Gambling in Texas
Sports Will Be Legal: TBD
Daily Fantasy Legal Since: 2019
Casino Will Be Legal: TBD
Poker Will Be Legal: TBD
Lottery Illegal

Guide to Online Gambling in Texas: The Best Texas Gambling Sites for 2019

Texas Daily Fantasy

Being one of the most conservative US states, it comes as no surprise that Texas has some of the strictest gambling laws. While the state generally disapproves all forms of betting, legally not all gambling activities are categorically prohibited. For example, there is still ongoing discussion on whether Daily Fantasy Sports are a game of chance or of skill. Thus, while Daily Fantasy companies are not allowed to operate in Texas, there is no legislation that specifies whether Daily Fantasy should be regarded as gambling and whether it is legal for players to participate in it. Due to the legal loophole, Texan players can currently access the most popular Daily Fantasy sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel. However, both operators have been involved in some legal fights and in 2016, after Attorney General Paxton unilaterally issued an opinion letter declaring Daily Fantasy Sports illegal, FanDuel was forced to exit the Texas market. Meanwhile, DraftKings filed suit against Attorney General Paxton and continued to operate in Texas until it was eventually rejoined by FanDuel in 2018.

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Gambling Laws in Texas

Texas is one of the most conservative US states and has followed certain traditions for many years. Thus, it comes as no surprise, that the state is rather reluctant to changes, especially when it comes to gambling laws. Generally speaking, almost all forms of gambling are illegal in Texas. Nevertheless, there are some exceptions such as the Texas State Lottery, pari-mutuel wagering on horse and greyhound racing, charitable bingo and raffles and three Indian casinos. When it comes to online gambling, however, the legal situation is much more complicated. Online gambling is not addressed directly in the Texas gambling laws, but this does not make it legal. According to its laws, the lone star state does not allow any form of gambling beyond what they have approved. Thus, the fact that it is not a part of the list of allowed forms of betting, makes online gambling illegal within the state. However, a number of betting sites have found certain legal loopholes and continue to operate in Texas. Their actions are consequences of the fact that Texas does not have a regulated iGaming market, its laws do not specifically make online gambling illegal and it has not taken any legal action against offshore betting sites.

Sports Betting in Texas

Sports Betting was legally banned in the United States due to the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. However, New Jersey challenged the act several times and made various attempts to legalize sports gambling. Eventually, the state took its case to the Supreme Court, which ruled in its favor in 2018, allowing all states to legalize sports betting. Various states have taken actions since then and have permitted sports gambling within their borders. However, Texas is not among them. Even though there has been a certain amount of pressure from lawmakers, the state has not yet made any steps towards sports betting legalization. The discussions are still continuing and yet Texas is not expected to legalize sports gambling in the near future.

Online Casinos in Texas

As we mentioned above, the Texas laws do not specify whether online casinos are legal or not. However, the way they are written suggest that no forms of gambling beyond the stated ones are considered legal. Thus, while online casinos should technically be considered illegal, there is no law that specifically forbids players from accessing off-shore online casinos. Various operators have taken advantage of the legal loophole and are currently offering their services to Texan players. Nevertheless, the lack of an official gambling authority in Texas makes it impossible for the state to control the activities of the offshore operators. Thus, even though Texas has not yet taken any legal actions against anyone playing at an online casino, the state cannot guarantee the safety of players gambling at off-shore casinos sites.

Online Poker in Texas

Online poker is currently illegal in Texas. Even though the gambling law does not specifically state that online poker is forbidden, it is excluded from the list of approved forms of gambling and thus, automatically falls under the category of illegal gambling. Nevertheless, just like in the case of the online casinos, the legal loophole has allowed certain offshore poker websites to accept Texan players. Meanwhile, online poker is not expected to be legalized in Texas.

Texas Online Lottery

The Texas Lottery was legalized in November 1991 and officially begun in 1992. Being the only legal form of gambling in the state, the lottery has proven to be successful, selling millions of tickets every year. Nevertheless, regardless of its profits, the Texas Lottery is not expected to have its online version any time soon. However, such a possibility is technically not overruled as there have not been any official discussions regarding the issue.

