Despite an absolutely enormous sports culture, sports gambling is not legal in Texas.
Historically, the Lone Star State has maintained a firm stance against gaming in virtually all types and although there are signs of a change, Texans shouldn’t hold their breath awaiting lawful sports betting to arrive anytime soon.
However, there are a couple of exceptions. While standard sports gambling isn’t allowed, sites providing daily fantasy sports, for example DraftKings and FanDuel are permitted to function in the state.
Early in 2019 a state lawmaker registered a brand new Texas sports gambling bill to permit in-person and cellular sports gambling and whether it looks amazing on paper, it faces a couple of big challenges. More importantly in another section.
In this guide we’ll Have a deep dive into Texas sports betting laws to reply:
When will you be able to wager on sports lawfully in Texas?
What’s the new Texas sports betting bill H 1275 all about?
How can people in Texas have the ability to wager on sports if it becomes legal?
We will also delve into the questions of whether it is legal to bet on daily dream sports (DFS) at Texas and how the state’s enormous professional and college sports culture will play into the legal sports betting industry we will one day see develop in the Lone Star State.
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Texas Sports Betting Bill Filed Feb 1, 2019 (H 1275)
About February 1, 2019, Rep. Eddie Lucio III filed H 1275, the first sports gambling bill in Texas since the US Supreme Court overturned the decades-old federal ban on sports betting called PASPA.
We’ll lay out the bill’s most important points in a second but first let’s discuss the main reasons this bill may have difficulty passing.
First of all, it had been released by a Democrat and Texas is a staunchly Republican country. Second, for the bill to pass, a referendum to amend the state constitution to include sports gambling has to be held. The settlement will have to pass by a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate and be approved in a voter referendum. The earliest that can happen is November, 2019.
Here would be the bill’s main features:
Online and mobile sports betting in Texas is going to be legal.
A maximum of five licenses will be sold. Each permit will permit two online betting site skins.
Gamblers will pay a 6.25% tax, very similar to a sales tax, on all money wagered.
In the event the resolution and bill to amend the constitution pass, sports betting will be legal in Texas on January 1, 2020.
The Recent Sports Betting Situation in Texas
Estimates indicate billions of dollars of tax revenue could be produced from sports betting legalization which Texas are the second-biggest sports gambling state in the nation.
Even without internet and mobile betting, it is estimated that Texans will bet $9 billion on sports yearly. A 6.25% tax on these sales would equal more than $500 million.
The desire to access that potential revenue is butting up against a mostly conservative, anti-gambling institution which will result in an interesting dynamic if this bill goes forward.
A prevailing anti-gambling mindset is not the only barrier that this bill will have to clean. As you’ll read about below, even if the country wished to legalize sports gambling it’d still must amend its constitution to allow for betting on sports.
All sorts of gambling, with the exclusion of the state lottery and dog and horse racing, is prohibited in Texas.
There’s only one tribal casino in the entire state and it isn’t allowed to provide casino table games, just slots.
The gaming laws are incredibly rigid from the Lone Star State and bookmaking is a Class A misdemeanor.
Despite sports gambling 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 partner with a casino.
This doesn’t mean legalization is coming soon to Texas, however the state’s flagship sports company inking a significant deal with a casino company is another part of the puzzle that is coming together.
Another large element is that Texas’s neighbors such as New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma either have fully fledged legalized sports gambling or have bills in movement to legalize it. Meaning Texans will have ample chance to take their billions of dollars and wager it out of state.
Texas Betting Laws Summary
Sports betting is currently illegal in Texas.
A sports betting bill was released in February of 2019 that could take effect on January 1, 2020.
While sports gambling is illegal, horse and dog racing are legal. The state lottery has been around since 1991.
There’s one tribal casino in Texas, the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass on the Mexico border.
Daily fantasy sports gambling is legal and DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo! all accept players from Texas.
The History of Online Sports Betting at Texas
There is no actual sports gambling background in Texas. The state has enforced among the country’s strictest group of anti-gambling laws and it goes way back. Dog and horse racing are all lawful in Texas, nevertheless gamblers can only place in-person wagers. OTB gambling isn’t allowed.
To Provide the present situation some context, let’s look at the most crucial moments in Texas’s gambling history:
1933 – Texas implements its first Pari-Mutuel horse race betting.
1937 – Four years to the country’s foray into legal horse racing the tracks are shut down and gambling on the races is prohibited.
1971 – Charity gambling is exempted from anti-gambling laws. Two years after this judgment is overturned once more making it illegal again.
1982 – Licenses for charitable gambling are legally sanctioned. This required an amendment to the state constitution in 1980.
1987 – Pari-mutuel horse track betting return thanks to a positive result in a state referendum. Simulcast betting from external racetracks is released in 1991.
