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 forms and though there are signs of a change, Texans shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for legal sports betting to arrive anytime soon.
However, there are a couple of exceptions. While standard sports betting is not permitted, websites providing daily dream sports, such as DraftKings and FanDuel are allowed to function in the state.
Early in 2019 a state lawmaker filed a new Texas sports gambling bill to allow in-person and cellular sports gambling and while it looks awesome on paper, it confronts a couple of huge challenges. More on that in another section.
In this guide we will take a deep dip into Texas sports betting laws to answer:
When are you going to be able to bet on sports legally in Texas?
What’s the brand new Texas sports gambling bill H 1275 about?
How can people in Texas be able to wager on sports if it becomes legal?
We’ll also delve into the questions of if it is legal to bet on daily fantasy sports (DFS) at Texas and how the nation’s enormous professional and college athletics culture will play into the legal sports betting industry we may one day see develop in 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 because the US Supreme Court overturned the decades-old national ban on sports gambling called PASPA.
We’ll lay the bill’s main points in a second but first let’s go over the main reasons this bill can have difficulty passing.
To start with, it was introduced 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 betting must 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 earliest that can occur is November, 2019.
Here are the bill’s most important attributes:
Online and mobile sports betting in Texas will be lawful.
A maximum of five licenses will be sold. Each permit will permit two online gaming website skins.
Gamblers will pay a 6.25% tax, very similar to a sales tax, on all money payable.
If 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 at Texas
Estimates suggest billions of dollars of tax revenue could be produced from sports gambling legalization which Texas would be the second-biggest sports gambling state in the nation.
Even without internet and mobile betting, it’s estimated that Texans will wager $9 billion on sports annually. A 6.25percent tax on those sales would equal over $500 million.
The desire to access that potential earnings is butting up against a largely conservative, anti-gambling establishment which will result in an interesting dynamic if this bill goes forward.
A prevailing anti-gambling attitude isn’t the only barrier that this bill will have to clean. Since you’ll read about below, even if the country wished to legalize sports betting it would still need to amend its constitution to permit for betting on sports.
All types of gaming, with the exception of this state lottery and horse and dog racing, is illegal in Texas.
There is but one tribal casino in the entire country and it isn’t allowed to provide casino table games, just slots.
The gambling laws are incredibly rigid in the Lone Star State and bookmaking is a Class A misdemeanor.
Despite sports betting being illegal 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 partner with a casino.
This does not mean legalization is coming shortly to Texas, however the country’s flagship sports franchise inking a significant deal with a casino company is another part of the puzzle that’s coming together.
Another large element is that Texas’s neighbors including New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma either have fully fledged legalized sports gambling or have invoices in motion 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 gambling is currently illegal in Texas.
A sports betting bill was introduced in February of 2019 that may take effect on January 1, 2020.
While sports betting is illegal, horse and dog racing are legal. The state lottery has been in existence since 1991.
There is one tribal casino in Texas, the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass to the Mexico border.
Daily fantasy sports gambling is lawful and DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo! all accept players from Texas.
The History of Online Sports Betting in Texas
There is no actual sports betting background in Texas. The state has enforced among the nation’s strictest group of anti-gambling laws and it goes far back. Dog and horse racing are lawful in Texas, nevertheless gamblers can only place in-person wagers. OTB betting is not permitted.
To give the present situation some context, let’s 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 to the state’s foray into legal horse racing the tracks are shut down and gambling on the races is prohibited.
1971 – Charity gaming is exempted from anti-gambling laws. A couple of years later this ruling is overturned after more making it illegal again.
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 thanks to some favorable effect in a state referendum. Simulcast betting from outside racetracks is introduced in 1991.
1988 – Casino Cruises are offered which sanction legal gaming so long as they’re 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 mind as bingo halls and casinos on tribal lands are closed and reopened several times. Only one tribal casino stays to date which is owned by the Kickapoo tribe just south of San Antonio near Mexico.
