Despite an absolutely enormous sports culture, sports betting is not legal in Texas.
Historically, the Lone Star State has maintained a firm stance against gaming in almost all types and although there are indications of a change, Texans shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for lawful sports gambling to arrive anytime soon.
However, there are a couple of exceptions. While standard sports betting isn’t allowed, websites providing daily fantasy sports, for example DraftKings and FanDuel are allowed to function in the nation.
Early in 2019 a state lawmaker registered a new Texas sports betting bill to allow in-person and mobile sports betting and whether it looks awesome on paper, it confronts a couple of huge challenges. More importantly in another section.
In this guide we’ll take a deep dive into Texas sports gambling laws to answer:
When will you be able to bet on sports legally in Texas?
What is the brand new Texas sports betting bill H 1275 all about?
How can people in Texas have the ability to wager on sports when it will become legal?
We will also delve into the questions of whether it’s lawful to bet on daily fantasy sports (DFS) in Texas and the way the nation’s enormous professional and college athletics culture will play into the legal sports betting industry we may one day see grow from the Lone Star State.
Best Legal Betting Options in Texas
$10 Welcome Bonus*
With your initial deposit of 5 or more
Daily Fantasy Sports
$5 Welcome Bonus
With your first deposit of $5 or more
Daily Fantasy Sports
*Qualification restrictions apply. See website for details. Bonus is at DK Dollars.
Texas Sports Betting Bill Filed Feb 1, 2019 (H 1275)
On February 1, 2019, Rep. Eddie Lucio III registered H 1275, the first sports gambling bill in Texas since the US Supreme Court overturned the decades-old national ban online sports gambling known as PASPA.
We’ll lay out the bill’s main points in a minute but first let’s discuss the key reasons this bill may have a hard time passing.
First of all, it was introduced by a Democrat and Texas is a staunchly Republican country. Secondly, for the bill to pass, a referendum to amend the state constitution to include sports gambling has to be held. The settlement will need to pass with a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate and be approved in a voter referendum. The earliest that may happen is November, 2019.
Here would be the bill’s main attributes:
Online and mobile sports betting in Texas is going to be legal.
A maximum of five licenses will be marketed. Each license will permit two online gaming website skins.
Gamblers will pay a 6.25% tax, very similar to a revenue tax, on all money wagered.
In the event the bill and resolution to amend the constitution pass, sports betting will be lawful in Texas on January 1, 2020.
The Current Sports Betting Situation at Texas
Estimates indicate billions of dollars of tax revenue could be generated from sports betting legalization which Texas would be the second-biggest sports gambling state in the nation.
Even without online and mobile betting, it is estimated that Texans will wager $9 billion on sports annually. A 6.25percent tax on these sales would equal more than $500 million.
The urge to get that potential earnings is butting up against a largely conservative, anti-gambling establishment which will make for an interesting dynamic if this bill goes forward.
A prevailing anti-gambling attitude isn’t the only barrier that this invoice is going to have to clean. Since you’ll read below, even if the state wished to legalize sports betting it would still need to amend its constitution to allow for gambling on sports.
All types of gambling, with the exclusion of this state lottery and horse and dog racing, is prohibited in Texas.
There is only one tribal casino in the entire state and it isn’t permitted to provide casino table games, only slots.
The gaming laws are incredibly rigid in the Lone Star State and bookmaking is a Class A misdemeanor.
Despite sports betting being prohibited in Texas, the state’s biggest sports team, the Dallas Cowboys, have agreed to a sponsorship arrangement with WinStar World Casino.
With the deal, the Cowboys became the first NFL team to associate with a casino.
This does not mean legalization is coming soon to Texas, no matter how the state’s flagship sports company inking a major deal with a casino company is just another portion of the puzzle that’s coming together.
Another large factor is that Texas’s neighbors such as New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma have fully fledged legalized sports gambling or have bills in motion to legalize it. That means Texans will have ample opportunity to take their billions of dollars and bet it out of state.
Texas Betting Laws Summary
Sports betting is illegal in Texas.
A sports gambling bill was released in February of 2019 that could take effect on January 1, 2020.
While sports gambling is illegal, dog and horse racing are legal. The state lottery has been around since 1991.
There is one tribal casino in Texas, the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass to the Mexico border.
Daily fantasy sports betting is lawful and DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo! all accept players from Texas.
The History of Online Sports Betting at Texas
There is no actual sports betting history in Texas. The nation has enforced one of the nation’s strictest set of anti-gambling laws and it goes far back. Dog and horse racing are all legal in Texas, however gamblers can only place in-person wagers. OTB gambling is not allowed.
To Provide the current situation some context, let us look at the most crucial moments in Texas’s gaming history:
1933 – Texas implements its very first Pari-Mutuel horse race gambling.
1937 – Four years into the state’s foray into lawful horse racing the tracks are shut down and gaming on the races is banned.
1971 – Charity gaming is exempted from anti-gambling legislation. A couple of years later this judgment is overturned once more making it illegal .
1982 – Licenses for charitable gambling are legally sanctioned. This took an amendment to the state constitution in 1980.
1987 – Pari-mutuel horse track betting reunite as a result of a favorable effect in a state referendum. Simulcast betting from external racetracks is released in 1991.
