Will online & mobile gambling be legalized in California?

Posted on January 15, 2020 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Online gambling is a lucrative industry, appealing to millions of people worldwide who log in and casually dabble — or seriously embrace — fun gambling sessions. The convenience behind it being online makes it so popular because of ease of access, but that raises a lot of questions about the legality of the process, especially in California. Many people wonder if it’s officially legal to gamble online in the state.

Is It Legal?

This question has eluded a lot of people and the truth is that it’s not yet legal in California, even though the state is one of the most famous areas known as an advocate for online gambling; it even allows some sweepstakes platforms to operate. You have some exceptions though when it comes to placing online wagers using advanced-deposit betting providers that allow you to gamble on horse racing. Also, some people have found a legal loophole around playing poker online with real money. So the situation is a bit unknown and takes online gambling in California to muddy waters in terms of the legalities.

Can You Still Use Gambling Platforms Online?

Surprisingly, even though it’s not officially legalized, you can still place bets online through offshore websites that are properly licensed and monitored through different gambling regulators overseas. It just has to be regulated and stamped with approval to all gamblers to use this website and its apps, whenever they want. Experienced gamblers at can give you tips on how to find the safest platforms and which apps you can download safely. The weird thing about it is that you will never find a written or official state or federal law that prohibits Californian citizens from accessing these platforms or downloading the different gambling apps. So it’s illegal in a way — a website created and operated in the state by someone who lives in this state is not legal per se.

The Future of Online Gambling In California 

There hasn’t been any recorded prosecution for gambling online in California, so the state’s legislature doesn’t seem to be interested in exerting effort in banning or taking gamblers to court. But at the same time, there haven’t been any online gambling laws being passed for many years. There have been some bills being introduced that favor it, but with a lucrative industry like this, controlling the regulation of it is yet to be decided. You have plenty of possible taxes that could reach millions of dollars, so the details of new proposals about having an official licensed online betting operator are still unknown. The future is bright for the industry, so there could be new developments in the matter soon, once the regulators properly figure out the minutia.


The procedures that lawmakers and legislators go through can be a bit complex when it comes to online gambling. The bottom line is that even if it’s not officially legal, the government isn’t doing anything to ban or prohibit it. So, this makes it fair game to anyone living there who wants to gamble in peace in their own homes. 


Sonoma Sun | Sonoma, CA