commercial operators, not the tribes, that would have to pay taxes on all sports betting revenue. Furthermore, any non-tribal entities would be required to partner with one of the tribes in order to acquire market access in California.

Later that month, after weeks of silence and the assumption that the amended version of the initiative was being considered by the tribes, a press release came out voicing their opposition. They felt that the operators’ proposal would “undermine tribal rights and self-sufficiency, while exposing Californians to major new risks.” As a result, three of the state’s more sizable tribes would come together and craft plans for a fourth mobile wagering initiative that would surface on October 29, 2021.

The proposal, which reached the mainstream media on the same day that 43 tribes voiced their concerns about previous proposals from the commercial operators and local card rooms, called for statewide mobile gaming with the caveat that all users would need to register in-person. It even offered a possible launch date of September 1, 2023 and would allow for both retail sports betting and the addition of several table games at in-state casinos. The main goal behind this proposal was to simply protect the tribes and ensure that they have control over when, where, and how Californians can legally bet on sports.

Sports betting lawsuits follow

On December 21, 2021, Hollywood Park Casino and Cal-Pac Rancho Cordova, two card rooms in the state, decided to sue the California Secretary of State claiming that a tribal initiative should be illegal because it deals with multiple subjects. According to the state’s constitution, “An initiative measure embracing more than one subject may not be submitted to the elector or have any effect.” The card rooms’ claim was backed by the idea that the tribes were using the ongoing sports betting debate to attach other unnecessary items into a potential initiative, thus making their efforts illegal.

2022: Commercial operators continue push for California sports betting

On March 23, 2022, organizations from various Californian cities, some featuring card rooms, publicly voiced their opposition to the tribal sports betting initiative set to appear on the November 2022 ballot. The group didn’t mince words when describing the tribes’ plans, labeling the initiative “the only sports betting measure being contemplated for the November 2022 ballot that harms local communities.”

The organization went on to claim that the initiative “exploits the Private Attorneys General Act, opening the floodgates for frivolous lawsuits that will harm city revenues that fund vital city services such as roads, schools, homelessness services, and fire protection.”

One of the tribal groups in support of the initiative, The Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming, did not hesitate to clap back. The tribal group called out card rooms for their shady history, stating that they “have one of the worst if not worst records of noncompliance in the United States with gambling laws, including those designed to guard against crimes like money laundering.”

In late April, tribal leaders at the 2022 National Indian Gaming Association Conference made it clear that they’d rather see their own initiative fail before allowing commercial operators to seize control of the California sports betting market. The tribes do want mobile wagering in the state and are willing to work with the operators, but both timing and control, along with the protection of their sovereignty, are all critical factors currently swaying their stance.

Signatures and sparring over California sports betting in 2022

On May 3, 2022, much to the dismay of the state’s tribes, the committee behind the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act announced that it has amassed 1.6 million signatures for the proposal, shattering its goal of at least 997K. The signatures have since been passed on to the California Secretary of State’s Office, who approved the Act to appear on the upcoming ballot in November.

Unsurprisingly, a group of California’s tribal nations immediately voiced their displeasure after hearing the news. Mark Macarro, chairman of the Pechanga Tribe, even announced that his group is willing to spend up to $250 million on campaigns to halt the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act. Another group, led by San Manuel, is also willing to contribute $100 million to the cause.

Multiple tribes have since taken out television ads to plead their case to locals, highlighting their rich history in the state and painting the commercial operators in a negative light. It remains to be seen what exactly is going to happen from here on out, but prepare for this heated battle to continue in the next few months leading up to the election.

On May 9, 2022, three Californian tribes backing a separate mobile sports betting proposal announced that they would turn their efforts toward stopping the commercial operators’ mobile betting initiative rather than try to join them on the November ballot. The tribes believe “there is a better path for victory in 2024” and plan to submit a tribal-operated digital wagering measure in time for the next election.

California Capitol Building

Who’s Winning the Battle in California for the November Ballot?

To say there has been an overwhelming sense of mixed messages leading up to November 8 may be an understatement.

