California

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Major events in California gaming history

1933

The Los Angeles County Fair racetrack (now called Fairplex Park) is the first pari-mutuel race meeting in the state

1934

Tanforan Racetrack opens for pari-mutuel wagering after several years without racing; the track originally opened in 1899
Bay Meadows opens in November
Santa Anita opens in December

1937

Del Mar opens

1938

Hollywood Park opens

1941

Golden Gate Fields opens

1951

Los Alamitos opens for Quarter Horse racing

1964

Tanforan Racetrack burns down in July and does not reopen

1971

Cal Expo opens

1980

The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians opens the first tribal bingo hall in the state

1983

The Commerce Casino opens, which would grow to be the world’s largest cardroom casino

1984

Voters approve a ballot measure establishing a state lottery

1985

The California Lottery begins ticket sales
Full-card simulcasting begins at the racetracks

1987

The first simulcast facility at a non-racing fairgrounds opens in March, launching off-track betting in the state

1994

Simulcasting between Northern and Southern tracks begins
The Hollywood Park Casino card club opens on July 1

1998

Voters approve Proposition 5, the Tribal Government Gaming and Economic Self-Sufficiency Act of 1998

1999

The State Supreme Court overturns Proposition 5 results as unconstitutional
Tribal-state gaming compacts are signed with 58 tribes after the Court decision

2000

Voters approve Proposition 1A, a constitutional amendment paving the way for the tribal casinos; the signed compacts are registered with the Federal government in May

2002

Advance deposit wagering on horse racing begins in January

2004

New compacts are signed authorizing more slot machines in return for additional payments to the state

2007

In January, charitable poker night fundraisers are legalized

2008

Last year of racing at Bay Meadows

2013

Powerball sales begin in April
Last year of live racing at Fairplex Park
Hollywood Park closes at the end of the year

2015

Last year of live racing at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton

2016

Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego opens in October

 

Casinos and casino-style gaming

California has a well-developed cardroom industry with some 90 card club casinos scattered throughout the state. Legal games include poker, blackjack, Caribbean stud, baccarat, Pai Gow Poker and Super Nine among others.

The largest clubs are the Commerce Casino, with 270 tables, the Hawaiian Gardens Casino with 225 tables and the Bicycle Hotel and Casino with 185 tables.

California Gambling Control Commission
2399 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 220
Sacramento, CA 95833-4231
Phone (916) 263-0700
Fax (916) 263-0452

 

Tribal gaming

There is a large tribal casino industry in California, with 60 tribes operating 62 Class III casinos with slot machines and table games. In addition, there are a few Class II casinos.
    
