May 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

The Current Gambling Situation in California

Here’s what to know about everything from online casinos to betting in the state.

In the U.S., gambling is a preferred pastime. At least according to statistics since the market hit a record of $54,9 billion in revenue in 2022. But this doesn’t mean Americans everywhere can enjoy gambling. Because even though federal law allows for gambling, every state is in charge of its regulations on gambling. So, what do you do as a Californian? 

Online Casinos

California has casinos, just not online. Online gambling is not regulated and is illegal by the California State Constitution. Only cardrooms like poker are allowed. Lawmakers and casino fans are doing what they can to keep the hope of online gambling alive. But as of now, there are no legal casino sites in California providing online games with real money. However, playing at US online casinos is still possible in states like Michigan and New Jersey. 

Sports Betting 

In the discussions of online gambling, there has been much talk about sports betting. In California, a state with teams like the Lakers, 49ers, and Giants, many sports fans wish to place bets on their favorite players. But as of now, sports betting is not allowed either. And controversies have surrounded the topic. 

Because of a measure with 1,6 million signatures, voters had to make up their minds about gambling. During the midterm elections, there was a proposal on a ballot that would legalize online gambling and also sports betting if it was passed. However, it was rejected. Governor of California Gavin Newsom claimed that it would hurt the Native American Tribes, who are running tribal casinos in the state.  

Land-based casinos 

Because of regulations on online gambling, Californians have to go to physical casinos, if they wish to enjoy gambling. In 1998, The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed. This meant that players could choose between card games like poker and baccarat. Later on, slot machines and other casino games were allowed. 

The casinos often feature music and networking events, where Californians can get to meet other fellow casino players. Today, players can choose between 65 tribal casinos, which are controlled by the California Gambling Control Commission, and Native American Tribes, which are recognized by the government.  But in this current situation, there seem to be controversies between the tribes and the operators, where the latter wishes for legal sports betting.

The Future of Gambling

As of now, it is unknown when Californians will be able to play again. Sportsbook operators are continuing to seek help from lawmakers. According to the chairman of the Indian Gaming Association, there might still be hope. If the sportsbooks and gambling sites can work closely together with native tribes, there might be chances of passing legislation. Therefore, a potential partnership could pave the way for future gambling online.

However, people believe that there won’t be huge changes until at least 2024, the year of the next election. This is why players and online sportsbooks are seeking opportunities outside of California. The future is not completely bleak, but players will most likely have to be patient.

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