Proposition 27, California’s initiative supported by commercial operators to bring on digital wagering to what would become the U.S’s most prominent sports betting market, has continuously been a subject of criticism from the state’s tribes.

The campaigning to bring sports betting into the fold in California has been messy, to say the least. Dating back to June, big commercial operators such as DraftKings and other top sportsbook operators have voiced their support for the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act which would bring sports betting to California. The initiative would allocate roughly 85% of sports wagering tax revenue for a fund towards combating homelessness and supporting mental health services across California.

On June 28, the California Secretary of State’s office announced that the online measure had garnered nearly 1.1 million valid signatures, which was much more than the initial target goal of 997k signatures. The competing initiative, Proposition 26, seeks to authorize only retail sports wagering and only to take place on federally recognized tribal lands.

Ad Battle Commences for California Betting

These referendums directly conflict with one another as tribal-backed advertisements have taken place before the November ballot. Some of the ads from the tribal groups have contended that Proposition 27, the digital sports wagering bill, features messages that read “It (Prop. 27) doesn’t tell you that 90% of the profits go to out-of-state corporations” and “They didn’t write it for the tribes. They wrote it for themselves.”

To make matters more complicated, on August 12, Major League Baseball became the first American professional sports league to voice its support of California’s Proposition 27. With Proposition 27 under fire, it will be interesting to monitor where the campaigning goes in the ensuing days until the November 8 ballot.

What’s in the California sports betting bills?

The California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act is currently one of two California sports betting bills locked in to be voted on at the upcoming November 2022 election.

The proposal includes the following details:

  • 10% tax on gross gaming revenues derived from sports betting
  • Permits retail-only sports betting on tribal lands and at horse tracks located in Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego.
  • Prohibits wagering on any high school sports and all athletic events in which any California college team participates – meaning UCLA, USC, and Stanford would be off-limits, among many others
  • Requires bettors to be physically present in a gaming area to place any wagers
  • Permits both craps and roulette at Indian gaming casinos
  • Age requirements would be at least 21 years or older

If at least 997,139 of its requested 1.6 million signatures are eventually verified by the California Secretary of State in time for the election, a second measure could be headed to the ballot alongside the tribes’ proposal. The California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act is the other sports betting bill referenced above which met the required signatures.

This proposition has been lobbied by a supergroup of commercial operators and would include the following caveats, if passed:

  • 10% tax on gross gaming revenues derived from sports betting
  • 85% of tax dollars acquired would go towards funding homelessness initiatives
  • 15% of tax dollars acquired would go to Native American tribes that aren’t involved in digital sports wagering
  • Requires commercial operators to partner with a tribe for California online sports betting market access
  • Requires commercial operators to pay an initial $100 million licensing fee followed by a $10 million renewal fee every five years
  • Allows tribes to offer online sports betting under their own name/branding after paying an initial $10 million licensing fee to the state followed by a $1 million renewal fee every five years
  • Requires each commercial brand to be licensed in 10+ other states or operating in five states and running at least 12 casinos in order to be approved
  • Permits wagering on non-athletic events such as award shows or video game competitions. So eSports and betting on The Oscars would be fair game.
  • Age requirements would be at least 21 years or older

Potential online sportsbook operators in CA

If the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act ends up making it to the ballot and is voted through by residents of the state, then it’s safe to assume that each of the industry giants backing the initiative would be the first brands to set up shop in the Golden State:

Aside from the seven trailblazers mentioned above, any other potential brands looking to get involved would need to be licensed in at least 10+ other states. Based on that detail alone, the following commercial operators would also qualify to apply for a California mobile sports betting license, if they wish to do so:

Potential land-based sportsbooks in CA

If the California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act is voted through this November, it would open up the door for legal sports wagering to take place at any of the state’s tribal casinos. On top of that, retail betting would also be permitted at privately operated horse racing tracks located in Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego.

California is currently home to 76 Indian gaming casinos, making it the nation’s largest Native American gaming state. The 76 casinos, along with 5 additional mini-casinos, are spread across the state and owned by 73 of the state’s 109 total tribes. Out of the 76 in operation, 29 tribal casinos are located in Southern California, while 47 can be found in Northern and Central parts of the state.