History of Gambling in Texas

As we have established in our legal paragraph, Texas is a state of traditions and as such have kept a firm position regarding its gambling laws. The lone star state has outlawed almost all forms of gambling with the exception of pari-mutuel gambling, which was legalized in 1933 as an economic strategy to raise revenue during the Great Depression. Inevitably, the Texas gambling law has gone through a few changes since then. To follow the full history of gambling in Texas, please take a look at the timeline below where we have marked all important legal gambling changes that the state has gone through:

Texas Gambling History
1933 Texas legalizes pari-mutuel betting as a part of a strategy to raise revenue during the Great Depression.
1937 Pari-mutuel betting is banned again at a legislative called by Governor James Allred.
1971 All forms of gaming and gambling are declared illegal.
1987 A referendum legalizes pari-mutuel gambling again.
1988 The first Casino Cruise allowing gambling in international waters sails from the Texan coast. This marks the beginning of a series of legal battles until 2008 when Casino Cruise ships stop sailing from the Texan coast.
1992 Texas State Lottery begins and sales its first ticket.
1996-2002 Various high stakes bingo halls and casinos owned by Tribal groups are opened and closed again due to legal disputes between the State and the Tribal groups. The Texan Government wins, making the casino owned by the Kickapoo tribe the only functioning gambling venture.
2013 Several acts are introduced, seeking to expand the Texas gambling industry. Even though they are not approved, the acts show a certain interest to make the gambling laws less restrictive.

Texas State Facts

Being the second largest state in the US, Texas is famous for its cultural and social traditions and for its well-developed economy. Bearing in mind that Texas is one of the most business-friendly states, it comes as no surprise that the state has decided to follow its beliefs and outlaw most forms of gambling. To help you understand better the current situation and history about the state, we have stated the most important facts about it below:

Facts About Texas
Population 28,701,845
Min. Income $1,256.67
Biggest Offline Gambling Location Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel
Gambling Commissioner N/A
Spoken Languages English – 68.2%, Spanish – 27.0%, Vietnamese – 0.6%
Biggest Local Sports Team
Texas Tax Authority
Link to the State Law https://capitol.texas.gov/
Gambling Winning Tax 25% flat tax
State Website Link https://texas.gov/
Famous Local Gamblers Amarillo Slim

Gambling Age in Texas

The current minimum gambling age in Texas is 21 for land-based casinos and online gambling and 18 for horse racing, lottery and online bingo. Nevertheless, we should remind you that there are only three functioning casinos in the state and they are owned by the Kickapoo tribe. Online gambling is illegal. Any minors caught violating the law could be fined and prosecuted.

  • Online Gambling Age:
    Anyone aged +21 is allowed to gamble legally in Texas.
  • Alcohol Age
    The legal age for drinking alcohol in Texas is21 years.
  • Weed Age
    Weed for recreational use is illegal in Texas. Controlled medicinal use is acceptable for people aged +21.

Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention

There are various organizations qualified in providing help to people affected by gambling problems. The National Council on Problem Gambling is able to provide assistance to Texan residents suffering from gambling addiction. Additionally, the Texas Department of State Health Service is able to provide information about local therapists specialized in gambling problems. People could also rely on various associations and self-help services such as Gamblers Anonymous, Gam-Anon and GamTalk.

Upcoming Regulation and Expected Changes

There is no doubt that Texas is one of the most economically successful states, regardless of its strong position against the legalization of gambling. There are only three brick-and-mortar casinos currently functioning in the state and the gambling laws prohibit most forms of gambling activities. Nevertheless, there are a few offshore betting services currently available to Texan residents, even though they are not considered legal. There have been certain speculations on the possible legalization of sports betting, however, the state has not taken any actions about it. There are no expected changes of the Texas gambling law in the near future, but we will keep you updated in case that anything changes.

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