There are no online sports betting in Texas. That means you cannot bet on any mobile or desktop device. Online sports betting has been legalized in multiple states since the new year, and bills have included it in Texas, but no actions have been made.
- By Steve Beauregard (Updated February 2020) Most of the country cannot go online to play poker, slots or table games, yet due to a quirk in the law, you can, in most states, legally bet on horse races over the internet. First the usual disclosure: I am not a lawyer (although I have watched a lot of “Law and Order.”).
- Texas Sports Betting. Texas is the second most-populated state and with so many people comes plenty of interest in sports and sports betting. While Texas is not the most progressive state in its views towards gambling, the state is open to legalizing sports betting.A bill was introduced in February 2019, however, it has yet to make any headway and sports betting is currently not available.
- This is because Texas does not license or authorize any sports betting operations within the State. If you do find a sportsbook, online or offline, that claims to be licensed by and operated in Texas you can be confident that the site is illegal and you should not place bets through that operation. Now on to the second part of this question.
Last Updated February 5, 2021
Poker wouldn’t be poker without Texas. After all, without Texas, we’d all just be playing plain old hold’em. Without Texas, we wouldn’t have some of the game’s most enduring legends, such as Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim, and WSOP founder Benny Binion.
No-limit Texas Hold’em made Texas an indelible part of poker. Card players in the Lone Star Star love poker, both in land-based casinos and online poker. This page discusses the Internet poker rooms available to Texas poker players in this Guide to Playing Online Poker in Texas.
If you came here looking for how to play online poker in Texas or the tips on the best Texas poker sites, we suggest you read our real-money poker guide.
Current Updates for TX – Laws, Legislation & House Bills
Poker players have fought for legalized poker for years, whether in Texas online poker rooms or in brick-and-mortar establishments. In 2012-2013, Senator Rodney Ellis introduced casino bills that included the legalization of poker, but Ellis received no support from his fellow lamwakers.
Since then, Texan entrepreneurs took the initiative. Private poker clubs have popped up around Texas, mostly in large cities like Houston and Dallas. Players don’t pay a rake or tournament fees. Instead, they pay membership or entrance fee, similar to a country club. The clubs make money from membership fees, seat rental fees, and food and beverage sales.
Poker clubs operate in a grey area. Local law enforcement shut down some poker clubs, but some in other towns remain open and assert their rights legally. A court ruling might decide the law, as the legislature won’t legalize Texas poker anytime soon.
AG Ken Paxton Dithers on Live Poker Rooms
The most recent news out of Texas is that Attorney General Ken Paxton will not be issuing any type of decision regarding the live poker rooms. State Representative Geanie Morrison formally asked Paxton if poker rooms that charge membership fees but don’t charge rake permitted are legal. Paxton officially refused to answer. A spokesperson for his office said that it is a legal matter being litigated in the courts, so courts should resolve the issue.
In 2018, Attorney General Ken Paxton said he would not issue any type of decision regarding the live poker rooms. State Representative Geanie Morrison formally asked Paxton if poker rooms that charge membership fees — but don’t charge rake — are permitted under the current law. Many state lawmakers have been asking the same question, but Paxton officially refused to answer. A spokesperson for his office said that the courts should resolve the issue.
Texas Poker Clubs – A Legal Gray Area
Poker clubs around Texas continued to operate as usual until May 1, 2019.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office and Houston Police Department coordinated to raid the two largest poker clubs in Houston on May 1. Nine owners and managers from the Post Oak Poker Club and Prime Social Poker Club were arrested and charged with money laundering as a part of engaging in organized crime activities. The two clubs’ bank accounts were also frozen and all funds seized. District Attorney Kim Ogg said, “Poker rooms are illegal in the state of Texas.”
Interestingly, however, all charges were dropped in July. All money was returned. The DA’s office commented that the dismissal of charges was the result of “multiple potential conflicts of interest” within her office. It seems that a contract employee of her office also worked for a law firm that tried to extort money from the two poker clubs while conducting an investigation of them. Said law firm – Jones Walker – then became the target of a lawsuit by Prime Social in early September.
