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As the sun sets over California, the excitement of horse racing fills the air. From the thrill of watching these majestic animals thunder down the track, to the adrenaline rush of placing a bet on your favorite contender, horse betting in California is a truly unique experience.

But with so many options and variables to consider, it can be tough to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to California horse betting, to help you navigate the world of wagering and make informed decisions that could lead to big payouts. So saddle up and get ready to learn everything you need to know about horse betting in the Golden State!

Is Online Horse Betting California Legal?

No, In California horse betting is currently not legal. This means that individuals cannot participate in any form of sports betting through online platforms or applications. This includes popular sports such as football, basketball, baseball, and soccer, as well as other sports.

Horse racing in california

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. In-person betting on horse racing is legal and widely enjoyed by fans of the sport. Horse racing enthusiasts can place bets in person at various tracks throughout the state, including the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and the Santa Anita Park.

Another exception to the online sports betting ban in California is daily fantasy sports. These games are classified as games of skill rather than games of chance, and as a result, they are considered legal under California law. Daily fantasy sports enthusiasts can participate in online fantasy games through licensed and regulated platforms.

It is important to note that engaging in any other form of online sports betting in California is illegal and may result in legal consequences. Therefore, it is advisable to adhere to the state’s laws and regulations when it comes to sports betting.

Finding the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in California

Your horse betting experience can only be as good as the California sportsbook you opt to use. We understand that finding the right sportsbook can be a daunting task, with so many sports betting sites on the market, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to find some of the top sportsbooks in California to help narrow down your search.

1. William Hill: Best Bonuses

William Hill is a popular online sportsbook that has been in operation since 1934. The platform offers a wide range of sports betting options, including football, basketball, baseball, and soccer. William Hill is well-known for its competitive odds and extensive selection of in-play betting options. The platform also offers a mobile app for iOS and Android devices, making it easy to place bets on the go.

William Hill california


  • Competitive odds and an extensive selection of in-play betting options
  • User-friendly mobile app available for iOS and Android devices


  • Limited promotions and bonuses compared to other sportsbooks

2. DraftKings: Best Mobile App

DraftKings is another popular online sportsbook that offers a variety of sports betting options, including football, basketball, baseball, and soccer. The platform is well-known for its innovative betting features, such as live in-game betting and daily fantasy sports. DraftKings also offers a betting app for California bettors on iOS and Android devices, making it easy to place bets on the go.

Draftking mobile app california


  • Innovative betting features, including live in-game betting and daily fantasy sports
  • User-friendly mobile app available for iOS and Android devices


  • Limited payment options compared to other sportsbooks

3. BetMGM: Biggest Established Brand

BetMGM is a popular online sportsbook that offers a wide range of sports betting options, including football, basketball, baseball, and soccer. The platform provides users with a sleek and user-friendly interface that makes it easy to place bets and manage your account. Additionally, BetMGM offers a mobile app that is available for both iOS and Android devices, allowing users to place bets on the go.

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  • A wide range of sports betting options is available
  • Easy-to-use interface and mobile app


  • Some users have reported issues with customer support

4. BetRivers: Perfect for Free Bets

BetRivers is a popular online sports betting platform that offers a wide range of betting options, including horse racing. The site provides users with a user-friendly interface, making it easy to navigate and place bets. When it comes to horse racing, BetRivers offers an extensive selection of races from various tracks around the world, along with a variety of betting options, such as win, place, and show bets, exacta bets, trifecta bets, and more.

Betrivers Free bets california

Here are some pros and cons of using BetRivers for horse racing betting:


  • BetRivers offers a wide variety of horse racing events and betting options
  • The platform provides users with a simple and easy-to-use interface


  • Some users have reported slow loading times

How to Get Started with Horse Betting in California

Getting started on betting on Horse in California is a relatively simple process. Here’s how to get started:

Step 1 – Choose a Horse Betting Platform: Select a reputable sportsbook that offers horse betting in California. Some popular options include BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers. Choose the one that best suits your preferences and needs.