While it remains to be seen which specific locations will end up offering retail sports betting if and when it gets passed in California, it’s safe to assume that most, if not all, approved tribal casinos and horse tracks will jump at the opportunity to do so.

The Latest California Sports Betting News

Sports markets and bet types in CA

If and when legalized sports betting makes its way to California, it would instantly make the state the most powerful digital wagering market in the United States – largely in part due to its massive population of nearly 40 million residents.

With a whopping nineteen (19!!!) different professional sports teams scattered around the state, we expect the betting options to be just as plentiful. So whether you’re interested in betting on Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors or Mookie Betts’ Los Angeles Dodgers, bettors in California can expect to find NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL offerings on their apps, along with plenty of other fantastic options. From MMA to tennis to soccer to golf, modern online sportsbooks cover just about every sport, league, or event that a bettor could possibly dream of wagering on.

As far as available bet types go, that’ll ultimately be up to whichever regulatory board is selected to oversee the state’s legal gambling operations. Regardless, most states offer a pretty similar menu of options, usually including the following bet types:

Banking options in CA

Similar to the above, previous state launches can give us an idea on what the banking options are going to look like at various California online sportsbooks. Based on the seven brands backing the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act, some variation of the following deposit and withdrawal methods will be available, depending on the operator:

  • Credit/Debit card (VISA or Mastercard)
  • ACH/eCheck
  • Online bank transfer
  • PayPal
  • Play+ prepaid card
  • PayNearMe
  • Cash at the casino cage
  • Paper check by mail
  • Wire transfer

Professional California Sports Teams

Odds taken from FanDuel Sportsbook and they are subject to change.

Los Angeles DodgersBaseball1883Win World Series +450
Los Angeles AngelsBaseball1961Win World Series +2000
San Francisco GiantsBaseball1883Win World Series +1500
San Diego PadresBaseball1969Win World Series +1500
Oakland AthleticsBaseball1901Win World Series +75000
Los Angeles RamsFootball1936Win Super Bowl +1100
Los Angeles ChargersFootball1959Win Super Bowl +1600
San Francisco 49ersFootball1944Win Super Bowl +1600
Los Angeles LakersBasketball1947Win NBA Finals N/A
Los Angeles ClippersBasketball1970 Win NBA Finals N/A
Golden State WarriorsBasketball1946Win NBA Finals +185
Sacramento KingsBasketball1923Win NBA Finals N/A
Anaheim DucksHockey1993Win Stanley Cup N/A
Los Angeles KingsHockey1967Win Stanley Cup +6000
San Jose SharksHockey1991Win Stanley Cup N/A
LA GalaxySoccer1994Win MLS Cup +1400
Los Angeles FCSoccer2014Win MLS Cup +380
San Jose EarthquakesSoccer1994Win MLS Cup +12000
Los Angeles SparksWomen's Basketball1997Win WNBA Finals +2400

⚾ Los Angeles Dodgers

  • League: Major League Baseball
  • Founded: 1883
  • Stadium: Dodger Stadium
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: TBD

Originally founded in Brooklyn in 1883, this iconic organization would undergo many name changes from their foundation up until they officially became the Dodgers in 1932. They’d spend the next 25 seasons playing in Brooklyn under their new name, featuring legendary players such as Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, and Duke Snider leading the team to its first World Series title in 1955.

After relocating to Los Angeles in 1958, the team experienced immediate success, racking up three more championships in 1959, 1963, and 1965, mostly due to their unstoppable starting pitcher tandem of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. Led by Hall of Fame skipper Tommy Lasorda, the franchise would secure two more World Series victories in 1981 and 1988 before undergoing a lengthy drought of more than 30 years without a title.

The Dodgers finally ended their skid in 2020, a COVID-shortened season that featured the World Series being played on a neutral site at Globe Life Field in Texas. Corey Seager was named the World Series MVP as he helped carry Los Angeles to their long-awaited seventh World Series title. Betting on the Dodgers, and Major League Baseball in general, would be a major draw in California. With 162 regular season games alone, there’s a lot of opportunity to back the home side.

