Casino slot and card players will find their favorite games online in the state of California, but with a twist. Due to the illegality of online gambling in the state, customers can visit one of several “social casinos” if they wish to play their favorite slot titles and table games from their personal computer or smartphone.
On this page, you’ll find all the information you need to know about how to play internet slots and table games while in California, and how to redeem purchasable sweepstakes coins for cash prizes.
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What Are Social Casinos?
Social casinos offer a wide variety of online slots and card games just like you’d find in a land-based gaming business.
However, with a social casino, you’ll need to purchase in-game currencies that each social casino brand in CA offers to customers. These currencies range in value from “free play” tokens to “premium” coins that can be bought when signing up, and then converted back to cash prizes when a player accumulates enough to “cash out.”
What you WON’T find at a California online casino is the option to wager real money. You’ll have to first convert your deposit into the site’s proprietary currency before you can play – and the amounts displayed when placing a bet or spinning a virtual slot wheel will be in that currency.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t convert your winnings into cash prizes – it just means that there will be an extra step or two in order to receive a cash “payout” from a California social casino.
So the fun and entertainment aspect is the same when patronizing a social casino. The only difference is the currency that you use to place bets along with CA online casino sites’ conversion rate of their in-house currency into USD.
This structure – though a bit inconvenient when compared to legal statewide online gambling jurisdictions in the northeastern part of the country – allows for casino enthusiasts to play and make meaningful online slot and table game wagers in California.
Can You Win Real Money Online at California Social Casinos?
Yes, you can! But in almost every case, you’ll need to make an initial deposit via credit card, and online wallet, or a payment service such as Apple Pay before you will be allowed to convert any social casino currency into cash prizes.
Winning real money at a social casino will also mandate that you provide the CA social casino with your name, physical address, telephone number, email, date of birth, and other pertinent information in order to convert in-house currency into merchandise, gift cards, or cash. The specific policies will differ for each online casino in CA, but you will need to complete two important steps before a social casino will authorize your account to cash out.
- Verify your account with the social casino
- Make an initial deposit with the social casino
Without an initial deposit and account verification (performed by the social casino itself), you will NOT be able to redeem coins, tokens, or points for withdrawable prizes.
Best Social Casinos in California
CA Social Casinos offer different sign-up and registration incentives, initial deposit bonuses, and other promotions for first-time customers.
We rank social casinos on the following criteria:
- Software: (website/app performance and user interface quality)
- Game selection and variety
- Online banking options to deposits and withdrawals
- Initial deposit bonuses and new customer registration offers
- Customer service
- Social casino customer rewards value
- Online access means: PC – Mobile – Android – iOS
Pulsz Social Casino California
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The Pulsz social casino is one of the most trusted brands for customers throughout the country, and is available online in California. Pulsz has it all: your favorite slot machine titles, VIP tier rewards for returning customers, slot tournaments, casino-style card games, and much more.
The two proprietary currencies that Pulsz uses are free-play “Gold Coins” and premium “Sweepstakes Coins” – which can be converted into cash prizes once a new customer has satisfied the company’s age verification, geo-location, and initial deposit requirements.
Get free Gold Coins (GCs) and Sweepstakes Coints (SCs) when signing-up for a first-ever Pulsz social casino account in California upon signing-up through our referral link.
WOW Vegas Social Casino CA
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WOW Vegas operates in the state of California as a “sweepstakes” based online casino, which means you’ll need to make a first-time deposit and convert that into the brand’s premium “Sweepstakes Coins” before redeeming your winning for cash prizes.
If you opt for the free-play “WOW Coins,” you will not be able to cash those out until they are redeemed for SCs. WOW Vegas’ premium Sweepstakes Coins can be redeemed at a 1:1 rate – which means that a $99.99 purchase will get you 100 “SCs” to place bets with.
WOW Vegas partners with some of the best-known slot studios and offers a full array of titles as well as your favorite card games that you would expect to see at a typical land-based casino. You can get a special introductory offer from WOW Vegas in California by registering for a new account using this link.
Fortune Coin Social Casino California
Another great online casino option for players in California is the Fortune Coin social casino.
Similar to its competitors, it has a vast library of slot games (including some unique titles that are exclusive to Fortune Coin), plus online table games such as blackjack, roulette, and baccarat.
The site’s free-play token is called Gold Coins (GCs), while Fortune Coins (FCs) are the premium currency that can be purchased by making a deposit and subsequently redeemed – upon fulfilling the company’s requirements for withdrawals.
A $49.99 premium purchase at Fortune Coin social casino in California will allow you to receive 50 FCs, which you can then use to play the games that are spread online.
If you sign-up through us using the following link, you can receive added value (more coins) upon making your first real money purchase.
Stake.us is one of the most widely-marketed social casinos in the United States, and its logo is prominently displayed at major UFC events and Formula 1 races. It also has a complete library of slot games and some of the best user-friendly software in the business.
