Playing games like poker, blackjack, and roulette from the comfort of your home is one of the best ways to unwind after a long day. Rather than visiting a brick-and-mortar casino in your city, you can enjoy your favorite games anytime. You can even sign up at an online sportsbook to bet on upcoming NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL games.
You may be wondering whether you can legally place bets on casino games or sports matches in Santa Monica — or even in the state of California in general. Below is our guide that outlines the current legality of gambling in this part of the United States.
Gambling in Santa Monica in 2023
The Santa Monica neighborhood in Los Angeles falls under Californian laws. While you can place bets in many parts of the United States, you cannot legally gamble online in Santa Monica.
If you are traveling to other regions of the USA, it’s good to know that BetMGM promotes responsible gambling in the states where it is legally permitted to offer services. When you visit those states, you can sign up for an account and bet during your stay, but you cannot access the site while based in California.
While this may be frustrating, the positive news for many Californians who love online gambling is that change is imminent. There’s reason to believe that when the 2024 elections roll around, online gambling and sports betting could be legalized in the state through ballot measures or other means.
The Battle of Santa Monica Bay
The legality of gambling has always been a contested issue in the Santa Monica area. The most famous example of this is what the press named “The Battle of Santa Monica Bay.” This revolved around the state’s battle with gambling boats that were moored along the coastline of Los Angeles County in the 1920s and 1930s — these gambling boats were said to fall outside the state’s jurisdiction.
At that time, laws stated that California was permitted to have a legal say on what happened within three nautical miles away from their shorelines. However, the casinos were set up just far enough not to fall under the purview of the state government.
Law enforcement got the last word in on this case and eventually shut down these boats. However, history shows that since the early 1900s, there has been an ongoing struggle to ensure people could enjoy the casino games they love.
How To Choose the Best Poker Platform
If you are an avid poker fan, one of the most popular casino games on the planet, you can have a lot of fun playing in California. While you cannot legally play for money, you can sign up with platforms that offer poker games for free. And though you may not get the same thrill without having money on the line, you can still practice your skills and have a great experience.
Many people find that playing poker online helps prepare them for visits to a physical casino. There are many excellent casinos in California, likely within driving distance of where you live. But if you first want to try poker and other casino games online, you should seek out a legally permitted platform to do business in California. You may have to settle for free games unless you travel to other parts of the country.
Experience New Gambling Experiences in 2023
The online gambling and sports betting experience is likely to shift significantly in 2024 and 2025. With virtual reality and augmented reality technologies becoming more mature, you can already play games that make you feel like you are in a real casino.
Imagine putting on a VR headset or AR glasses and noticing your surroundings transform into a virtual space. Instead of being in your room, you are in a casino with slot machines, poker tables, and blackjack games taking place. You can sit anywhere you want, play for hours, and even interact with the other players who are online at the same time.
Such experiences are set to revolutionize how we interact with our favorite casino games. If you love playing roulette, you can soon do so from the comfort of your home while feeling as though you are inside a casino. While these virtual games still have a long way to go, within the next 12 to 24 months, there is expected to be a vast improvement in the graphics and overall playing experience.
Even though online casino games may not be as easily accessible in Santa Monica as in other parts of the USA, you can still have a lot of fun if you find games that do not involve real money. Licensed poker platforms, online casinos, and sportsbooks can be verified as honest, reputable, and reliable and will state this information clearly.
And when you travel to other states, you can sign up for the best online poker and blackjack service to play with real money on the line. Until then, no matter how fun gambling can be, it’s important only to place bets on sports matches and play casino games through a licensed platform that can legally operate in California.