⚾ Los Angeles Angels

  • League: Major League Baseball
  • Founded: 1961
  • Stadium: Angel Stadium
  • Location: Anaheim, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: TBD

Founded in 1961 as one of Major League Baseball’s first two expansion teams, the Angels spent their first five seasons playing in Los Angeles before relocating to their permanent home in Anaheim in 1966. As a result of the move, the team would be known as the California Angels from 1965 all the way until 1996, when they switched to the Anaheim Angels from 1997-2004. It was during this time that the team won its first and only American League Pennant and World Series title, an exciting 4-3 series win over Barry Bonds’ San Francisco Giants in 2002 as a Wild Card team.

The franchise once again changed its name from 2005-2015, operating as the ‘Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’ before dropping the latter part of their name in 2016. From that point forward, they would just be known as the Los Angeles Angels. Currently backed by two generational talents in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, the Angels is surely one of baseball’s most exciting teams to tune into.

⚾ San Francisco Giants

  • League: Major League Baseball
  • Founded: 1883
  • Stadium: Oracle Park
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: TBD

After entering the fray in 1883 as the New York Gothams, this historic organization would change their name to the New York Giants just three years later. Following a dominant stretch that featured 17 National League Pennants and five World Series titles from 1885-1957, the Giants eventually relocated to San Francisco in 1958, joining the Dodgers as the first two MLB teams to play on the West Coast. Despite its rich history and early success, the franchise underwent a 56-year drought without winning a World Series from its first year in San Francisco in 1958 – all the way up until 2010, when they defeated the Texas Rangers in five games.

This would be the start of one of baseball’s modern dynasties, as San Francisco went on to grab two more titles in 2012 and 2014, thanks to a core led by Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Crawford, and Brandon Belt, among many other contributors. From playing its first games at the legendary Polo Grounds in New York to garnering the most wins out of any team in major American sports history, the Giants organization is among the oldest, most storied, and most successful entities in professional sports history.

⚾ San Diego Padres

  • League: Major League Baseball
  • Founded: 1969
  • Stadium: Petco Park
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Partners/Sponsors: TBD

The Padres were first established in 1969 and join the Los Angeles Angels as California’s only other team to originate in the state. The club spent its first 34 seasons sharing a home with the San Diego Chargers and San Diego State Aztecs football team at Qualcomm Stadium before Petco Park officially opened in 2004. Led by Tony Gwynn, one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game, San Diego enjoyed two trips to the World Series in 1984 and 1998, but unfortunately fell short both times. After failing to reach the postseason in all but three seasons since Gwynn’s retirement, the Friars will hope for greener pastures as they begin to watch the highly-anticipated career of Fernando Tatis Jr. unfold.

Typically a sports betting longshot, the Padres have improved vastly and now rank amongst the favorites to win silverware in 2022, especially after making a ridiculous splash at the MLB deadline acquiring Brandon Drury, Josh Hader and superstar, Juan Soto.

⚾ Oakland Athletics

  • League: Major League Baseball
  • Founded: 1901
  • Stadium: Oakland Coliseum
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: TBD

The Athletics’ franchise dates all the way back to 1901, but would spend stints in Philadelphia (1901-1954) and Kansas City (1955-1967) before eventually relocating out west to Oakland in 1968. The organization experienced great success during its original run in Pennsylvania, racking up five World Series titles in 1910, 1911, 1913, 1929, and 1930, all led by Hall of Fame owner/manager Connie Mack. After little success in Kansas City, the team exploded in the 1970’s as ‘The Swingin’ A’s’ once they set up shop in Oakland, winning three-consecutive World Series titles from 1972-1974, guided by four Hall of Famers in manager Dick Williams, the legendary Reggie Jackson, and a pair of unhittable arms in Catfish Hunter and Rollie Fingers.

The team would go on to win one more title in 1989, led by manager Tony La Russa, Rickey Henderson, and “Bash Brothers” Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco. The Green and Gold has since hit the skids, going on more than thirty years since their last World Series appearance. But hey, who doesn’t love betting on the underdog?