2013 – Many 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 this moment, no online sports betting websites are legal. Taking a look at the present sports betting bill, nevertheless, it’s clear that the future of authorized Texas sports betting will include online and mobile gambling options.
The Lone Star state is unique in that it only has a single tribal casino, and it is situated near the Texas/Mexico border. It’s a fantastic bet that this organization will attempt to become involved with a land-based sportsbook and an online gaming program.
Other physical infrastructure so far as casinos is infrequent so we expect nearly all the action to happen online.
Like we mentioned previously, the WinStar World Casino made a formal deal with the Dallas Cowboys which can be an indication that it’s interested in entering the market.
We also expect established online sports betting sites which are already operating in different states to apply for permits. Including brands like BetStars, 888sport and a lot 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 in Texas?
Texas is among the very sports crazy states in the whole country, with two NFL teams, three NBA teams, two MLB teams, two MLS teams, along with an NHL team.
And that doesn’t even tap into their huge collegiate match footprint, with high ranked teams coming from colleges like Texas, Texas Tech, SMU, Vanderbilt, and Texas A&M.
If and when legal sports gambling comes to Texas, gamblers will be able to bet on favorite North American sport and pretty much anything else located anywhere in the world.
A Normal menu of sport Texans will be able to wager on includes:
Soccer (MLS, Premier League, Champions League, La Liga, International Competitions and much more )
The Way to Bet on Sports Legally in Texas
Betting is presently extremely limited in Texas, with one land tribal casino in the entire country and no bodily sportsbooks.
The sport gambling legislation that’s now in the works gives us a sign of how things will probably work later on.
In other states that already allow online sports betting, the practice of registering for an account, depositing cash and placing legal wagers is really straightforward.
First read reviews of all of the best online sports gambling websites in Texas, find one you enjoy and then register for an account. You can usually make an account from anywhere but you must be in Texas to actually make stakes.
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 can frequently get in on special welcome bonuses and other offers when you deposit.
When the money is in your account, just discover the sport you need to wager on and place your bet.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Texas?
Players may place wagers at popular DFS gaming websites including FanDuel and DraftKings, but there is a bit of a legal gray area in regards to if it’s really valid or not.
While the state doesn’t press charges against daily fantasy sites, there have been unsuccessful invoices to fully legalize DFS in the past.
The two FanDuel and DraftKings take Texas players along with the state seems content with allowing this play out at a state of lawful flux until it completely considers their next steps on sports betting.
Concerning safety, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the US Gambling Commission are responsible for all DFS activity so at the close of the afternoon, funds on the websites are 100% protected.
What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting in Texas?
While a dark location for legal gambling, Texas’s potential as far as sports gambling goes has gotten somewhat brighter.
There is still a ways to go but with the introduction of a new bill to legalize sports betting we are beginning 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 to the local market and create over 9,000 jobs. With Texans already gambling on sports illegally and in other states, new laws may actually have a chance of passing.
On the opposite side of the argument are groups such as the General Baptist Convention of Texas which is made up of roughly three million Texans. Not only are they contrary to legal sports betting, they want to get rid of the entire state lottery.
Rob Kohler is a lobbyist for the Baptist Convention and says the tax on sports betting will hurt the weakest people in the country that the most, like the lottery.
“It would create a revenue tax blush with its regressivity. So, is it smart for people to finance our government together with 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 state’s education system. The tax revenue from legal sports gambling 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 perform.
Our very best guess is that it is going to happen but it might not be the recent sports betting bill which gets the work done.
But if everything goes perfectly and H 1275 moves with a change to the constitution, Texans would have the ability to start betting on sports legally as early as January 1, 2020.
The sheer dimensions of the potential industry and gains, literally tens of thousands of dollars, is the biggest reason we may observe this legislation fast-tracked.
Meanwhile, sports bettors in Texas can gamble on DFS, or make the trip to among a couple of nearby states which are already legalizing full-length sports gambling.
2019 will be a significant year for internet sportsbooks in Texas and we’ll post big developments as they happen on this particular page.
Additionally, browse our country by state guides to legal sports gambling in the united states for more information on different parts of the country.