Everything’s Bigger in Texas.
That slogan has followed the state around for ages. The largest state in the lower 48 is home to 28 million people, and the attitude of Texans can come across as very brash to some. We admit that Texas is a front-runner on many issues, but where does the state stand on gambling laws? This page will look at the state of gambling in Texas.
Sports Betting in Texas
Sports is a big business in Texas. With several professional teams in multiple sports, plus some of the largest colleges in the United States, it feels like sports are all around you when you are in the state. That is why it had to be such a disappointment that sports betting had been illegal in the state until 2018. When the Supreme Court repealed the sports betting prohibition law, all eyes were on big states like Texas to see what hey would do next. So far, only one plan has been presented to legalize sports betting in Texas but it is not looking very likely to pass. The proposal is to let the people speak on the question by referendum but before that can happen, two thirds of the legislature would have to approve placing that on the ballot. With Republican’s general opposition to gambling, it is not very likely to pass… Which means that for now, it is still illegal to offer the chance to bet on your favorite Texas team.
Online Sports Betting
Don’t think for a second that Texans aren’t betting on sports. The fact that there are no legal options isn’t stopping residents from finding a local bookie or heading to the internet to find betting lines. Online sportsbooks have been taking action from players in Texas for over two decades, and millions of dollars are bet every day at these unregulated sites. This is of course a bad situation for the players and for the states and you would hope that politicians would recognize it. Some do but right now the only way for Texans to bet remains to do so illegally…
With no legal land based sports betting in the state of Texas, there is of course no legal online betting as well to date.
Horse Betting in Texas
It probably comes as no shock that the Cowboy state has a love affair with horse racing. There are several racetracks in the state that offer live horse racing throughout the year. Pari-mutuel bettors can head to these tracks and place bets on their favorite horses or jockeys. They also all offer simulcast racing from tracks around the country, giving bettors a chance to bet on races even where they aren’t running live locally. There are also greyhound races in Texas, although it is hard to say how much longer they will be around given the backlash to these races in other states.
Online Horse Betting
While the tracks in Texas offer betting on horse races on-property, none of these operations have been given a license for online horse betting. This is left to sites like Twinspires, who are not licensed in the state either but have found a loophole that currently allows them to accept players from states like Texas. If you want o bet on horse online, you just need to create and fund an account, then you can watch the races live right on the website with which you are betting.
Casino Gambling in Texas
Casinos in Texas have had a long-standing battle between the tribes and the state government. The tribes believe they have the right to operate casinos, and in fact, a few have opened over the years. Some were shut down by the government, causing major drama in the state. Right now, there are a couple of options for casino gaming in Texas, but these are not full casinos. The facilities in the state only offer slots, bingo, and poker. However, there are many casinos right at the border in Oklahoma, and these are very popular with Texas residents living within driving distance.
Online Casinos in Texas
Online casinos are not regulated in the state, but that doesn’t stop people from playing at the many options you can find these days. Most of these sites are based in countries like Costa Rica, just out of the reach of U.S. authorities. There has been a lot of movement in the online casino industry over the last decade, with many of the bigger brands and software vendors no longer offering their games to Americans and many sites simply disappearing with players money… Again, this is a bad situation for the player as they are offered no protection and no guarantees. A regulated online casino in Texas would greatly help everyone and hopefully the politicians start facing the inevitable and create laws authorizing the activity. So far unfortunately there has been little to no movement in that direction though.
Lottery in Texas
The Texas Lottery was established in the early 1990s and over the years has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for excellent causes in the state. Players in Texas can try their luck in massive draws like the Mega Millions, which just had a jackpot of over 1 Billion dollars. There are also many local draw games held on a daily basis, as well as scratch tickets that are available at hundreds of retailers across the state. The lottery offers a little something for all types of gamblers.
Texas Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Texas?
Sports betting is not legal currently in Texas, despite an absolute love of sports in the state. There are many illegal bookies taking bets, however, so to say that there is no sports betting taking place in Texas would be false. There are also many online sportsbooks whose doors are open to residents but these are illegal as well.
When will sports betting be legal in Texas?
With the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018, the doors are wide open for states like Texas to regulate sports betting. Considering the population and the sheer amount of sports in the state, we expect that Texas will work hard in 2019 to get legislation passed, but it looks like a hard road. We hope that to happen before the end of 2019 but it might very well drag on to 2020. It may take until the first quarter of 2020 to see legal sports bets in the state, but as states around Texas start to pass bills, we may see an acceleration of that timeline.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of Texas?
There is no cut and dry answer to what sportsbook is best for residents of Texas. We would start with any online sportsbook that covers all the major sports in the state. Then, you can look for sites that have special promotions that are regional and only open to residents of Texas (and possibly surrounding states). Finally, we think any site that you feel the most comfortable playing with from both your PC and phone is one that you should consider the best for your personal use. There are lots of great sites on this page, or you can check out our full Review section for even more options.