🏈 Los Angeles Rams

  • League: National Football League
  • Founded: 1936
  • Stadium: SoFi Stadium
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: TBD

Prior to the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, the Cleveland Rams captured their one and only NFL championship in 1945 before relocating to Los Angeles in 1946. The team won its second NFL championship in 1951 and would enjoy the next 44 years playing in Los Angeles before a historic move sent them packing and off to St. Louis. The St. Louis Rams might’ve only lasted from 1995-2015, but they featured one of the most iconic teams in NFL history – ‘The Greatest Show on Turf.’ The high-octane Rams offense consisting of QB Kurt Warner, RB Marshall Faulk, and wideouts Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce propelled the franchise to its first ever Super Bowl title in 1999 and another appearance in 2001, in which they fell just short. After moving back to California in 2016, the organization captured its second Super Bowl title in 2021 as veteran QB Matthew Stafford, WR Cooper Kupp, and a defense backed by Aaron Donald, Von Miller, and Jalen Ramsey helped take down Joe Burrow’s Cincinnati Bengals.

In light of recent success, the Rams have amongst the best odds to earn another Lombardi Trophy in 2022. It’s been nearly 20 years since a team repeated in the NFL, though.

LA Rams SoFi Stadium, California

🏈 Los Angeles Chargers

  • League: National Football League
  • Founded: 1959
  • Stadium: SoFi Stadium
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: TBD

The Chargers were actually founded in Los Angeles and spent their first season playing there in the AFL before relocating to San Diego in 1961 and spending the next 55 seasons as the San Diego Chargers. The Bolts won their lone AFL championship in 1963 but the success didn’t carry over to the NFL, as the franchise has yet to capture a Super Bowl title and has only appeared in the big game once, a loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX. After falling short in the postseason multiple times throughout the 2000’s despite the efforts of legendary RB LaDainian Tomlinson and franchise QB Philip Rivers, the Chargers eventually moved back to Los Angeles in 2017 and now share SoFi Stadium with the crosstown rival Rams. After watching the Rams raise the Lombardi Trophy in their own building, the Chargers are patiently waiting for their turn at the top and very well could get there soon with a loaded up defense and Justin Herbert at the helm.

If you fancy a bet, Herbert has given new life to California’s most overshadowed franchise. Only a handful of teams have better odds to win the Super Bowl than the Chargers, and Herbert himself is a co-favorite to lead the league in passing yards.

🏈 San Francisco 49ers

  • League: National Football League
  • Founded: 1944
  • Stadium: Levi’s Stadium
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Partners/Sponsors: Cache Creek Casino Resort

Founded in 1944 and named after the prospectors responsible for the 1849 Gold Rush in Northern California, the San Francisco 49ers organization is the epitome of traditionalism. As one of the few teams in professional sports to never undergo any sort of relocation, rebranding, or name changes, San Francisco is best known for its glory years headlined by quarterback Joe Montana, one of the best to ever do it.

Montana carried the 49ers to four Super Bowl titles from 1981-1989 before passing the torch to Steve Young, a left-handed Hall of Famer who tossed six touchdowns in Super Bowl XXIX to capture his first and only championship without Montana listed ahead of him on the depth chart. After going a perfect 5-0 in their first five Super Bowl appearances, the 49ers struggled to replicate their early success, falling to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII and blowing a late 10-point lead against Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV – extending their ongoing championship drought beyond 25 years.

The 49ers franchise is turning a new chapter in their franchise in pursuit of the glory days behind 2021 3rd overall pick, Trey Lance. The 49ers mortgaged a great deal of their future picks towards Lance – time will tell if Lance can materialize into one of the league’s best signal callers.

🏀 Los Angeles Lakers

  • League: National Basketball Association
  • Founded: 1947
  • Stadium: Arena
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: FanDuel

Arguably one of the most notable franchises in sports history, the Los Angeles Lakers actually got their name in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the team spent its first decade or so playing in the National Basketball League and Basketball Association of America from 1947-1960. After financial struggles forced the team to pack their bags and move out west to California, the Lakers would begin a new era led by Jerry West and Elgin Baylor that resulted in six NBA Finals appearances, but no titles. The franchise would finally break through in 1972 after acquiring Wilt Chamberlain in 1968, a former MVP who carried the Lakers to their first title in Los Angeles. Nearly ten years later, the organization would go on one of the most dominant runs in basketball history, as the ‘Showtime Lakers’ – led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and James Worthy – would go on to rack up five NBA Championships throughout the decade.