Latest Texas Sports Betting Bills
Texas Rep. Eduardo Lucio introduced Texas House Bill 1275 and Texas House Joint Resolution 61 to the House in February 2019. HR 1275 would regulate land-based sports betting and impose a 6.25% tax. HRJ 61 would let Texans vote on a constitutional amendment to legalize sportsbooks through a statewide vote.
|State Code Section(s)||PEN.10.47; CIV.6|
|Definition of Gambling||A person commits an offense if he makes a bet on the partial or final result of a game or contest or on the performance of a participant in a game or contest; makes a bet on the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or on the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, balls, or any other gambling device.|
|Definition of Gambling Device||Any electronic, electromechanical, or mechanical contrivance that for a consideration affords the player an opportunity to obtain anything of value, the award of which is determined solely or partially by chance, even though accompanied by some skill, whether or not the prize is automatically paid by the contrivance. The term includes, but is not limited to, gambling device versions of bingo, keno, blackjack, lottery, roulette, video poker, or similar electronic, electromechanical, or mechanical games, or facsimiles thereof.|
|Definition of Bet||An agreement to win or lose something of value solely or partially by chance.|
|Online Poker/Gambling||There have been no proposals in the state legislature that would legalize online poker or internet gaming of any kind.|
|Live Poker||The live poker offered at cardrooms in major cities in Texas advertise as membership club. No rake is taken from the poker games, though there are fees to enter or belong to the clubs. So far, there have been no court decisions that have closed these poker rooms.|
|Casinos||There are no casinos in Texas, though cardrooms exist as entertainment venues.|
|Sports Betting||HR1275 and HJR 61 would regulate Texas sports betting.|
|DFS||A proposal to legalize daily fantasy sports was proposed in 2017, but died in committee.|
|Other Forms of Gambling||Horse and greyhound racing, on-track pari-mutuel betting, lottery, social gambling, bingo and charitable gambling, contests of skill.|
Texas Gambling & Poker Laws Summarized
Texas Daily Fantasy Sports Laws – Is It Legal?
In January 2016, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that daily fantasy sports gaming was illegal in Texas. FanDuel announced it would no longer offer games to Texans after May 1, 2016. DraftKings filed suit in a Texas court, asking the court to rule DFS legal. That court case has not been resolved yet.
8-Liners in Texas Towns
One other oddity exists on the Texas landscape. Under Texas State law, the gaming machines called 8-Liners or “maquinitas“ are legal if local municipalities approve them. and the owner does not pay winnings in cash. Winners are paid in store credit, gas, or groceries. Despite that limitation, 8-liners generate $5.4 billion in revenues each year.
8-Liners create a problem for local law enforcement. Business owners often pay cash for winnings, which is illegal. Just in the past 3 years alone, Texas law enforcement has raided 8-liner operations for illegal cash payments in the following cities: San Antonio, Poth, Athens, Cap City, Eustace, Seven Points, Tool, Gun Barrel City, San Benito, Rio Grande City, La Joya, Cameron County in the Rio Grande Valley, and McAllen.
Texas Poker Sites – Where to Play Online Legally?
Most Texas poker players drive to Oklahoma or Louisiana to gamble. Several of the largest casinos (by gaming space) in the world are located an hour north of Dallas: Winstar Casino in Thackerville and Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma. The casinos in Bossier City and Shreveport, Louisiana also get most of their business from Dallas-Fort Worth.
Texans who want to know the closest card room should read our list of real money poker rooms.
Is Online Poker Legal in Texas?
As a rule of thumb, a poker site that accepts American players will also accept poker players from Texas. It’s NOT illegal to play online poker in Texas. In fact, unlike Washington, Texas poker players can legally play on offshore poker sites, like Bovada. The only illegal activity is owning or operating a poker room.
The rooms we’ve listed above are Texas-friendly, but they’re far from the only online poker rooms where Texans can play real-money games. Read through our list of online poker — Texas exists in a gray area, but Texans can play at most US-friendly sites.
What Forms of Gambling Are Legal in Texas?
Poker players are naturally curious about whether or not playing poker for real money online is legal under Texas law. Offering legal advice is not a function of this website (nor of anyone beyond legal professionals), but we can help you sort through the fundamentals of poker laws in Texas.
What counts as gambling in Texas?
