Texas. A state known for being the largest in the Union and for the sheer amount of money coming from farming and oil. It is also known as a very conservative state, which is why it may come as little surprise to regards that Texas takes a very hardline stance against online gambling of all forms.
This overview of Texas online gambling will give you an idea of where things stand in the state, along with links to some pages you may find useful even if you cant take advantage of the information you learn while sitting in the Lone Star State.
Online Sports Betting
Texas is a sports-mad state. With many professional teams across all the major sports and a rabid college sports market, you would think that when sports betting was no longer illegal in the aftermath of the repeal of PASPA in 2018, Texas legislators would be chomping at the bit to introduce regulated betting. While there have been some preliminary conversations on the topic. We are far away from the state, changing its position on sports betting.
Our online sports betting section will take you on a journey into the world of sports betting in Texas, from the illegal underground activity to the offshore online sites that have scooped up much of the business from Texas residents. We’ll take a look at all the bet types that are available so that you know what’s being talked about on many of the gambling shows and podcasts that are now available across the United States.
Online Daily Fantasy Sports
One type of gambling that currently still exists for Texas residents is Daily Fantasy Sports. The argument of whether or not DFS is a game of skill has been enough to keep lawmakers away from sites like Fanduel and Draft Kings, but given some decisions being made in other states, the precedent may have been set for the sites to be banned here as well. For now, sports enthusiasts can play the daily contests offered by these sites, and while they are closer to fantasy sports than sports betting, they do offer an outlet for fans of their favorite teams or sports.
Online Casino Games
While the stance on Daily Fantasy Sports in Texas is a bit murky, the same cannot be said for online casinos – they are definitely not allowed for real money. However, there are some social sites available through Facebook and other methods that allow you to play for prizes, and this may be enough to satisfy the appetite of slots and table games fans in the state.
Our Online Casino page reviews all the top social sites available, showing you what makes one different from another. Also, we cover the basic rules of all the games you would find at an online or land-based casinos so you can sit down at a table or machine knowing enough to give yourself a fighting chance.
Online Horse Racing Betting
Horse racing is very popular in Texas (not surprising given the amount of land in the state available for breeding). There are several racetracks in the state, and you can make bets on the horse races at the tracks directly. However, the Texas Racing Act explicitly forbids any online betting on horse races either from tracks in Texas or outside the state.
In the early days of online betting, sites like Twinspires were accepting players from Texas despite being licensed outside the state. However, in 2015 these sites all stopped taking action from the Lone Star State to avoid prosecution and damaging their business from other states.
Betting on horse can be confusing as the bet types are nothing like sports betting. On our Horse Racing page, our equine experts review all the standard bets you can make at the track so you can go and enjoy a evening of great racing action!
Online Poker in Texas
Now, considering that Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker game on the planet by a wide margin, you would think that players in the state where it was conceived would be able to play live poker legally. Well, aside from home games, there is no legal card room in Texas. This also applies to online poker. Gone are the days of the offshore sites like Poker Stars being open to Texas residents. Since 2011, there hasn’t been any form of real money online poker available except subscription sites like Club WPT and social gaming sites like Zynga and Global Poker. These sites do give players the chance to learn and practice without risking a lot of money, but they also don’t pay out very much except for prizes. Still, when a playing population is starved for action, these sites will at least keep you occupied in the short term.
Wrapping up a very conservative approach to betting online is the inability of Texas residents to be able to but their lottery tickets online or via a mobile device. The Texas State Lottery brings in billions of dollars of revenue each year, but all of this is derived at the retail level. Some states are starting to modernize their offerings to allow players to subscribe to lottery draw games online, but to date, Texas has not made a move in that direction.
Texas Online Gambling FAQs
Why is the state so strict against gambling online?
Texas has always been a very conservative state, and this applies to everything from politics to business to religion. The bottom line is that the votes and the dollars support the conservative candidates, and the money backing these politicians is mired in the old-school way of doing things. This means that until a new generation of leaders comes to power, it is unlikely that we will see sweeping changes to gaming laws in the state.
What about playing at offshore sites? Can I do that?
Online gambling has existed in Texas and all the other U.S. states for decades via the offshore-based sportsbooks and casinos that operate outside the jurisdiction of federal laws. These sites continue to take bets from players living in Texas, but making payments to and from the sites is becoming increasingly difficult, making it a chore just o get your money into your account. Given that these sites are not beholden to any American regulations, we consider them to be high-risk options and we never suggest that our players register for sites based in places like Latin America.
Can I play online in another state?
Just across the border into Oklahoma sit many tribal casinos that residents of Texas visit for their gambling fix. As states around Texas change their stance on online gambling, the pressure will be squarely on the shoulders of lawmakers in the state. For now, if you are traveling to a state that has regulated online gambling sites, you can indeed register for an account and make your bets. However, due to the geographical restrictions on these accounts, you will not be able to access your account after you cross the state line. That is something to bear in mind when you are playing in case you want to make a withdrawal of your winnings.
When will sports betting be legal in Texas?
This is a question that millions of sports fans are asking in Texas, and unfortunately, we do not have a definitive answer at this stage. The good news is that sports betting regulations are sweeping across the nation very quickly, and it will only be a matter of time before most states have adopted legislation. This should force the hand of the Texas government, but as we have seen in the past, this is a state that likes to make its own decisions without outside influence. Our fingers are crossed that the discussion around sports betting increases in 2020.