Step 2 – Register an Account: Create an account with the sportsbook of your choice by providing your personal information, including name, email address, and date of birth. You may also be required to provide proof of identity and residency.

Step 3 – Add Funds: To start betting on horse, add funds to your account. Most sportsbooks offer several payment options, including credit/debit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers.

Step 4 – Navigate to the horse Betting Section: Once your account is funded, navigate to the horse betting section of your chosen sportsbook. Here, you will find a list of upcoming horse tournaments and odds.

Step 5 – Select a Tournament: Choose the horse tournament you want to bet on. The available bets will be listed for each tournament, including outright winner bets, head-to-head matchup bets, and prop bets.

Step 6 – Place Your Bet: Select the bet you want to place and enter your stake amount. The betting slip will show your potential winnings based on the odds and stake amount.

Step 7 – Confirm Your Bet: Double-check your bet slip to ensure everything is correct. Once you are satisfied, confirm your bet.

Step 8 – Watch the Tournament: Sit back, relax, and enjoy the tournament. If your bet wins, your winnings will be credited to your account.

Understanding Horse Racing Bets CA

Horse racing betting is a popular pastime for many sports enthusiasts. Understanding the basics of horse racing betting can help new bettors get started and increase their chances of winning.


A Beginners Guide to Horse Betting in California

Types of Bets:

Horse racing betting involves several types of bets, each of which may mean extremely different outcomes for bets you have placed, including:

  • Win: A bet on a particular horse to win the race.
  • Place: Horse to finish in either first or second place.
  • Show: A bet on a particular horse to finish in either first, second, or third place.
  • Exacta: A bet on the first two horses to finish the race in the correct order.
  • Trifecta: Wager on the first three horses to finish the race in the correct order.
  • Superfecta: A bet on the first four horses to finish the race in the correct order.


Horse racing betting odds in CA can be confusing for new bettors. Odds are a numerical representation of the likelihood of a horse winning a race. Odds are typically presented in two formats: fractions or decimals.

For example, if the odds of a horse winning are 3/1, this means that for every $1 bet, you will win $3 if the horse wins. Similarly, if the odds are presented in decimal form, the same 3/1 odds would be represented as 4.0.

Examples of Common Horse Racing Bets:

Win: A $10 bet on horse #4 to win the race with 4/1 odds would result in a payout of $50 if horse #4 wins.

Place: A $10 bet on horse #3 to place with 3/1 odds would result in a payout of $40 if horse #3 finishes in either first or second place.

Exacta: A $5 bet on horse #2 to win and horse #5 to place with 10/1 odds would result in a payout of $110 if horse #2 wins and horse #5 finishes in second place.

Trifecta: A $2 bet on horse #1 to win, horse #4 to place, and horse #7 to show with 15/1 odds would result in a payout of $450 if horse #1 wins, horse #4 finishes in second place, and horse #7 finishes in third place.

Tips for Horse Racing Betting in California

Horse racing betting in California can be both exciting and profitable when approached with the right strategies and techniques. Here are some tips for successful horse racing betting:


Below are some extremely important strategies for betting on horse racing within the state of California. These can heavily change the course of your betting experience for the better if used well.

  • Focus on value: Instead of betting on the favorite in every race, look for horses with better odds that offer more value for your money.
  • Place multiple bets: Placing multiple bets on different horses and races can increase your chances of winning and reduce your risk of losing all of your money on one race.
  • Study past performances: Researching the past performances of horses and jockeys can provide valuable insights into their strengths and weaknesses and help you make more informed betting decisions.


These research methods are your best bet for being able to make informed and well-done bets within the realm of horse racing in California.