The definition of “bet” (Section 47.01(1)) is short and sweet – it’s when you enter into an understanding “to win or lose something of value” in an activity that involves chance. Specifically, the winning or losing must occur “solely or partially by chance.” The definition includes the phrase “partially by chance,” so a bet is anything with any element of chance. The definition of “gambling device” (Section 47.01(4) clarifies the law further.
Can I Bet Online In Texas
Making illegal bets is a misdemeanor in Texas (Section 47.02). Those who break the law could face a half-dozen separate charges. Gambling promotion (Section 47.03) is a misdemeanor, and covers operating, promoting, processing bets and selling lottery chances. Possession of Gambling Device, Equipment, or Paraphernalia (Section 47.06) is also a misdemeanor.
Will Texas Regulate Internet Poker?
It’s unlikely Texas will regulate online poker. Texas proponents of land-based casino gambling faced a long fight in the past. Texas online poker is even further away from approval.
Texas Gambling Facts
Texas regulates lottery betting and pari-mutuel bets on racing, and charitable gambling (raffles and games of bingo).
Can You Bet Horses Online In Texas
Tribal gambling is complicated. Naskila Gaming at Livingston owned by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino at Eagle Pass, and Speaking Rock Entertainment by the Tigua Tribe of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo each operate casino gaming. All three tribes are embroiled in multi-year legal battles with the state of Texas.
Purely social gambling in a private place or regulated gambling activity is legal, if the house makes no profit.
All Poker and Gambling Laws by State
News in the online realm of the gambling industry regarding billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson typically revolves around his avid dislike of online gambling. The idea of online casino games has inspired him to spend tens of millions – at a minimum – of dollars to fight it from theRead Full
- July 11th, 2018
Poker rooms operating in Texas have no plans to shut down. They believe in their right to operate enough to take it to the courts if they must. The loopholes in the law, in addition to the antiquated laws surrounding poker in Texas, may be challenged in just that way,Read Full
- May 8th, 2018
Poker players in Texas know how to find games. Whether they travel to neighboring states that allow casinos and card rooms or locate underground games closer to home, there are ways to play poker. Some have found a different avenue. With some legal advice and personal determination, a number ofRead Full
- October 20th, 2017
Texas is one of the few states in America that does not permit poker rooms, clubs, or games with any type of money involved. Despite the global popularity of Texas Hold’em, the state itself has yet to consider any true poker legalization measures. Only one casino operates in Texas, andRead Full
Texas’ Forms of Regulated Internet Gambling
This is a much shorter list, as the state of Texas does not regulate any form of online gambling activity. As noted in our earlier section discussing the likelihood that Texas will regulate online poker, there’s almost certainly quite a bit of daylight between now and a time when Texas is issuing licenses to online gambling operators.
Additional Research on Texas Gambling
Texas Tribune: Gaming/Gambling. Dedicated section from the Texas Tribune covering all in-state gaming and gambling issues. Includes news and interviews with major industry players.
Senator Rodney Ellis . Internet home of Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), the driving force behind a proposal that would allow voters to decide whether or not to bring casinos to Texas.
Texas Lottery . Official website for the state lottery of Texas contains winning numbers along with a wealth of historical and statistical data about the lottery.
Texas’ and the History of Poker
It’s hard for a state to be any more integral to the game of poker than Texas. After all, the state name is right smack at the start of what is by far the most popular format of modern poker: Texas Hold’em. The “Godfather” of poker, Doyle Brunson, is still better known to some poker fans as Texas Dolly. The subject of one of the most epic poker matches (and stories) in history – Andy Beal – is (you guessed it) a card-carrying Texan. We could go on.
Poker is now by and large an underground activity in Texas, so the state doesn’t get the same spotlight as your Las Vegas or your Atlantic City. But we can guarantee that if the same laws existed in Texas as Nevada, you might quickly see the center of the American poker universe gravitate a bit closer to the Lone Star State.