1988 – Casino Cruises are offered which sanction legal gambling so 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 which includes pulls 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 which is possessed by the Kickapoo tribe just south of San Antonio near Mexico.
2013 – Lots of bills are introduced to expand gambling in the state but do not find 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 betting sites are legal. Taking a look at the present sports gambling bill, however, it is apparent that the future of legal Texas sports gambling will include online and mobile betting options.
The Lone Star state is exceptional in that it just has a single tribal casino, and it is located near the Texas/Mexico border. It’s a good bet that this business will attempt to get involved using a land-based sportsbook and an internet gaming program.
Other physical infrastructure as far as casinos is infrequent so we expect the majority of the actions to happen online.
Like we mentioned previously, the WinStar World Casino made a formal deal with the Dallas Cowboys which may be an indicator that it’s interested in going into the marketplace.
We also expect based online sports betting sites that are already working in different states to apply for permits. This includes brands like BetStars, 888sport and many more.
If legalization does happen, check this page for specialist reviews on all the best online sportsbooks in Texas.
Which Sports Could You Bet Online at Texas?
Texas is one of the very sports crazy states in the whole country, with two NFL teams, three NBA teams, two MLB teams, two MLS teams, and an NHL team.
And that does not even tap into their huge collegiate match footprint, with high rated teams coming from colleges like Texas, Texas Tech, SMU, Vanderbilt, and Texas A&M.
When and if legal sports gambling comes to Texas, gamblers will be able to wager on favorite North American sports and pretty much anything else located anywhere on the planet.
A typical menu of sport Texans will be able to bet on includes:
Football (MLS, Premier League, Champions League, La Liga, International Competitions and more)
How to Bet on Sports Legally in Texas
Betting is currently extremely restricted in Texas, with one property tribal casino in the entire state and no physical sportsbooks.
The sport betting legislation that’s currently in the works gives us a sign of how things will likely work in the future.
In other countries that currently allow online sports gambling, the process of signing up for an account, depositing money and placing legal wagers is actually straightforward.
First read reviews of all the best online sports gambling sites in Texas, find one you enjoy and then sign up for an account. You can usually create an account from everywhere but you must be in Texas to actually make stakes.
You’re going to need to provide some personal info 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 offers when you deposit.
When the cash is on your accounts, just find the sport that you want to bet on and place your bet.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Texas?
Players can place wagers at popular DFS gaming websites including FanDuel and DraftKings, however there’s a small legal gray area in regards to whether it is actually valid or not.
While the state does not press charges against everyday dream websites, there have been unsuccessful bills to fully legalize DFS in the past.
The two FanDuel and DraftKings accept Texas players along with the state seems content with letting this play out in a state of lawful flux until it completely believes their next steps online sports betting.
Concerning security, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the US Gaming Commission are responsible for many DFS action so at the close of the afternoon, funds on the websites are 100% secure.
What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting at Texas?
While historically a dark place for lawful gambling, Texas’s potential as far as sports betting goes has gotten somewhat brighter.
There is still a ways to go but with the introduction of a new bill to legalize sports gambling we are beginning 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 nearly $2 billion dollars to the local market and create over 9,000 jobs. With Texans already gambling on sports and in other states, new laws may really have a chance of passing.
On the other side of the debate are groups such as the General Baptist Convention of Texas which is made up of roughly three million Texans. Not only are they against legal sports gambling, they wish to get rid of the whole state lottery.
Rob Kohler is a lobbyist for the Baptist Convention and states the tax on sports gambling will hurt the weakest people in the country the most, like the lottery.
“It would create a revenue tax deduction using its regressivity. So, is it smart for us to fund our government with the folks that we’re giving money to help? No,” said Kohler.
On the other hand, the State lottery failed to create $1.3 billion in 2017 for the nation’s education system. The tax revenue from legal sports gambling will be even larger.
Questions Remain for Legal Texas Sports Betting
Whether sports betting is finally legalized in Texas depends on lots of different factors and nobody can predict precisely how it’s going to play out.
Our very best guess is it will occur but it might not be the current sports gambling bill which gets the job done.
However, if everything goes perfectly and H 1275 passes with a change to the constitution, Texans will have the ability to get started gambling on sports legally as early as January 1, 2020.
The sheer dimensions of the possible sector and profits, literally billions of dollars, is the largest reason we may observe this laws fast-tracked.
In the meantime, sports gamblers in Texas can gamble on DFS, or make the trip to one of a few nearby states that are already legalizing full-length sports gambling.
2019 will be an important year for online sportsbooks in Texas and we’ll post major developments as they occur on this page.
Additionally, browse our country by state guides to legal sports betting in the united states for more information on other areas of the nation.