  • Review the horse’s form: A horse’s recent performance is a good indicator of how it will perform in the upcoming race. Look for horses that have consistently performed well in recent races.
  • Evaluate the jockey: The jockey can have a significant impact on the outcome of the race. Look for jockeys with a history of winning and who have experience riding in the specific race conditions.
  • Consider the track and conditions: Certain horses and jockeys may perform better in certain track conditions, such as dirt or turf. Be sure to research the specific track conditions and how they may impact the race.

Bankroll Management:

All in all, successful horse racing betting requires careful research, strategic betting, and effective bankroll management. By following these tips and strategies, you can increase your chances of success and enjoy the excitement of horse racing betting.

  • Set a budget: Determine how much money you are willing to bet and stick to your budget. Do not exceed your budget or chase losses.
  • Place smaller bets: Placing smaller bets can help you manage your bankroll and reduce the risk of losing all of your money on one race.
  • Avoid chasing losses: Do not try to win back lost money by placing larger bets. Stick to your budget and betting strategy.

Attending Horse Racing for Betting within the State of California

California is home to some of the most renowned horse racing tracks in the world. The state is famous for its year-round horse racing events and attracts many tourists and locals alike. In this response, we will discuss the top horse racing tracks in California and provide tips for attending horse races and betting on them. Below are some of the best racetracks for betting on horses in California.

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  • Santa Anita Park: Located in Arcadia, Santa Anita Park is one of the oldest and most famous horse racing tracks in California. It is known for hosting the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is one of the most prestigious horse racing events in the world.
  • Del Mar Racetrack: Situated on the coast of San Diego, Del Mar Racetrack is a picturesque horse racing venue. It hosts the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club racing season, which takes place every summer.
  • Golden Gate Fields: Located in Albany, Golden Gate Fields is another popular horse racing track in California. It is known for hosting the San Francisco Mile Stakes and the Berkeley Handicap.

Betting on Horse Races in California:

When betting on horses there are a few extremely stringent tips which one ought to follow. These can mean a lot for your betting experience overall.

  • Know the Horses: Before placing your bets, it’s essential to know the horses and their track records. You can find this information in the racing program or on the venue’s website.
  • Bet Responsibly: Betting on horse races can be addictive, so it’s essential to set a budget and stick to it.
  • Consider Exotic Bets: Exotic bets, such as trifectas and exactas, can offer higher payouts but are also riskier.

Benefits of Attending Races in Person and Betting on Horse Races:

When attending horse races within california, one can come across a number of benefits overall. Below are just a few of these benefits:

  • Excitement and Atmosphere: Attending horse races in person offers an unmatched excitement and atmosphere. The cheers of the crowd and the thundering hooves of the horses can create a memorable experience.
  • Socializing: Attending horse races in person allows you to socialize and connect with people who share the same interests.
  • Betting Opportunities: Horse racing provides an opportunity to bet and win money, adding another layer of excitement to the event

In conclusion, attending horse races in California can be an exciting and memorable experience. By following the tips provided and betting responsibly, you can enjoy the thrill of the races and potentially win some money.


In conclusion, horse race betting is a popular pastime in California, with a rich history that stretches back over a century. Despite facing some challenges in recent years, such as the closure of tracks and a decline in attendance, horse racing remains an important part of California’s cultural heritage and continues to draw both local and international interest.

Understanding the different types of bets available, as well as how to read and interpret odds, is essential for anyone looking to place a successful bet on a race. Whether you’re a seasoned horse racing fan or a newcomer to the sport, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and potentially win big at one of California’s many top-tier tracks.

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Meet Luke Fenech, a renowned gambling analyst for BestSportsBettingCalifornia.com. Based in Malta, Luke's passion is monitoring the US state legislative sessions and latest trends in the industry. He's respected for his unbiased coverage and valuable insights on sports betting. Luke also enjoys exploring Malta's picturesque landscapes and is a big fan of sports, particularly football and basketball. His extensive knowledge and commitment to providing accurate analysis has earned him the respect of his peers and readers alike.

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