Sources & Citations For This Article on Texas Online Poker
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|Bovada Poker||$500 Bonus||Accepts Bitcoin, Visa, Bank Wire|
|Sportsbetting.ag||$1000 Bonus||Accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Visa, MasterCard, Money Transfers, Bank Wire|
|BetOnline Poker||$1000 Bonus||Accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Visa, MasterCard, Money Transfers, Bank Wire|
|Intertops Poker||$1000 Bonus||Accepts Bitcoin, credit cards (MasterCard, Amex, Visa), money transfers|
Legal sports betting for Texas residents can only be done one way. You won’t be able to find land-based casinos with sportsbooks in them in this state. Rather, legal Texas sports betting must be done online, at an offshore sportsbook. These operators provide the same betting action that would be found at one the best sportsbooks in Atlantic City or Vegas. With a diverse fan base in the state for teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Rockets, and Houston Astros, it only makes sense that sports enthusiasts in the state be able to wager on the teams they root for every week.
Texas residents can legally bet on sports when they use online, offshore sportsbooks. Otherwise, they’ll have to take a road trip or fly to another state to have access to land-based sportsbooks. If you’re hoping that land-based sports betting venues are going to come to Texas in the near future you may be right. There have been bills introduced in order to officially legalize and regulate the activity. However, given the fact that state officials have a traditional stance against gambling, we don’t expect it to happen until a few years out. This makes betting on sports online in Texas the only option available for the foreseeable future.
Can We Now Legally Bet On Sports In Texas?
With the repeal of PASPA, residents still have access to the same options for legal sports betting in Texas. Though the state can one-day launch regulated sports betting sites and sportsbooks, there has been no indication given of when this will happen. In the past, Texas has been unsuccessful with most types of gambling expansion. That being said, the sports betting industry generates billions each year and Texas would be smart to take advantage of the additional stream of revenue. While the legislature decides which way to go on state-licensed sports gambling, sports fans in the state can continue using the same trusted sports betting sites for legal TX sports betting.
Residents of the Lone Star State can place bets at any American-facing online casino or sportsbook without fear of prosecution by the state government. Texans in many parts of the state are a short drive away from tribal gaming in neighboring states, but they continue to choose online casinos and books because of the convenience factor. Mississippi sportsbooks are the closest land-based option for TX residents, but still quite a distance away. For example, Biloxi sportsbooks are a 5-hour drive from Beaumont and an 8-hour drive from Dallas. Online sportsbooks are the most convenient option for sports wagering play in Texas.
Sports Betting Laws in Texas
Currently, there are no sports betting laws in Texas. Most states, Texas included, never passed any type of sports betting legislation due to the federal prohibitions that were once in place. Because of this, there are no Texas sports betting laws and there is nothing standing in the way of using online, offshore sportsbooks. Without any laws on the books that even mention using the internet to bet on sports, you can consider sports betting in Texas legal.
Texas has no law against online gambling on the books and we do not see this changing anytime soon. No one has ever been arrested in Texas for playing at online casinos or sportsbooks, and the federal government has indicated that the 1961 Federal Wire Act will be used to crack down on illegal sports betting providers, not online bettors themselves. You should have no worries about going to jail when using reputable sites like Bovada, BetOnline, and SportsBetting.
Bovada is one sportsbook we have never ignored, as they have never mistreated their players. We have found that Bovada is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable sports betting sites, solely because they provide their users with total security, fair odds, and safe deposits. Depositing into their book is done by way of VISA cards, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Bovada provides their users with one of the longest lists of available sports, including major sports, entertainment bets, political props and much more. This is one of the most complete sportsbooks on the market, and we have long favored them for our gaming. If you decide to join up with Bovada, you will receive a 100% to $250 match bonus upon starting up. This bonus, combined with all of their other features, has made Bovada one of the top choices for gaming.
BetOnline is another sportsbook that has grown into a substantial competitor in the industry. BetOnline gives their users a solid list of betting odds, covering most sports. Football, soccer, hockey, baseball, tennis, golf and more can all be covered by BetOnline. They do not necessarily cover many non-sports prop bets, but they are very committed to offering straight sports bets. They have a 50% match to $1,000 for new players, and this makes for one of the most significant bonuses in all of online sports betting. To claim the Welcome Bonus, enter code BOL1000 while making your deposit. If you sign up with BetOnline, you will have access by way of Bitcoin, VISA and wire transfers, so funding your account never need be a difficult task.
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Texas is a state full of many sports and there are so many games that go on here which means many betting options. Players know that when they sign up for Mybookie, there will be huge winning possibilities. Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans are just a few of Texas teams that can be bet on MyBookie. Players need to take the time to check out a site like this that has great banking methods, amazing parlay bet options, and live betting options as well. Also, players can use their phones to access their accounts. Check out MyBookie. It will change your life!