The issue? Stake.us only accepts purchases that are made in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Doge, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and so on. The same goes for any withdrawal – you’ll need to know how to transact with cryptocurrency if you want to play at Stake.us.
If you’re not familiar with cryptocurrency, it WILL take a bit of time to learn how to transact and there ARE some things you’ll want to know before diving head-first into blockchain transactions. Stake.us is exclusively for crypto-owners, and will not accept deposits using any method other than cryptocurrency.
If you’re looking for a crypto-based social casino in California, register for a new account through us and receive a welcome bonus once your first purchase has been made.
What Kind of New Player Bonuses do California Social Casinos Offer?
California social casinos use a variety of value-based promotions to entice new customers to register for an account and perform an initial purchase. Some of the most common new player bonuses that you’ll find at CA social casinos are:
- Extra premium coins with initial purchase
- Free spins for first-time customers (upon making initial purchase)
- Free table game wagers for new customers (initial purchase required)
- Entry into special slot tournaments and giveaways (based on customer’s purchase history)
- Exclusive merchandise for valued customers (VIP tier status required)
There are other promotions that you will see time-to-time at California social casinos, but these tend to be seasonal and may coincide with a major sports event or postseason games for professional sports leagues.
What Games Are Available at California Social Casinos?
You’ll find that California social casinos offer most of the same slot titles and table games that you would expect to find if you were to visit a commercial casino within the state.
Here is a look at some of the games you can play when patronizing social casinos online in California.
- Online Slots: Do you have a favorite slot machine studio whose games you always play when you travel to a retail gaming establishment? If so, you’ll very likely find the same games online at California social casinos. Enter your bet amount and click SPIN to start each game, and win prizes for unique reel combinations.
- Progressive and Jackpot Slots: Have you ever wanted to play a progressive or jackpot slot machine at a live venue but couldn’t get a spot in front of the machine due to the lingering crowd? This won’t be a problem at CA social casinos. Play your favorite progressive and jackpot slots WHEN you want to… without having to deal with the annoying “hanger-ons” that can ruin one’s live casino experience. Try to hit a BIG WIN in the comfort (and privacy) of a venue you choose: at home, on the go, or while casually swiping through your smartphone.
- Online Poker: One of America’s favorite peer-to-peer card games is available online at select social casinos in California. Take on human competitors at different games and see if you can showdown the best hand (or bluff your opponent off a superior hand) and win the pot.
- Online Roulette: Most California social casinos offer online roulette, and some of the games have a MUCH more favorable wheel for online players! You probably won’t find a “Triple Zero” roulette wheel at a CA social casino, and that’s a GOOD thing!
- Online Blackjack: Think you can beat the dealer by hitting a blackjack and winning an extra prize? You’ll need to use your cards and get as close to 21 as possible in order to beat the house, but you can’t exceed 21 or you’ll go bust. You can ask the dealer to HIT ME for another card or choose to STAY with your current hand.
- Online Pai-Gow: It’s you against the dealer heads-up in one of the most player-friendly card games on the planet. The house typically has a VERY small advantage in Pai-Gow relative to other casino-style card games, and you can see many more hands per hour online at a California social casino.
- Online Video Poker: This game can be played virtually at just about every social casino that operates within the Golden State. Online video poker games will have different pay tables for different hand strengths, and you’ll need to decide which cards to HOLD as you seek out a premium 5-Card Draw hand for a big payout.
- Live Dealer Social Casino Games: Some social casinos spread popular card games (such as blackjack) online using a “live dealer,” which is a real human being who deals cards to each player from a studio that’s operated by the website or app. Live dealer games can be very fun, but will be dealt at a slower pace due to the real-time human interaction that is required.
Deposits & Withdrawals: California Social Casinos
Unless you’re comfortable with cryptocurrency transactions, you’ll want to patronize a California social casino that offers ample support for different deposit and payment methods. For premium purchases, most social casinos in CA will accept major credit cards (like VISA & MasterCard) as well as transactions from PayPal, Skrill, and Apple Pay.
For withdrawals once you’ve redeemed a social casino’s premium coins, there are several online banking options that are available – but they will differ for each online casino.
If you can make a cash prize withdrawal using an online banking service such as Trustly, this will save you a lot of time if you plan on playing routinely at a social casino. If not, then PayPal and Apple Pay can also be used, but extra fees and account verifications will apply. CA social casinos and major credit cards typically do NOT allow charge-backs as a method to redeem cash prizes. The most popular deposit and withdrawal methods are:
- Debit/credit card
- Trustly Online Banking
California Gambling Laws
Although it is illegal to gamble online in California (real money online sports betting and poker are also prohibited), the state does host dozens of retail casinos and card rooms.
The catch? Only venues that are operated by tribal interests can legally offer typical casino games such as slots and jackpot slots. If the gaming business is not operated by a California tribe, it is considered a “commercial” property and is operated strictly as a card room (in other words, no slot machines).
