Over the last few years, the potential legalization of sports betting in California has been hampered by the inability of the Native American tribes, the California card rooms and the California horse racing tracks to come to any kind of agreement on how the legalization proceedings should be handled. But as California faces a budget deficit of over $50 billion on the heels of the coronavirus pandemic that has swept through the state and the entire world in 2020, there is some optimism that state officials may start pushing to convince all parties involved to come to some kind of agreement to legalize CA online sports betting.

California has nearly 40 million residents and would be a crown jewel in the sports betting market should it ever legalize sports betting. Online sportsbooks entering the market would be sure to offer plenty of California sports betting bonuses to the state’s residents in the hopes of enticing them to play on their websites and mobile apps. Here’s a look at some of the potential California online sports betting bonuses that could soon be making their way to the nation’s most populous state.

California Sports Betting Bonuses

California Sports Betting Deposit Bonuses

One of the most common types of sportsbook bonuses that you will find in California is the deposit bonus. Deposit bonuses encourage sports bettors to make a real-money deposit into their account so that they can start betting on the action. The deposit bonus creates a win-win scenario for the player and the sportsbook; the sportsbook is happy to earn the player’s business and the player is happy to earn some free money to add to their sports betting bankroll.

Initial Deposit Bonus

Generally in the United States, online sportsbook deposit bonuses come in the form of a “free bet”. Basically, you get to make your first bet risk-free, as you will be reimbursed in California sportsbook credits if your bet loses.

For example, say that the FanDuel Sportsbook has entered the California market and is offering you up to a $500 free bet deposit bonus on your first deposit. What this means is that whatever amount your make your first deposit for, FanDuel will match that amount (up to $500) with a free bet. So if you deposit $150 you will earn a $150 free bet deposit bonus, while depositing $500 or more will earn you the full $500 free bet deposit bonus.

In this example, you deposit $500 and look over the betting card. You like the Los Angeles Lakers as 9.5-point favorites at home against the Sacramento Kings. So you place your entire $500 to win $454.55 on the Lakers at -9.5. If Los Angeles wins and covers the spread, you now have $954.55 in your betting account, nearly double what you started with. If the Lakers do not cover the spread, FanDuel will give you $500 in site credit to bet with, so it’s basically like you never lost.

Loyalty Deposit Bonus

Loyalty deposit bonuses (also referred to as “lifetime deposit bonuses” or “returning customer deposit bonuses”) work the same as initial deposit bonuses do, but they apply to sports bettors who are making a deposit after their first one. These bonuses aren’t as lucrative as the initial deposit bonus is, but free betting equity is free betting equity, even if it is only 10-20% of your next California sportsbook deposit.

Sports Bet Bonus Rollover Requirements

To avoid players just taking advantage of the sportsbook bonus and then quickly withdrawing, all of these bonuses have certain “rollover” requirements. A rollover lets you know how many times you must roll over the amount you accepted the bonus for before you are able to withdraw. For example, a 5x rollover on a $500 deposit bonus would be $2500 worth of play before you could withdraw the full amount in your account.

Be sure to read the rollover requirements before accepting a sportsbook bonus. These requirements won’t matter too much to a bettor who is planning to keep their account funded year round, but they are important to bettors just looking to bet on a handful of events or one specific sport before making a withdrawal.

California Sports Betting Sign-up Bonuses

In highly competitive sports betting markets (as California is sure to be), some online sportsbooks will offer a free sign-up bonus. When it comes to sign-up bonuses, you don’t even have to make a real-money deposit to get into the action; you just have to sign up for a free account.

For example, say that DraftKings is offering a free sign-up bonus for opening day of the MLB season. For registering an account on DraftKings, you get a $10 free play on the game of your choice. You select the Los Angeles Angels as +120 underdogs on the road against the Toronto Blue Jays and win. This pays out a profit of $12, which you can now wager on other events.

Sign-up bonuses in California may not be the most lucrative bonuses, but no one can complain when a sportsbook gives you a free bet to take a shot with.

California Sports Betting Refer-A-Friend Bonuses

Sportsbook bonuses are all about bringing in new customers and retaining current ones. The refer-a-friend bonus accomplishes both of these goals by rewarding both the current player who is betting on the site and the new player who signs up through his friend’s referral link.

An online sportsbook referral bonus generally awards both players with site credit or a free play once the referred player makes his first deposit. For example, say that a CA online sportsbook is offering a $50 refer-a-friend free play bonus. If you use the bonus links provided to sign your friend up for an account at this sportsbook and they make a real-money deposit, the sportsbook gives both you and your friend a $50 free play to bet on any game that you wish.

