Despite an absolutely massive sports culture, sports gambling isn’t legal in Texas.
Historically, the Lone Star State has maintained a firm stance against gaming in virtually all forms and though 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 betting isn’t permitted, sites providing daily fantasy sports, for example DraftKings and FanDuel are permitted to function in the nation.
Early in 2019 a state lawmaker registered a new Texas sports gambling bill to permit in-person and mobile sports betting and while it looks awesome on paper, it confronts a few huge challenges. More on that in another section.
In this guide we’ll take a deep dip into Texas sports gambling laws to answer:
When are you going to be able to bet on sports lawfully in Texas?
What’s the brand new Texas sports gambling bill H 1275 all about?
How can people in Texas be able to wager on sports if it will become legal?
We will also delve into the questions of whether it’s lawful to bet on daily dream sports (DFS) at Texas and the way the state’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.
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Texas Sports Betting Bill Filed Feb 1, 2019 (H 1275)
On February 1, 2019, Rep. Eddie Lucio III filed H 1275, the first sports betting bill in Texas since the US Supreme Court overturned the decades-old national ban on sports betting known as PASPA.
We’ll lay out the bill’s most important points in a minute but first let’s discuss the key reasons this bill may have a hard time passing.
To start with, it was 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 add sports betting has to be held. The resolution will need to pass with a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate and be approved in a voter referendum. The oldest that may happen is November, 2019.
Here would be the bill’s main attributes:
Online and mobile sports gambling in Texas is going to be lawful.
A maximum of five permits will be marketed. Each license will permit two online gaming website skins.
Gamblers will cover 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 both pass, sports gambling will be lawful in Texas on January 1, 2020.
The Recent Sports Betting Situation at Texas
Estimates indicate countless dollars of tax revenue could be produced from sports gambling legalization and that Texas would be 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 6.25percent tax on those sales would equal more than $500 million.
The urge to get that potential revenue is butting up against a mostly conservative, anti-gambling establishment which will result in an interesting dynamic if this bill moves ahead.
A prevailing anti-gambling mindset isn’t the only barrier that this invoice is going to have to clear. As you’ll read about below, even if the country wanted to legalize sports betting it would still need to amend its constitution to allow for betting on sports.
All types of gaming, with the exclusion of the state lottery and dog and horse racing, is illegal in Texas.
There’s only one tribal casino in the entire country and it isn’t allowed to provide casino table games, just slots.
The gaming laws are amazingly rigid from the Lone Star State and bookmaking is a Class A misdemeanor.
Despite sports betting being prohibited in Texas, the state’s most significant sports team, the Dallas Cowboys, have agreed to a sponsorship agreement 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, however the state’s flagship sports company inking a significant deal with a casino business is another portion of the puzzle that is coming together.
Another big factor is that Texas’s neighbors including New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma either have fully fledged legalized sports betting or have bills in movement to legalize it. Meaning Texans will have ample chance to take their billions of dollars and bet it from state.
Texas Betting Laws Summary
Sports betting is illegal in Texas.
A sports betting bill was released in February of 2019 which may 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 dream 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 background in Texas. The state has enforced one of the country’s strictest set of anti-gambling laws and it goes way back. Dog and horse racing are all legal in Texas, however gamblers can simply place in-person wagers. OTB betting is not permitted.
To Provide the current scenario some context, let us look at the most crucial moments in Texas’s gambling history:
1933 – Texas implements its first Pari-Mutuel horse race betting.
1937 – Four years into the state’s foray into lawful horse racing that the paths are closed down and gaming on the races is banned.
1971 – Charity gambling is exempted from anti-gambling laws. A couple of years later this ruling is overturned after more making it illegal .
1982 – Licenses for charitable gambling are legally sanctioned. This required an amendment to the state constitution in 1980.
1987 – Pari-mutuel horse track betting reunite thanks to some favorable effect in a state referendum. Simulcast betting from outside 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 stays to date that’s owned by the Kickapoo tribe just south of San Antonio near Mexico.
2013 – Lots of bills are introduced to expand gambling in the country but don’t find the light of day. Plans included offering video lottery terminals at racetracks and eight state-licensed casinos.
Which Online Betting Sites Are Legal in Texas?