With nearly 100 “commercial” land-based card rooms in California, locals and tourists will find a surprising range of retail card room properties – from hole-in-the-wall rooms to full-fledged resorts. But if you want to play casino games at a live location in California, you’ll need to visit one of the tribal locations (there are about five dozen of these).
The battle between tribal and commercial gaming interests in California came to a head during the 2022 calendar year, with Proposition 27 (a bill that would have legalized online sports betting) failing to pass by a miserable margin.
In all, somewhere in the neighborhood of half a BILLION dollars was spent on lobbying efforts on both sides of the argument, but legal California online gambling appears to be years away when considering how the state’s voters opposed Proposition 27.
California Retail Casinos
Brick and mortar card rooms in California operate “commercially” under the jurisdiction of the California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC) and have very strict rules on the games they can offer patrons.
Due to these guidelines, you simply will NOT find a slot machine or casino-style “pit” game to play when visiting these locations – you’ll need to instead go to a tribal casino.
What you will find at licensed CA land-based card rooms are games such as poker, Pai-Gow, Blackjack, Baccarat, and so forth. What you won’t find are games like roulette and craps.
A couple of the most popular retail casinos that operate legally within the state of California are:
The Bicycle Hotel & Casino
- Address: 888 Bicycle Casino Drive Bell Gardens, California 90201
- Games available: Poker, Baccarat, Blackjack, Pai Gow, Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em
“The Bike” is one of the best live card room atmospheres to be found in CA, and the venue has rooms & suites plus a variety of dining options to take care of its players around the clock. In addition to one of the most famous card rooms in the world, The Bike also spreads other card games like Blackjack, Baccarat, Pai Gow and more.
Located less than a half-hour drive away from downtown Los Angeles and the LA International Airport, the Bicycle Hotel & Casino has become a mainstay for live card playing enthusiasts and occasionally hosts major poker tournaments that are televised for a national audience.
The Commerce Casino & Hotel
- Address: 6131 Telegraph Road Commerce, CA 90040
- Games available: Poker, Baccarat, Blackjack, Pai Gow, Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em
This southern California hot-spot has all the amenities you’d expect from a luxurious resort location, plus a wide variety of non-casino card games including poker, Pai-Gow, and Baccarat. Non-Tribal casinos do things a bit different due to regulations in the state, where each players each take their turn being the dealer, which allows Commerce Casino patrons to play table games.
Stay in one of the Commerce’s cozy suites or upgrade to an executive package with an option to visit one of the best spas in the state. The Commerce Casino & hotel is about a 15-minute drive (or 30-minute bus ride) from downtown Los Angeles – as long as the traffic on I5 is relatively light.
Morongo Casino Resort and Spa
- Address: 49500 Seminole Dr. Cabazon, California 92230
- Games Available: Slots, Table Games, Poker
The Morongo Casino Resort and Spa is located just 20 minutes from Palm Springs and has nearly 200,000 square feet of gaming space and a 27 floor hotel. There are over 10 restuarants located on site for your dining pleasure, a full spa and outdoor rec areas that include a massive pool and lazy river.
When it comes to gaming, there are around 4000 slot games to choose from, over 80 table games and a 20 table poker room. Morongo Casino also offers daily promos and a cash back program that promises to give you 10x the cash back than other California casinos. When you are done at the tables, you can check out their golf course, daily entertainment including live music or retreat back to your suite level room for some relaxation.
California Online Casinos FAQs
No, it is not. You can play online casino slots and pit games online for real money legally at any time, nor can you wager real money playing online poker or placing internet sports bets within the state.
Yes, they are! Thanks to the existence of social casinos, customers located within California’s physical borders can sign-up for a social casino account and start playing their favorite slot titles and table games immediately.
However, customers must use a proprietary social casino currency (aka “coins,” “tokens,” or “points”) when playing premium games online. And that currency must be re-converted before it can be withdrawn as a cash prize, or for a gift card.
At most retail locations, patrons can place real money wagers from the age of 18 or 21.
The same goes for California’s social casinos – you will need to be 18+ or 21+ in order to make a premium purchase or redeem your winnings for cash prizes.
You can win tokens, points, or coins (whatever the social casino’s in-house currency is designated as), which can then be converted into cash prizes or other rewards. Note that a customer must make an initial premium purchase before effecting a first-time withdrawal into a bank account or online wallet.
No, California does not have legal online sports betting, and is not expected to be in a position to license online sports betting activities any time in the near future.
Yes, there are. However, all California casinos are operated by tribal interests, so you will need to travel to one of those locations in order to enjoy live slots and casino-style table games within the state.
The “commercial” gaming properties located in California are only allowed to spread non-casino style card games and, as a consequence, do not have slot machines or casino pit games (such as craps and roulette) on-site.2023