The franchise struggled for a bit following their historic core’s retirement in the early 1990’s, but would get a major boost in 1996 when they drafted a 17-year-old out of Lower Merion High School by the name of Kobe Bryant and paired him with superstar center Shaquille O’Neal. This combo would jumpstart the next generation of Laker dominance, as they secured three consecutive championships from 2000-2002 with Hall of Fame head coach Phil Jackson at the helm. After O’Neal’s departure in 2004, it took the Lakers nearly five years until Bryant’s next championship, a pair of back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. Since Kobe’s retirement, the Lakers have won their division just once in 2020, the same year the franchise won its 17th NBA Championship behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the Orlando Bubble. This pulled them into a tie with the rival Boston Celtics for the most titles in NBA history.

Once available, legal sports bets in California will flow in on the Lakers. Their profile and ability to attract star talent will keep them amongst the most bet on teams in CA.

🏀 Los Angeles Clippers

  • League: National Basketball Association
  • Founded: 1970
  • Stadium: Arena
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: Betway, DraftKings

The Clippers were founded in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves and spent their first eight seasons playing on the east coast before conflicts with the Canisius Golden Griffins over their shared auditorium resulted in a relocation to San Diego in 1978. For the next six seasons, the newly rebranded San Diego Clippers would spend most of their days at the bottom of the NBA’s Pacific Division. The team’s lack of success forced controversial owner Donald Sterling to move the team to Los Angeles in 1984, without approval from the league. Following the move to LA, the franchise struggled for the better part of 27 seasons, until Doc Rivers’ “Lob City” teams of the 2010’s ripped off six consecutive playoff appearances from 2012-2017. Among those playoff berths were a pair of division titles in 2013 and 2014, something that the franchise had waited over 40 years to finally accomplish.

Steve Ballmer acquired the team in 2014, and the franchise as a whole has been accepting of sports betting’s progress throughout the nation. Both DraftKings and Betway have already partnered with the Clippers.

🏀 Golden State Warriors

  • League: National Basketball Association
  • Founded: 1946
  • Stadium: Chase Center
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: Betway, DraftKings

Founded in 1946 as the Philadelphia Warriors, this storied organization would capture a pair of Basketball Association of America titles in 1947 and 1956 before relocating to San Francisco in 1962. After trading away superstar big man Wilt Chamberlain, who played with the Warriors from 1959-1965, the team instantly fell to the bottom of the league’s standings. While trading Wilt certainly hurt at the time, the move resulted in San Francisco drafting Rick Barry in 1965, a prolific scorer who led the team to its third championship title in 1975 – its first since changing its name to the Golden State Warriors in 1971.

After an exciting run in the late 80’s and early 90’s led by “Run TMC”, a trio consisting of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin, the Warriors organization would struggle for the better part of the next twenty years before entering the greatest period in franchise history. Led by Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, a trio of homegrown talent that banded together to form one of the NBA’s greatest modern dynasties, the Warriors appeared in five consecutive NBA Finals from 2015-2019. The core secured their first championship in 2015 and followed that up with a pair of back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018 after acquiring Kevin Durant in one of the craziest offseason signings in sports history. With a title in 2022, the Warriors now have seven total championships under its belt, as the franchise ranks among the NBA’s best, surpassing the Chicago Bulls for the third-most in history behind the Lakers and Celtics.

🏀 Sacramento Kings

  • League: National Basketball Association
  • Founded: 1923
  • Stadium: Golden 1 Center
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: DraftKings

Surprisingly the oldest of the four California-based NBA franchises, the Sacramento Kings started their journey in 1923 as the Rochester Seagrams. After more than 20 seasons playing under three different team names, the franchise joined the National Basketball League in 1945 as the Rochester Royals and won the league’s title in their first season. Following their 1948 transition over to the Basketball Association of America, the Royals would capture the organization’s first and only NBA championship in 1951.