1988 – Casino Cruises are available which sanction legal gaming as long as they are in international waters. Vessels depart from the Texas shore. Operations lasted for 20 years before shutting down.
1992 – A referendum passes permitting for a state lottery that includes draws and scratch-off games.
1996 — 2002: Tribal/state compacts come to a head as bingo halls and casinos on tribal lands are closed and reopened several times. Just one tribal casino remains to date that’s possessed by the Kickapoo tribe just south of San Antonio near Mexico.
2013 – Many bills are introduced to expand gambling in the country but do not see the light of day. Plans comprised offering video lottery terminals at racetracks and eight state-licensed casinos.
Which Online Betting Sites Are Legal in Texas?
As of now, no online sports gambling sites are legal. Looking at the current sports gambling bill, however, it’s apparent that the future of legal Texas sports betting will incorporate online and mobile gambling choices.
The Lone Star state is exceptional as it only has a single tribal casino, and it is situated near the Texas/Mexico border. It’s a good bet that this organization will attempt to get involved using a land-based sportsbook and an internet betting app.
Other physical infrastructure as far as casinos is scarce so we expect nearly all the actions to happen online.
Like we mentioned before, the WinStar World Casino made a formal deal with the Dallas Cowboys which may be an indicator that it is interested in entering the marketplace.
We also expect based online sports betting sites which are already working in different states to apply for permits. Including brands such as BetStars, 888sport and a lot more.
If legalization will happen, check this page for specialist reviews on all the best online sportsbooks in Texas.
Which Sports Can You Bet on Online in Texas?
Texas is one of the most sports crazy states in the entire nation, with two NFL teams, three NBA teams, two MLB teams, two MLS teams, along with also an NHL team.
And that doesn’t even tap into their huge collegiate match footprint, with top ranked teams coming from schools like Texas, Texas Tech, SMU, Vanderbilt, and Texas A&M.
If and when legal sports betting comes to Texas, gamblers will be able to wager on popular North American sport and pretty much anything else located anywhere in the world.
A typical menu of sports Texans will be able to bet on includes:
Football (MLS, Premier League, Champions League, La Liga, International Competitions and more)
The Way to Bet on Sports Legally in Texas
Betting is presently extremely restricted in Texas, with one land tribal casino in the whole country and no physical sportsbooks.
The sport betting legislation that’s currently in the works gives us an indication of how things will likely work in the future.
In other countries that already allow online sports gambling, the process of registering for an account, depositing money and placing legal wagers is actually straightforward.
First browse reviews of all of the best online sports betting websites in Texas, find one you enjoy and then register for an account. You can usually create an account from anywhere but you must be in Texas to really make bets.
You’ll have to supply some personal information and once your account is set up, you can deposit money using tons of popular banking options. You may frequently get in on special welcome bonuses and other supplies when you deposit.
When the cash is on your accounts, just find the game you need to wager on and place your wager.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Texas?
Players may place wagers at favorite DFS gaming websites such as FanDuel and DraftKings, however there’s a bit of a legal grey area when it comes to if it’s actually legal or not.
While the state doesn’t press charges against everyday fantasy sites, there were unsuccessful invoices to fully legalize DFS previously.
The two FanDuel and DraftKings accept Texas players along with the state seems content with letting this play out in a country of legal flux until it completely considers their next steps online sports gambling.
Concerning security, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the US Gambling Commission are responsible for all DFS activity so at the end of the day, funds on the sites are 100% protected.
What’s the Future of Online Sports Betting in Texas?
While a dark place for lawful gambling, Texas’s future as far as sports betting goes has gotten a bit brighter.
There’s still a ways to go but with the introduction of a new bill to legalize sports betting we are starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
Estimates vary, but the American Sports Betting Coalition believes legalized sports betting could inject almost $2 billion dollars to the local economy and produce over 9,000 jobs. With Texans already gambling on sports and in other states, new legislation may actually have a chance of passing.
On the opposite side of the argument are groups like the General Baptist Convention of Texas which consists of approximately three million Texans. Not only are they against legal sports betting, they want to eliminate the entire state lottery.
Rob Kohler is a lobbyist for the Baptist Convention and says the proposed tax on sports gambling will hurt the weakest people in the state the most, like the lottery.
“It would create a revenue tax deduction using its regressivity. So, can it be smart for us to finance our government together with the people that we’re giving money to assist? No,” said Kohler.
On the other hand, the State lottery failed to generate $1.3 billion in 2017 for the state’s education system. The tax revenue from sports betting will be even larger.
Questions Remain for Legal Texas Sports Betting
Whether sports gambling is finally legalized in Texas depends upon lots of different variables and nobody can predict precisely how it’s likely to play out.
Our very best guess is that it will happen but it might not be the current sports gambling bill that gets the job done.
But if all goes perfectly and H 1275 moves with a change to the constitution, Texans will be able to get started betting on sports lawfully as early as January 1, 2020.
The sheer size of the potential sector and profits, literally billions of dollars, is the largest reason we might see this laws fast-tracked.
Meanwhile, sports gamblers in Texas can gamble on DFS, or even make the excursion to one of a couple of nearby states that are already legalizing full-on sports betting.
2019 will be a significant year for internet sportsbooks in Texas and we’ll post big developments as they happen on this page.
Also, browse our state by state guides to legal sports betting in the united states for more info on other parts of the nation.
Read more: nroda.org