As of this moment, no online sports gambling sites are legal. Taking a look at the present sports betting bill, however, it is apparent that the future of authorized Texas sports betting will include online and mobile gambling options.
The Lone Star state is unique in that it just has one tribal casino, and it’s located near the Texas/Mexico border. It’s a fantastic bet that this business will attempt to become involved using a land-based sportsbook and an internet gaming program.
Other physical infrastructure so far as casinos is infrequent so we anticipate nearly all the actions to occur online.
Like we mentioned before, the WinStar World Casino made a formal deal with the Dallas Cowboys which can be an indicator that it’s interested in entering the marketplace.
In addition, we expect established online sports betting sites which are already operating in other states to apply for licenses. This includes brands such as BetStars, 888sport and many more.
If legalization does occur, check this page for expert reviews on all of the best online sportsbooks in Texas.
Which Sports Could You Bet on Online at Texas?
Texas is among the most sports crazy states in the whole nation, with just 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 top ranked teams coming from colleges such as 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 popular North American sport and pretty much anything else found anywhere in the world.
A typical menu of sports Texans will be able to bet on includes:
Soccer (MLS, Premier League, Champions League, La Liga, International Competitions and more)
How to Bet on Sports Legally in Texas
Betting is presently extremely limited in Texas, with a single property tribal casino in the whole country and no bodily sportsbooks.
The sport betting legislation that’s now in the works gives us a sign of how things will probably work in the future.
In other countries that currently allow online sports betting, the practice of signing up for an account, depositing money and placing legal wagers is really straightforward.
First browse reviews of all the best online sports betting websites 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 really make bets.
You’ll need to provide some personal information and after your account is set up, you can deposit money using lots of popular banking choices. You may often get in on particular welcome bonuses as well as other supplies when you deposit.
Once the cash is on your accounts, just find the game you want to bet on and put your wager.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Texas?
Players may place wagers at favorite DFS betting sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings, but there is a bit of a legal grey area in regards to whether it’s actually valid or not.
While the state doesn’t press charges against daily fantasy websites, there were ineffective invoices to fully legalize DFS previously.
Both FanDuel and DraftKings take Texas players and the state seems content with allowing this play out at a state of lawful flux until it fully believes their next steps on sports gambling.
Concerning safety, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the US Gambling Commission are responsible for many DFS action so at the close of the day, funds on the websites are 100% secure.
What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting at Texas?
While a dark location for legal gambling, Texas’s future as far as sports betting goes has gotten somewhat brighter.
There is still a ways to go but with the debut of a new bill to legalize sports gambling we are starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
Estimates range, but the American Sports Betting Coalition considers legalized sports betting could inject almost $2 billion dollars into the local economy and create over 9,000 jobs. With Texans already betting on sports illegally and in different nations, new laws may actually have a chance of death.
On the opposite side of the debate are groups such as the General Baptist Convention of Texas that consists of roughly three million Texans. Not only are they against legal sports betting, they want to eliminate the whole state lottery.
Rob Kohler is a lobbyist for the Baptist Convention and says the tax on sports gambling will hurt the weakest people in the state that the most, similar to the lottery.
“It’d make a sales tax blush with its regressivity. So, is it smart for us to finance our government with all the people that we are giving money to help? No,” said Kohler.
However, the State lottery failed to create $1.3 billion in 2017 for the nation’s education system. The tax revenue from sports betting will be even larger.
Questions Remain for Legal Texas Sports Betting
Whether sports betting is finally legalized in Texas depends upon lots of different variables and nobody can predict precisely how it’s likely to perform.
Our best guess is it is going to occur but it may not be the current sports betting bill which gets the work done.
However, if everything goes perfectly and H 1275 passes with an amendment to the constitution, Texans will have the ability to start betting on sports lawfully as early as January 1, 2020.
The sheer size of the potential industry and gains, literally billions of dollars, is the largest reason we might observe this laws fast-tracked.
Meanwhile, sports bettors in Texas can gamble on DFS, or even make the trip to among a few nearby countries which are already legalizing full-length sports betting.
2019 will be an important year for online sportsbooks in Texas and we’re going to post major developments as they happen on this particular page.
Additionally, browse our country by state guides to legal sports betting in the united states for more information on other areas of the country.
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