Unfortunately for Rochester, the city’s small market forced the team’s first ever relocation in 1957, a move that sent the Royals to Cincinnati. It marked the first of many rebranding efforts, as the team packed their bags yet again just fifteen years later in 1972, officially becoming the Kansas City-Omaha Kings. The team dropped ‘Omaha’ from their name in 1975 and would spend the next ten seasons playing as the Kansas City Kings until their final relocation in 1985. From that point forward, they would be permanently known as the Sacramento Kings.

If you fancy betting on the Sacremento Kings, think again. The 21st century has not been particularly kind to the Kings, as the franchise has suffered through sixteen consecutive losing seasons dating back to 2006.

🏒 Anaheim Ducks

  • League: National Hockey League
  • Founded: 1993
  • Stadium: Honda Center
  • Location: Anaheim, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: San Manuel Casino

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim were an expansion team founded by the Walt Disney company in 1993, just one year after The Mighty Ducks film was released in 1992. The team’s name, uniforms, and logos were based off the classic children’s movie from their inaugural season up until 2006, when Disney sold the franchise off. Immediately following the sale, the team’s new ownership dropped the ‘Mighty’ from its name, its colors were changed to orange, black, and gold, and the iconic masked duck logo was unfortunately dropped. It all ended up paying off in the end, as the Ducks won their first Stanley Cup later that season, taking down the Ottawa Senators in five games to become the first California-based NHL team to win it all.

🏒 Los Angeles Kings

  • League: National Hockey League
  • Founded: 1967
  • Stadium: Arena
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: DraftKings, Monkey Knife Fight

The Los Angeles Kings burst onto the scene following the NHL’s 1967 expansion that saw six new franchises enter the league. After spending its first 32 seasons playing at the Forum in Inglewood, the Kings joined the Los Angeles Lakers in moving into Arena (Staples Center at the time) ahead of the 1999 season. The organization struggled in the postseason early on, but finally broke through in 1993 when they made their first ever Stanley Cup, led by none other than Wayne Gretzky. The Kings fell in just five games to the Montreal Canadiens, losing the series 4-1 and would not return to the promised land for the better part of two decades.

After a six-year playoff drought from 2002-2008, the team would qualify for the postseason in each of the next five seasons, winning a pair of Stanley Cup titles in 2012 over the New Jersey Devils and 2014 over the New York Rangers. As a result, Los Angeles became the second California-based NHL franchise in history to win a Stanley Cup after the Anaheim Ducks did so in 2006.

🏒 San Jose Sharks

  • League: National Hockey League
  • Founded: 1991
  • Stadium: SAP Center
  • Location: San Jose, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: TBD

The San Jose Sharks were founded in 1991 as the NHL’s lone expansion team for that season. They became the first NHL team located in the Bay Area since the California Golden Seals moved away to Cleveland in 1976 and would spend their first two seasons playing at the Cow Palace before moving into the SAP Center in 1993. From that point forward, “the Shark Tank” would host all of the franchise’s home games, resulting in six division championships between 2001-2011, a Presidents’ Trophy in 2008, and the organization’s only Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2016 – a loss to Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins.

⚽ LA Galaxy

  • League: Major League Soccer
  • Founded: 1994
  • Stadium: Dignity Health Sports Park
  • Location: Carson, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: Monkey Knife Fight

The Los Angeles Galaxy were one of Major League Soccer’s original 10 members when the league kicked off its inaugural season in 1996. The organization is easily one of the league’s most successful entities, racking up a record five MLS Cups across nine total appearances between 1996-2014. Never shy to make headlines, the LA Galaxy are responsible for some of the biggest signings in MLS history, including David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Steven Gerrard, among many others.

⚽ Los Angeles FC

  • League: Major League Soccer
  • Founded: 2014
  • Stadium: Banc of California Stadium
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: TBD

Los Angeles officially established its second Major League Soccer team on October 30, 2014, four years prior to Los Angeles FC’s league debut in 2018. The young franchise has only competed in four seasons of play since its inception, but already has a 1st place finish under its belt. Back in 2019, the club’s second season, LA FC finished with 72 points to lead all of MLS and finish atop the Western Conference table. The team would eventually fall to the future champion Seattle Sounders FC in the semifinals, unfortunately ending the best season in franchise history.

