With the largest population and the most professional sports teams in any state – plus some of the biggest college teams – Californians know and love their sports. However, the government has not yet passed any legislation to legalize sports betting in the state. Still, there are ways to enjoy sports betting legally in California – which does not involve a weekend trip to Vegas or Reno. Here are five things you should know about sports betting in California.
1. The Legality of Sports Betting in California
There has been a push lately to bring legal sports betting to California. However, after a few attempts, it looks like sports bettors from the state will need to wait until at least 2021 before they can make bets at California-based sportsbooks.
Recent Sports Betting Timeline in California
- 2016 California legalizes daily fantasy sports
- 2018 PASPA is struck down by the Supreme Court, allowing states outside of Nevada to legalize sports betting
- 2018 sports betting fails to gain two-thirds support to go on the 2018 ballot
- 2020 tribal casinos push back against sports betting, shelving the bill for 2020
While California struggles to legalize land-based sportsbooks in the state, many online sportsbooks operating in different locations accept California bettors. The state does not have any law that disallows the usage of offshore online betting site. And for bettors who do not want to make the trip to Las Vegas every weekend, betting online is the best and safest wait to enjoy gambling.
2. The Age to Gamble on Sports
It is sometimes tricky to navigate the minimum gamble age in the United States. The federal minimum age is 18. However, different states – especially ones with casinos, may set a different minimum betting age.
California is one of the states with differing minimum age requirements. For casinos that serve alcohol, you must be at least 21 years of age to enter. Dry casinos have a minimum age requirement of 18 years old. Since California does not have legal sports betting in the state – yet –the minimum age requirement for sports betting in California is 18 years old.
3. What You Need to Bet On Sports Online
If you want to join an online sportsbook, you need a few things. We assume, if you are reading this, you have access to the internet and either a mobile device or computer – which you need. You also need at least one form of identification to verify your address and age.
You will also need a payment method accepted by the California betting site. There are many different ways to top up your account. Below are the most popular.
- Debit Cards
- Credit Cards
- Bank Transfer
Once you have everything verified and you make your first deposit, you can start betting on sports.
4. The Sports You Can Bet On in California
As the most populous state in America, California is home to more professional sports franchises than anywhere else in the country.
Even with the Raiders leaving in 2020, California is still home to 15 professional sports teams (from the major four North American leagues), or 19 if you include teams from the MLS and WNBA. With so many teams – plus some of the biggest golf events and horse races every year – means there is a wealth of betting opportunities in California. Below are some of the most popular betting markets in California.
- NFL Games, Props, and Futures
- NBA Games, Props, and Futures
- MLB Games, Props, and Futures
- NHL Games, Props, and Futures
- Soccer Matches, Props, and Futures
- College Sports
- Golf Tournaments
- UFC and MMA
- Horse Racing
- Entertainment Props
There are even more markets – from international leagues and events to politics and esports – to check out when you join an online sportsbook.
5. Taxes on Sports Betting in California
Gambling winnings over $600 a year are considered taxable income in California (or anywhere in the USA). Winnings of over $600 are subject to a 24% withholding tax. This tax is usually taken from the source – meaning if you win $10000 at a California casino, the casino withholds $2400.
If you are using an online sportsbook, you are responsible for submitting the withholding tax. You can also claim gambling losses on your income tax form.
The potential earnings from the tax on sports betting is a major driving factor behind legalizing land-based sports betting in California. The pandemic has taken a toll on many economies – including California – so any way to make some extra funds will be under heavy consideration (i.e. sports betting in California) in 2021.