Some sportsbooks offer tiered referral bonuses based on how many people you recruit to play on the site. Hitting certain thresholds can earn you bigger bonuses. If you are talking to friends or co-workers about a big bet you won over the weekend and they ask which California sportsbook you use, don’t forget to take advantage of the refer-a-friend sportsbook bonus when you give them the details on where you play.

California Online Casino Bonuses

Depending on how the legal battles between the Native American tribes, California card rooms and California horse racing tracks shake out, online casinos may or may not end up being legalized in California. Regulations on allowing internet casinos have varied from state-to-state as states across the country legalize sports betting and determine what other types of online gambling they will allow.

Many online sportsbooks also have a casino section on their website and mobile apps. These online casinos allow you to play slot machines and some of your favorite table games (including blackjack, three card poker, roulette and more) for real money online. Online casinos would make a lot of sense for online sportsbooks owned and operated by the Native American tribes in California as these tribes already offer casino games in their brick-and-mortar locations around the state.

Should California legalize online casinos, look out for California online casino bonuses. Some online sportsbooks offer separate sportsbook bonuses and casino bonuses even though you can use the same online bankroll to play both. In fact, some sportsbooks around the country even offer deposit bonuses that are split across the two different platforms.

For example, if BetMGM decides to enter the California sports betting market, it will likely do so with the same casino games that it offers in states that allow online gaming. BetMGM might offer a $200 first deposit bonus that is split into a $100 free bet on the sports betting side and $100 in free play credits on the casino side. If casino betting interests you, be sure to check out the casino options at each California sportsbook and shop around for the best online casino bonus as well.

California Sports Betting Promotional Bet Bonuses

Online sportsbooks run around the clock; 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year, save for the occasional early-morning maintenance break. But while there are always events to bet on throughout the year all around the world, there are certain events that bring in more betting action than normal. These include:

  • Betting on the Super Bowl in the NFL
  • Betting on March Madness in college basketball
  • Betting on the World Series in the MLB
  • Betting on the NBA Championship in the NBA
  • Betting on the Stanley Cup Finals in the NHL
  • Betting on the Daytona 500 in NASCAR
  • Betting on Wimbledon in tennis
  • Betting on the Masters in golf

…and many more.

Sportsbooks want to earn your betting action on these big events, so many of them will offer promotional bonuses based around specific betting events on the calendar.

For example, say that the Los Angeles Dodgers are facing the New York Yankees in the World Series. A California sportsbook might offer a promotional bonus on the game such as a $15 free bet credit to bet anywhere on the site if you place a bet of $50 or more on Game 1 of the World Series, or improved payouts on a parlay featuring teams playing in March Madness.

What makes these bonuses so great is that they are often offered on events that you were going to bet on anyway. Not too many sports bettors are going to sit out betting on the Super Bowl. So as sportsbooks try to entice you to choose their sportsbook over the competition for the big game, you could find yourself reaping the rewards with a promotional bet bonus.

Take Advantage of Multiple California Sports Betting Bonuses

Many sports bettors sign up for one sportsbook and then just stick with at one sportsbook as long as they are happy with it. While there is nothing wrong with doing this, there are multiple advantages to having sports betting accounts across multiple California sportsbooks.

Line Shopping Across Difference CA Sportsbooks

Let’s say that you want to bet on the Los Angeles Clippers as 3.5-point road underdogs in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks. But before doing so, you take a look at the betting line on this game at three other online sportsbooks that you have an account with. It turns out that one of these sportsbooks is offering the Clippers at +4 against the Bucks.

So instead of betting $110 to win $100 on Los Angeles +3.5, you bet them at +4. If Milwaukee goes on to win the game 121-117, your Los Angeles +4 wager is graded a push while your Los Angeles +3.5 wager would have been graded as a loss.

Subtle differences on against the spread lines or moneyline prices may not seem like a big deal, but over the course of hundreds of bets, these small differences add up. It is worth the extra effort to take a bit of time to line shop around the different California sportsbooks.

California Sportsbook Bonus Hunting

Along the same thought process of not limiting yourself to just one set of betting lines, why limit yourself to just one set of California sportsbook bonuses? Sure, you should definitely take advantage of the best California sportsbook bonus. But why not also grab the second, third, and fourth best bonuses as well?

While all online sportsbooks perform the same function of accepting your bets, no two online betting sites are exactly alike. They all have differences in betting lines, promotions, and bonuses offered. One sportsbook might offer a superior deposit bonus to another, but the alternate site offers a better sign-up bonus.

It is free to sign up for accounts as the various online sportsbooks in California. Make use of this fact by making deposits at multiple sportsbooks, and keep an eye open for weekly promotional bonuses that will maximize the return on investment that you get out of your sports wagers.