HomeDaily Fantasy Sports in California

Daily Fantasy Sports in California

This page highlights the available daily fantasy sports sites in California, as well as provides a history of DFS laws in the state.

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Daily fantasy sports, often shortened to DFS, exist in a legal gray area, with some states legalizing the practice, others banning it outright, and in others yet, the legislatures have taken no action either way. In California, DFS sites are in the third category: playing DFS isn’t legal in CA, but it also isn’t illegal.

The state government has not made any laws to either approve or reject daily fantasy sports sites, so in the meantime, DFS games are permissible. This means daily fantasy sports powerhouses like FanDuel and DraftKings are permitted to offer their games and contests in California, but they are not yet authorized to conduct sports betting within the state in any capacity.

What are the best DFS sites in California?

There are many excellent DFS sites in California, but we’ve found these five sites to be the best of the best.

FanDuel California


FanDuel was the first DFS site to rise to prominence in the United States after being founded in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2009. It is the official daily fantasy sports partner of the National Hockey League and has since launched a sportsbook, racebook, and online casino. Contests involve single-game and league-wide events with both auction drafts and snake drafts to pick players for your roster.

DraftKings California


DraftKings launched shortly after FanDuel, its first contests rolling out in Boston in 2012. The company received a heavy investment from Major League Baseball in 2013, making MLB the first professional league to invest in any DFS products. DraftKings has many contests for the “Big Four” U.S. sports leagues but also covers the English Premier League, PGA events, WWE, MMA, and more. In 2016, the Federal Trade Commission blocked a potential merger between FanDuel and DraftKings, citing the new company would’ve held more than 90% market share.

Underdog Logo


Underdog has surged in popularity thanks to its “best ball” contests, where participants don’t have to worry about setting a lineup but will instead receive their points from their highest scorers at given positions even if those players are on their “bench.” The company was founded in 2020 and has awarded more than $600M in prizes since the launch.

Sleeper Logo California


Sleeper runs both free and paid DFS contests, and it allows players to use their platform to run seasonal fantasy leagues. It has also targeted esports by running fantasy LCS leagues (League Championship Series, the top League of Legends competition in the U.S. and Canada). Daily drafts for Sleeper’s various leagues and contests start every five minutes, 24 hours a day.

Betr Logo California

Betr Picks

Betr Picks focuses on picking whether players in a given sporting event will have more or less in a given statistical category (for example, Justin Herbert to throw for more or less than 255.5 yards, LeBron James to score over or under 30.5 points, and Mike Trout to record more or less than 4.5 total bases). The company was founded by a group including social media influencer Jake Paul.

How to get started with Daily Fantasy Sports in California

Getting signed up with a Daily Fantasy Sports site in California won’t take you very long. Most players are ready to start browsing for a contest to play in about five minutes. Here’s how to get started.

  1. Choose where to play: Coming soon, we’ll have full reviews of the top DFS operators in California. These reviews will contain details on the types of contests offered, user interface on the website, mobile app performance, top prizes, and an overall rating of the operator, among other important details.
  2. Complete the registration: At a minimum, you will need to provide your first and last name, date of birth, email address, password, and a promotional code where applicable. You may also need to provide the last four digits of your social security number and street address for tax information purposes, and in some cases, uploading a photo ID might be necessary. Note that depending on where you play, you will use the same account credentials if/when California legalizes online sports betting.
  3. Make a deposit: You’ll need to use real money to enter most DFS contests, though bonus credits are frequently available to claim and earn. Using your preferred payment method, load funds into your DFS account in an amount that is within your financial means and also qualifies you for a generous welcome promo.
  4. Pick your contest and start playing: Research is king when it comes to DFS contests, and the more information you have in your arsenal, the better. Pick contests that fit within your knowledge set and offer a reasonable risk-reward rate.

What kinds of DFS leagues can I play in California?

Here are just a few of the kinds of DFS leagues you can play in California.

  • Single-game contests: Single-game DFS contests involve drafting the best lineup of players from within one game in a given sport. Points are earned based on your players’ stat performances in key categories. Prizes are awarded based on the number of teams in the contest; some will have a winner-take-all award while others may have prizes for the top three (or more) players
  • League-wide contests: Similar to the same-game contests, league-wide DFS events will allow you to pick from all players who have a game on contest day rather than from one specific matchup. DFS players are typically presented with a budget to use while players will have different “salaries” for that day. This replaces an auction draft or snake draft when there is a larger group of players in the contest pool.
  • Pick’em contests: Pick’em contests require users to choose which teams will win from a slate of games. In most cases, you will need to pick all games correctly to win part of the prize pool, though for bigger events like the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, the prize will go to the players with the most correctly-picked games.
  • Best ball: In most DFS events, you’ll need to set a lineup. However, in best ball events, you can still earn points from the players on your bench, even if they aren’t in your starting lineup. Whichever players at a given position score the highest point total will count for your overall score.

Timeline of Daily Fantasy Sports legislation in California

  • January 2015: Democrat Adam Gray debuts Assembly Bill 1437, also known as the Internet Fantasy Sports Game Protection Act. AB1437 would require individuals or companies to obtain a license from the Department of Justice before offering DFS games in California. A revised copy of Gray’s draft was approved in September for an Assembly vote in January 2016.
  • January 2016: The state assembly votes to amend AB1437, passing with a 62-1 margin. The lone holdout was Marc Levine, a Democrat from San Rafael, who believes DFS contests are a form of gambling and the bill was therefore unconstitutional. However, the bill did not make it to the governor’s desk and saw heavy pushback from the state’s tribal casinos, leaving DFS sites in a legal gray area. Daily fantasy sports sites are permitted to operate in California, but the practice hasn’t been legalized or prohibited.
  • 2022: California voters overwhelmingly strike down Proposition 27, which would have legalized CA online sports betting and daily fantasy sports contests.
  • February 2024: The California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) submits a letter to Attorney General Rob Bonta questioning the legality of DFS operators. Since then, Bonta has neither affirmed nor rejected DFS’ legal status.

Tips for playing Daily Fantasy Sports in California

If you’re planning on playing daily fantasy sports in California, we recommend these tips to make the most of your experience:

  • Develop your strategies in contests with lower buy-ins: Everyone who plays daily fantasy sports dreams of winning big, but very few players will actually end up in such a fortuitous position. When testing out different strategies and game types, it is always better to try lower-risk contests (or even free-to-play entries when available) than to risk a larger percentage of your bankroll pursuing a higher prize.
  • Find sleepers to target: When doing your research, you’ll likely find key players to target below their average draft position (ADP). Rookies who are poised for extra time in the lineup and veteran players in years where their contract is up for renewal can make for excellent DFS plays in the right scenario.
  • Make the most of your bonuses: Deposit and reload bonuses are excellent ways to not only enter contests without the same financial risk but also to try out new DFS strategies and contests. Some bonuses may be contest-specific, so be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.


Do I pay taxes on Daily Fantasy Sports winnings in CA?

Yes, you must pay taxes on daily fantasy sports winnings in CA. These prizes are considered taxable income and must be reported on both your state and federal income tax returns.

Can you play DFS using DraftKings in CA?

Yes, you can play DFS using DraftKings in CA. Daily fantasy sports sites are permitted in California even though the state has not enacted laws to either legalize or prohibit participation in DFS contests. As long as you are at least 18 years old, you will be able to play.