Legality of San Francisco Online Gambling

The rise of online casinos has made many people wonder about the legality of online gambling in their city or state. This is particularly carefully discussed in the US, as every state in this country has independent rules and regulations regarding the law, including gambling.

San Francisco is no exception to this rule since California has yet to make any official statements concerning online gambling regulations. Nevertheless, avid casino fans can still have some fun in San Francisco, and we’ll cover all the details about it in this post.

Is Online Gambling Legal in San Francisco?

To answer whether you can gamble online in San Francisco, we must consider the legality of online gambling in California. As per California’s state and federal legal books, it is illegal to operate an online gambling site within the state. However, no law specifically forbids online gambling.

In other words, while there are no specific laws against online gambling in San Francisco, it is important to note that both state and federal laws prohibit online casinos from operating within city limits.

This means you cannot find any state-approved casino site based in the Gold Rush city. However, San Francisco players are free to play games at online casinos as long as they are based offshore.

Aside from offshore casino sites, gamblers from this city can visit Sweepstakes casinos and poker platforms. These websites offer realistic casino gameplay you can participate in with sweepstakes coins and win real prizes in a legal online gambling environment.

Will San Francisco Legalize Online Gambling?

The last few years have been revolutionary for the US online gambling scene as many states changed their laws and legalized web-based casinos and sportsbooks. Unfortunately, California still hasn’t joined this movement, which is why online gambling isn’t officially legalized in San Francisco.

It’s worth mentioning that the Golden State has had a few attempts to make online gambling legal, meaning that some legislators want to see this popular pastime regulated in the future.

Naturally, it’s impossible to predict when the pro-online gambling group will prevail in their intention to authorize web-based gambling sites, even though the state and all its cities, including San Francisco, would profit from legal online casinos and bookies.

Until the potential online gambling legislation occurs, online gamblers from San Francisco can explore offshore gambling sites. According to the law, no one can prevent or punish them for playing on casino websites based in gambling-friendly jurisdictions.

Legal Gambling Options in San Francisco

Now that we’ve established how you can enjoy online gambling in San Francisco, let’s take a look at fully legal gambling options available in the City of Fog:

Lottery — You must be at least 18 years old to play the lottery in San Francisco. The most popular games include scratch-off tickets, Powerball, and Mega Millions.

Charitable gaming — San Francisco is a haven for those looking to have fun and help others. The city’s most popular form of charitable gaming is Bingo, but If you plan on hosting your own events, ensure they follow all regulations set forth by the state.

Horse racing — Horse racing is another legal activity regulated by the California Horse Racing Board. The best place to bet on horse racing in San Francisco is the Golden Gates Fields which overlooks the beautiful coastline.

Poker rooms — If you’re only interested in card games like poker, you can find them in poker or card rooms that operate legally in San Francisco.

Land-based casinos — Lastly, you can always head to any of the legal land-based casinos and enjoy classic games in person. However, these gambling hubs only exist on Native American land.

Land-Based Casinos in San Francisco

If you want to play casino games in San Francisco but want to move past the so-called gray area of online gambling, you’re left with one option — visit a land-based casino. The number of brick-and-mortar casinos in San Francisco won’t fail to impress you, and neither will the selection of games they offer. You’ll have dozens of slot machines at your disposal, including tables for blackjack, baccarat, keno, roulette, and poker.

Most of the land-based gambling hubs stand on Native American land as they are run by Indian tribes. Aside from those establishments that offer all sorts of casino games, you can also come across card rooms where you can mostly play poker and blackjack.


Is online gambling legal in San Francisco?

Online gambling still doesn’t have a clear legal status in San Francisco. While California does not allow running a gambling site, it doesn’t ban players from playing online casino games. Due to these regulations, San Francisco players won’t find any legal online casinos based in California, but they’ll have no problems with the law if they join offshore gambling sites.

How old do you have to be to gamble in San Francisco?

The legal gambling age in San Francisco depends on the form of gambling you’d like to try. If you want to try your luck on lotteries or play games on offshore gambling sites, you must be at least 18 years old. On the other hand, only players over 21 can do so in a cardroom or a tribal casino.

Are offshore casinos safe?

The online gambling industry now counts thousands of casino sites, many of which accept players from San Francisco. Unfortunately, not all of them have your best interests at heart, so you should pay attention when choosing your online gambling venue. Before registering an account at any online casino, make sure that the operator is properly licensed, well-rated by players, and protected by the latest security measures.

What casino games can I play at offshore online casinos?

Offshore online casinos usually offer many different game types. The most popular category includes slots, while you can also enjoy RNG and live casino classics like poker, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, craps, and many other games. Some platforms even offer casualty games, such as bingo and scratch cards.

Can I use US dollars to deposit and withdraw money from offshore casinos?

This mainly depends on the casino you play in, but almost all gambling sites that accept players from San Francisco allow transactions in dollars.