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians –  Agua Caliente Casino, Spa Resort Casino
Alturas Indian Rancheria – Desert Rose Casino
Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians – Augustine Casino
Barona Group of Capitan Grande Band of Mission Indians – Barona Resort and Casino
Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria – Bear River Casino
Berry Creek Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California – Gold Country Casino
Big Sandy Rancheria of Western Mono Indians – Mono Wind Casino
Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians – Konocti Vista Casino Resort
Bishop Paiute Tribe – Paiute Palace
Blue Lake Rancheria – Blue Lake Casino
Cabazon Band of Mission Indians – Fantasy Springs Resort Casino
Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community – Colusa Casino Resort
Cahto Tribe – Red Fox Casino
Cahuilla Band of Mission Indians of the Cahuilla Reservation – Cahuilla Casino
Campo Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the Campo Indian Reservation – Golden Acorn Casino
Chemehuevi Indian Tribe of the Chemehuevi Reservation – Havasu Landing Resort & Casino
Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria – Cher-Ae Heights Casino
Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-wuk Indians of California – Chicken Ranch Casino
Coyote Valley Reservation – Coyote Valley Casino
Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians – River Rock Casino
Elk Valley Rancheria – Elk Valley Casino
Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria – Graton Resort & Casino
Fort Independence Indian Community of Paiute Indians of the Fort Independence Reservation – Winnedumah Winn's Casino (Class II casino)
Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake – Running Creek Casino
Hoopa Valley – Lucky Bear Casino
Hopland Band of Pomo Indians – Sho-Ka-Wah Casino
Jackson Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians – Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel
Jamul Indian Village of California – Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego
Lytton Rancheria of California – San Pablo Lytton Casino (Class II casino)
Manchester Band of Pomo Indians - Garcia River Casino
Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California – Twin Pine Casino and Hotel
Mooretown Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California – Feather Falls Casino
Morongo Band of Mission Indians – Morongo Casino Resort & Spa
Pala Band of Luiseno Mission Indians of the Pala Reservation – Pala Casino Resort and Spa
Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians – Rolling Hills Casino
Pauma Band of Luiseno Mission Indians of the Pauma - Yuima Reservation – Casino Pauma
Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians of the Pechanga Reservation – Pechanga Resort and Casino
Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians – Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino
Pit River Tribe – Pit River Casino
Quechan Indian Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation –  Quechan Casino Resort
Redding Rancheria – Win-River Casino
Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians of the Rincon Reservation – Harrah's Resort Southern California
Robinson Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians – Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino
Round Valley Indian Tribes of the Round Valley Reservation – Hidden Oaks Casino (Class II casino)
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians – San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino
San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California – Valley View Casino
Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria – Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians of the Santa Ynez Reservation – Chumash Casino and Resort
Sherwood Valley Rancheria – Sherwood Valley Rancheria Casino
Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians – Red Hawk Casino
Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation (formerly Smith River Rancheria) – Lucky 7 Casino
Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians – Soboba Casino
Susanville Indian Rancheria – Diamond Mountain
Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation – Sycuan Resort & Casino
Table Mountain Rancheria – Table Mountain Casino
Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians – Red Earth Casino
Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River Reservation – Eagle Mountain Casino
Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria – Black Oak Casino
Twenty Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians – Spotlight 29 Casino, Tortoise Rock Casino
United Auburn Indian Community of the Auburn Rancheria – Thunder Valley Casino Resort
Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians – Viejas Casino
Yocha DeHe Wintun Nation – Cache Creek Casino Resort
Yurok Tribe of the Yurok Reservation – Redwood Hotel and Casino


California Gambling Control Commission
2399 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 220
Sacramento, CA 95833-4231
Phone (916) 263-0700
Fax (916) 263-0452

 

Lottery

The California Lottery began operations in 1985. The current game offerings include instant tickets, Mega Millions, Powerball, Super Lotto Plus, Fantasy 5, Daily Derby, Daily 3, Daily 4, Hot Spot (California’s version of 4-minute keno).

Profits from the California Lottery provide supplemental funding for education.
 
California Lottery
600 North Tenth Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
Phone (916) 323-0403  

 

Pari-mutuel facilities

Pari-mutuel wagering was legalized in 1933. There are currently nine racetracks in California, including several fair racing facilities; a shakeup of racing dates took place in 2014 after Hollywood Park closed, with Los Alamitos picking up Thoroughbred dates and the Los Angeles County Fair after Fairplex ended live racing. Off-track wagering is allowed; there are currently 32 simulcast-only facilities, including non-racing fairs, tribal casinos and card club casino locations. Advance-deposit wagering is conducted by several operators licensed in the state.

Cal Expo
1600 Exposition Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95815

Del Mar
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, CA 92014

Golden Gate Fields
1100 E. Shore Highway
Albany, CA 94710

Los Alamitos
4961 E. Katella Avenue
Los Alamitos, CA 90720

Santa Anita
285 W. Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007

Alameda County Fair, Pleasanton
Fresno District Fair, Fresno
Humboldt County Fair, Ferndale
Sonoma County Fair, Santa Rosa

All pari-mutuel activities are regulated by the California Horse Racing Board.

California Horse Racing Board
1010 Hurley Way, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95825
Phone (916) 263-6000
Fax (916) 263-6042

 

Charitable gaming

Raffles and bingo are allowed in California. Poker and other controlled games were authorized for charitable fundraisers beginning in 2007, subject to local approvals.

Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General
Bureau of Gambling Control
P.O. Box 168024
Sacramento, CA 95816-8024
Phone (916) 263-5380
Fax (916) 263-0928

 

Last updated on December 11, 2016