Despite a totally massive sports culture, sports betting is not legal in Texas.
Historically, the Lone Star State has maintained a firm stance against gaming in almost all types and though there are signs of a change, Texans should not hold their breath waiting for lawful sports gambling to arrive anytime soon.
But, there are a couple exceptions. While standard sports betting isn’t permitted, sites providing daily dream sports, such as DraftKings and FanDuel are allowed to operate in the state.
Early in 2019 a state lawmaker registered a new Texas sports gambling bill to permit in-person and mobile sports betting and whether it looks amazing on paper, it faces a few big challenges. More importantly 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 lawfully in Texas?
What is the new Texas sports betting bill H 1275 about?
How can people in Texas be able to wager on sports if it will become legal?
We’ll also delve into the questions of if it is lawful to bet on daily fantasy sports (DFS) at Texas and the way the state’s enormous professional and college athletics culture will play to the legal sports gambling 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)
About February 1, 2019, Rep. Eddie Lucio III registered H 1275, the first sports gambling bill in Texas since the US Supreme Court overturned the decades-old federal ban on sports betting known as PASPA.
We’ll lay out the bill’s most important points in a second but first let’s discuss the key reasons this bill may have a hard time passing.
First of all, it had been released by a Democrat and Texas is a staunchly Republican state. Secondly, 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 earliest that can happen is November, 2019.
Here would be the bill’s most important features:
Online and mobile sports gambling in Texas will be lawful.
A maximum of five licenses will be sold. Each license will permit two online betting site skins.
Gamblers will cover 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 countless dollars of tax revenue could be generated from sports gambling legalization and that Texas are the second-biggest sports betting state in the nation.
Even without internet and mobile gambling, it’s projected that Texans will bet $9 billion on sports yearly. A 6.25% tax on these 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 attitude is not the only barrier that this bill is going to have to clean. Since you’ll read below, even if the state wished to legalize sports betting it would still must 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 state and it isn’t allowed to provide casino table games, only slots.
The gaming laws are amazingly stiff from the Lone Star State and bookmaking is a Class A misdemeanor.
Despite sports betting being prohibited in Texas, the state’s biggest 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 soon to Texas, however the country’s flagship sports company inking a major deal with a casino business is another portion of the puzzle that’s 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 invoices in movement to legalize it. That means Texans will have ample chance to take their billions of dollars and bet it from state.
Texas Betting Laws Summary
Sports betting is currently illegal in Texas.
A sports gambling bill was introduced in February of 2019 which may take effect on January 1, 2020.
While sports betting is illegal, dog and horse racing are lawful. The state lottery has been in existence since 1991.
There’s one tribal casino in Texas, the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass on the Mexico border.
Daily fantasy sports betting is legal and DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo! all accept players from Texas.
The History of Online Sports Betting in Texas
There is no real sports gambling background in Texas. The state has enforced one of the nation’s strictest set of anti-gambling laws and it goes way back. Dog and horse racing are legal in Texas, nevertheless gamblers can only place in-person wagers. OTB gambling isn’t allowed.
To give the present scenario some context, let’s look at the most crucial moments in Texas’s gambling history:
1933 – Texas implements its first Pari-Mutuel horse race gambling.
1937 – Four years into the state’s foray into legal horse racing the tracks are shut down and gambling on the races is banned.
1971 – Charity gambling is exempted from anti-gambling laws. Two years later this ruling is overturned once more making it illegal .
1982 – Licenses for charitable gaming are legally sanctioned. This required a change to the state constitution in 1980.
1987 – Pari-mutuel horse track betting reunite thanks to some favorable result 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 coast. Operations lasted for 20 years before shutting down.
1992 – A referendum passes allowing 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 that’s 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 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 betting sites are legal. Looking at the present sports gambling bill, nevertheless, it’s clear that the future of authorized Texas sports betting will incorporate online and mobile gambling choices.
The Lone Star state is unique as it only has one tribal casino, and it is situated near the Texas/Mexico border. It is a good bet that this business will try to become involved with a land-based sportsbook and an online gaming program.
Other physical infrastructure as far as casinos is infrequent so we anticipate the majority of the actions to occur online.
Like we mentioned before, the WinStar World Casino created an official deal with the Dallas Cowboys which may be an indication that it is considering entering the marketplace.
In addition, we expect based online sports betting sites that are already operating in different states to apply for licenses. Including brands such as BetStars, 888sport and many more.
If legalization does happen, check this page for expert reviews on all of the best online sportsbooks in Texas.
Which Sports Can You Bet Online at Texas?
Texas is one of the most sports mad 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, together with top ranked teams coming from colleges such as Texas, Texas Tech, SMU, Vanderbilt, and Texas A&M.
When and if legal sports betting comes to Texas, gamblers will be able to bet on popular North American sport and nearly anything else located anywhere in the world.
A typical menu of sports Texans will Have the Ability 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 restricted in Texas, with a single land tribal casino in the entire country and no bodily sportsbooks.
The sports gambling legislation that’s now in the works gives us a sign of how things will probably work later on.
In other countries that already allow online sports betting, the process of signing up for an account, depositing cash and placing legal wagers is actually straightforward.
First read reviews of all the best online sports betting sites in Texas, find one you enjoy and then register for an account. You can usually create an account from everywhere but you have to be in Texas to really make bets.
You’ll have to supply some personal information and after your account is installed, you can deposit cash using lots of popular banking choices. You can frequently get in on special welcome bonuses as well as other offers when you deposit.
Once the money is in your account, just discover the sport that you want to bet on and place your wager.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Texas?
Players may place wagers at favorite DFS gaming websites including FanDuel and DraftKings, however there’s a small legal grey area in regards to whether it’s really legal or not.
While the state doesn’t press charges against everyday fantasy sites, there have been ineffective bills to fully legalize DFS in the past.
Both FanDuel and DraftKings accept Texas players along with the country seems content with allowing this play out at a state of legal flux until it completely considers their next steps online sports gambling.
Concerning safety, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the US Gambling Commission are responsible for many DFS activity so at the close of the day, funds on the websites are 100% protected.
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 gambling 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’re starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
Estimates range, 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 betting on sports illegally and in other nations, new laws may actually have a chance of death.
On the other side of the argument are groups like the General Baptist Convention of Texas that consists of roughly three million Texans. Not only are they against legal sports betting, they wish to eliminate the entire state lottery.
Rob Kohler is a lobbyist for the Baptist Convention and says the tax on sports betting will hurt the poorest people in the state that the most, like the lottery.
“It’d create a revenue tax deduction using its regressivity. So, can it be smart for people to finance our government with the people that we are giving money to assist? 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 sports betting will be even bigger.
Questions Stay for Legal Texas Sports Betting
Whether sports betting is eventually legalized in Texas depends upon plenty of different factors and no one can predict exactly how it’s likely to play out.
Our best guess is it will occur but it might not be the current sports gambling bill that gets the work done.
But if all goes perfectly and H 1275 passes 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 possible industry and profits, literally tens of thousands of dollars, is the biggest reason we might observe this laws fast-tracked.
In the meantime, sports gamblers in Texas can bet on DFS, or even make the trip to one of a couple of nearby countries which are already legalizing full-length sports betting.
2019 will be a significant year for online sportsbooks in Texas and we’ll post big developments as they occur on this particular page.
Also, browse our country by state guides to legal sports gambling in the US for more information on different parts of the country.
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