SportBetting is one of the better online sportsbooks out there for gamblers to sign up for. There are so many different bonuses here and this only means more money for players to win. These bonuses could be one of them that could reward a player with free play or extra money. There are plenty of prop bets that will be here as well so more ways that players can make money is more of the reason that players will sign up for Sportsbetting. Make sure to check out the site and there will be more offered like live betting and mobile betting features.
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You’ve probably heard it mentioned before, as it was the most controversial of the sports betting laws in the US. The now-overturned Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) stipulated that states were not allowed to regulate sports betting. There were 46 states without sports betting as a result of PASPA. Four states were exempt (Delaware, Montana, Nevada, Oregon) but only two of those states actively offered sports betting. Nevada was the only one able to offer full single-game wagering up until the Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional on May 14th, 2018.
You might be wondering why residents who live in Texas don’t just hop on to an online sportsbook based in another state instead of using an offshore book. Well, there’s actually a law that prevents that from happening. It’s called the Wire Act. According to the Wire Act, no person(s) is allowed to accept a wager over a line of communication. This means telegraphs, telephones, internet, the whole shebang. The Wire Act prevents wagers from crossing state lines, which keeps regulated online sports betting limited to just the states that have legalized sports gambling. What the Wire Act does not do, however, is prevent online sports betting at offshore sportsbooks. That is because it does not have jurisdiction over sites based in other countries.
Finally, we have the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The UIGEA is a federal sports betting law that states that it is unlawful for companies to accept wagers or transact funds from US residents. What the UIGEA does is prevent banks from being able to process certain transactions from Texas bettors to online gambling sites. What it does not do, though, is prevent betting from happening. This law does not have jurisdiction over companies in other countries. When you use an online, offshore sportsbook, you’re participating in legal Texas sports betting that is not in violation of these federal sports betting laws.
Each state lays out its own laws when it comes to the age at which residents can legally gamble. The legal gambling age in Texas is 21, no matter what you are trying to do. So just in case you are slow, the legal sports betting age in Texas is 21.
One of the great parts of having an online sports betting account is having access to the corresponding mobile site. These sites are browser-based and able to be accessed by anyone with a smartphone. In Texas, legal sports betting on mobile sites can be done so long as you’re using one that is based overseas.
Will Texas Ever Offer State-Licensed Online Sports Betting?
There is nothing preventing Texas from offering state-licensed online sports betting, but it would likely be a long process. In 2015, two bills for fantasy sports sites were filed but never made it out of committee. In the immediate months post-PASPA repeal, the state has given no indication that any type of sports betting legislation is up for discussion. While regulated Texas sports betting sites are a possibility, it is unclear if and when the state will move forward. Fortunately, there are plenty of online, offshore sportsbooks that offer betting opportunities to Texas Residents.
How Can a Texas Residents Find a Legal Sportsbook?
Texas Residents looking for legal sportsbooks need only hop online and Google USA sportsbooks. Books that accept US players almost always accept Texas residents. You can find out if the book you want to use is a legal Texas sports betting site by heading to their about page.
Can You Bet On Politics In Texas?
Betting on Politics in the state of Texas can be done. Just like with sports betting, though, it must be done at an online, offshore sportsbook. Any form of betting on the outcome of an activity will have to be done at an offshore site, because of the current federal gambling laws that dictate gambling in the state.
As one of the largest states in the US and one of the most populated, Texas has a ton of different teams that you can bet on. At both the Professional and College level, Texas is a leader in producing fun, talented sports teams. Below is a list of the most popular Division I teams and professional teams available for legal sports betting in Texas.
Professional Sports Teams To Bet On In Texas:
- Dallas Cowboys
- Houston Texans
- San Antonio Spurs
- Houston Rockets
- Dallas Mavericks
- Texas Rangers
- Houston Astros
- Dallas Stars
College Teams To Bet On In Texas:
- University of Texas Longhorns
- Texas A&M Aggies
- University of Houston Cougars
- Texas Tech Red Raiders
- SMU Mustangs
- Baylor Bears
- TCU Horned Frogs