⚽ San Jose Earthquakes

  • League: Major League Soccer
  • Founded: 1994
  • Stadium: PayPal Park
  • Location: San Jose, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: TBD

Originally set to be named the San Jose Clash, the Earthquakes, like the LA Galaxy, were one of Major League Soccer’s original 10 teams. San Jose actually participated in and won the first ever MLS game in history, a 1-0 victory over D.C. United. The club enjoyed a ton of success early on, winning each of its two MLS Cup titles in 2001 and 2003.

The team relocated to Houston in 2005 after multiple failed attempts at securing a new stadium and thus the Houston Dynamo was born in 2006, taking both the players and staff from the Earthquakes while the franchise was put on hiatus by the league. After two seasons with no soccer in San Jose, the Earthquakes returned in 2008 thanks to a bid by Oakland A’s principal owner Lew Wolff and would spend the next six seasons playing at Santa Clara University’s Buck Shaw Stadium before moving into its permanent home of PayPal Park in 2015.

🏀 Los Angeles Sparks

  • League: Women’s National Basketball Association
  • Founded: 1997
  • Stadium: Arena
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Betting Partners/Sponsors: TBD

Arguably one of the most recognizable brands in women’s professional sports, the Los Angeles Sparks were a founding member of the Women’s Basketball Association prior to the league’s inaugural season in 1997. The Sparks currently own the WNBA record for the most playoff appearances in league history with 20, qualifying for the postseason in all but four of their 24 seasons. Los Angeles holds a tie with the Phoenix Mercury for the second-most Finals appearances in league history with five, and is also tied with Phoenix and the Dallas Wings for the second-most championships with three (2001, 2002, & 2016).

California sports betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in California?

No it’s not, however, for the first time in a long time there’s hope! There will be two sports betting bills for Californians to consider this November. Get out and vote!

When will online sports betting be legal in California?

The short answer is we don’t know. While we’re a little more concerned with the IF, not the WHEN, if everything goes swimmingly, it seems realistic that betting could get started at some point in 2023. If the November 2022 vote goes according to plan, it would take some time to set up the full California sports betting market. Typically it takes states somewhere between 6 months and 2 years. Keep your fingers crossed for the shorter side of the time frame.

What responsible gaming resources are available in California?

Even though sports betting in California isn’t legal yet, the state is already well equipped with a variety of responsible gaming resources. The California Department of Public Health has a Problem Gambling office, plenty of helplines, and support groups for local persons. Plus, the state of California maintains an efficient self-exclusion program. Once legal online sports betting arrives in California each sportsbook will make available their own internal resources and responsible gaming tools as well.

Do I have to be in California to bet with a California online sportsbook?

Yes you do. Sports betting in the United States is regulated on a state by state basis. If/when California legalizes sports betting, you would only be able to wager with a California online sportsbook while physically inside the state. Each CA mobile sports betting app will have geolocation technology built in to determine your precise location. If you’re in California you will be able to bet. If you cross into another state, you will not.

What kinds of California sports betting bonuses will be available?

All kinds! California is seeking to approve multiple online sportsbooks for operation in the state. If legalized, they will offer a variety of California sports betting promos to earn your action. These bonuses include risk-free bets, deposit match bonuses, free bets, and more.

What is the legal age to bet on sports in California?

The proposed age requirement for betting on sports in California is 21. However, nothing has been finalized yet so that – and the rest of the bill – is still subject to change. It’s worth noting that 21 is the standard age for sports betting in most states.

Michael Sciangula

Michael Sciangula

Michael is a New Jersey-based sports writer who recently began working in the online gaming industry. He now contributes to various online publications for Better Collective. He is an alumnus of Rutgers University and avidly follows Rutgers basketball and the New York Mets.

Recent Updates

  • August 17, 2022: Full-page update to reflect the news regarding the legalization of sports betting for the November ballot.

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