The horse racing industry continues to thrive in California. That’s in small part due to a crystal-clear set of rules and regulations on the books. The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) serves as the state regulator over horse racing. It maintains a handy website that explains exactly what the rules are, what’s legal, and where to bet.
California is home to numerous active race tracks and more than two dozen off-track betting facilities. Advance-deposit wagering is also fully legal in the state, serviced by several of the country’s largest online providers.
Legal Horse Racing Betting Sites in California
Online Horse Racing Betting in California
The Board even explains what is required for in-state online betting applicants:
(a) Prior to an Account being established or wagering being conducted the Applicant located in California must be licensed by the Board. All licenses granted shall be subject to the provisions of Business and Professions (B&P) Code Section 19460 et. seq.
As well as for out-of-state applicants:
d) Out-of-state Applicants that accept wagers from California residents shall provide a full accounting and verification of the source of the wagers, and a detailed wagering information file that includes, but is not limited to, dollar amount wagered, pool on which the wager was placed, race number and racing venue, zone, breed, zip code of the Account Holder, time wagering stopped, and time of the wager in the form of a daily download of pari-mutuel data to the Board designated database, California Horse Racing Information Management System, that is compatible with a Comma Delimited Text File.
Licensed California Racetracks
California is home to numerous race tracks and a healthy horse racing industry. There is also an active fair circuit that provides even more race days.
1776 Tribute Road
Sacramento, CA 95815
The association oversees fair racing events at various cities in the Northern California area. A list of dates and locations can be found via its website.
1600 Exposition Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95815
Cal Expo operates a harness racing track that has events throughout the calendar year. There’s also a simulcast facility on-site, which is open year-round.
2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard
Del Mar, CA 92014
This is one of the most iconic horse racing venues in the US. It first opened its doors in 1937 and hosts numerous non-racing events throughout the year in addition to a packed racing schedule.
1100 Eastshore Highway
Berkeley, CA 94710
This thoroughbred track opened for business in 1941. The facility features nearly year-round racing, as well as simulcast offerings.
4961 East Katella Avenue
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
This venue features both quarter horse and thoroughbred racing. It’s also home to the popular Vessels Club, the centerpiece of a massive facility renovation project.
285 West Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007
This is another venue that is recognized as one of the tops for horse racing in the US. Santa Anita plays host to several major races throughout the year.
Off-Track Betting in California
California is a friendly state for horse racing betting with a thriving off-track betting business. There are currently 28 OTB facilities for horseplayers to watch and wager.
4110 Bonita Road
Bonita, CA 91902
Sports bar atmosphere featuring a full dining menu and VIP lounge.
2551 West Valley H
Lancaster, CA 93536
Fair and event center with numerous amenities, including the year-round Turf Club.
6131 Telegraph Road
Commerce, CA 90040
A hotel, dining options, and table games are complemented by two racebook locations.
84-245 Indio Springs Parkway
Indio Springs, CA 92203-3499
Resort facility with numerous dining options and a Triple Crown Room with free admission.
2905 Calloway Drive
Bakersfield, CA 93312
Bar and grill that offers numerous fun things to do, including bowling and pool.
1033 Van Ness Avenue
Fresno, CA 93721
A 24-hour facility with dining options, poker and table games.
3883 West Century Boulevard
Inglewood, CA 90303
Full casino that offers a number of dining options and a rotating calendar of events.
20930 Malaga Road
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
A hotel and sports bar are among the amenities at this property.
18700 Lake Perris Drive
Perris, CA 92571
Full fair and event center with a packed calendar of events and entertainment options.
1101 West McKinley Avenue
Pomona, CA 91768
Another fair and event center that features a full calendar of events.
2004 Fairground Road
Monterey, CA 93940
Venue features a full satellite wagering facility open Wednesday through Sunday.
689 South E Street
San Bernardino, CA 92408
A sports center located on site includes numerous big screen TVs and a full-service bar.
2369 South El Camino Real
San Clemente, CA 92672
A sports bar and grill with full simulcast capabilities and an outdoor cigar lounge.
Ocean’s 11 (No Longer Offers Horse Racing?)
121 Brooks Street
Oceanside, CA 92054
A casino featuring table games, a sports lounge, and entertainment options.
45000 Pechanga Parkway
Temecula, CA 92592
Guests will find numerous dining options, entertainment, and a full hotel with suites and rooms.
1423 South Bradley Road
Santa Maria, CA 93454
Known for steaks and BBQ, this restaurant also has a wagering facility.
Sammy’s Restaurant and Bar
23221 Lake Center Drive
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Full-service bar and restaurant with an on-site wagering facility.
14800 7th Street
Victorville, CA 92395
The Sports Pavilion features a Winners Circle simulcast wagering facility.
1658 Airport Way
Stockton, CA 95206
A Winners Gaming and Sports Emporium located on-site feature scores of TVs to watch and wager.
1346 Saratoga Drive
San Mateo, CA 94403
Home to numerous events throughout the year with a Jockey Club for simulcasting.
Santa Clara County Fair
344 Old Tully Road
San Jose, CA 95111
Home to the San Jose Fair Downs OTB facility, which features a sports bar and dozens of TVs.
21615 Soledad Canyon Road
Saugus, CA 91350
As the name implies, this is a full bowling alley with simulcast capabilities.
900 Fairgrounds Drive
Vallejo, CA 94589
Fairgrounds facility with a satellite horse racing facility known as the Solano Race Place.
100 J Street
San Diego, CA 92101
A sports bar with simulcasting capabilities in the heart of downtown San Diego.
1345 Thousand Oaks Boulevard
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Pub and eatery with OTB and more than 30 beers on tap.
5000 Willows Road
Alpine, CA 91901
Full casino with slots and table games featuring OTB at the viewing lounge.
3230 Hamner Avenue
Norco, CA 92860
Full simulcast facility with a bar and grill.
California Horse Racing Betting Laws
California horse racing betting is legal in California under state law. In addition to the numerous race tracks and OTBs that offer in-person racing and simulcasting, online betting sites are permitted to offer their services to customers across the state.
The California Horse Racing Board is the body in charge of overring horse racing and wagering. Its mission statement reads as follows:
The mission of the California Horse Racing Board is to ensure the integrity, viability, and safety of the California horse racing industry by regulating pari-mutuel wagering for the protection of the public, promoting horse racing, breeding, and wagering opportunities, and fostering safe racing through the development and enforcement of track safety standards and regulations for the health and welfare of all participants.
Major Horse Racing Events in California
- Pacific Classic: Stakes race for three-year-olds and up held at Del Mar annually and hosted by TVG.
- Eddie Read Stakes: A 9-furlong turf stakes race for three-year-olds and up hosted at Del Mar.
- Del Mar Oaks: A Grade 1 turf stakes race held at Del Mar with a $300,000 purse.
- Bing Crosby Stakes: A 6-furlong dirt stakes race at Del Mar which was first run in 1946.
- Clement L. Hirsch Stakes: Grade I stakes race for three-year-olds and up held at Del Mar.
- Del Mar Debutante: A 7-furlong dirt stakes race at Del Mar for two-year-old fillies.
- Del Mar Futurity: Del Mar hosts another Grade 1 stakes race for two-year-olds on a dirt track.
- Santa Anita Handicap: First run back in 1935, this Grade I stakes race is held annually at Santa Anita.
- Santa Anita Derby: Boasting a $1 million purse, this race is run each April at Santa Anita.