Despite an absolutely enormous 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 although there are indications of a change, Texans should not hold their breath waiting for lawful sports betting to arrive anytime soon.
However, there are a couple exceptions. While standard sports gambling is not allowed, websites providing daily dream sports, for example DraftKings and FanDuel are permitted to operate in the state.
Early in 2019 a state lawmaker filed a new Texas sports gambling bill to allow in-person and mobile sports gambling and while it looks awesome on paper, it confronts a couple of huge challenges. More importantly in the next section.
In this guide we will Have a deep dip into Texas sports betting laws to answer:
When are you going to be able to wager on sports lawfully in Texas?
What’s the new Texas sports betting bill H 1275 all about?
How will people in Texas be able to wager on sports if it will become legal?
We’ll also delve into the questions of whether it’s legal to bet on daily dream sports (DFS) in Texas and the way the state’s enormous professional and college sports culture will play to the legal sports betting industry we will 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 because the US Supreme Court overturned the decades-old federal ban online sports gambling known as PASPA.
We are going to lay the bill’s main points in a second but first let’s go over the main reasons this bill can 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 gambling 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 legal.
A maximum of five licenses will be sold. Each license will permit two online betting site skins.
Gamblers will cover a 6.25% tax, similar to a revenue tax, on all money payable.
If the resolution and bill to amend the constitution both pass, sports gambling will be legal in Texas on January 1, 2020.
The Current Sports Betting Situation at Texas
Estimates suggest billions of dollars of tax revenue could be produced from sports betting legalization and that Texas would be the second-biggest sports betting state in the nation.
Even without internet and mobile gambling, it is projected that Texans will bet $9 billion on sports yearly. A 6.25percent 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 establishment which will result in an interesting dynamic if this bill goes forward.
A prevailing anti-gambling mindset isn’t the only barrier that this bill is going to have to clear. As you’ll read below, even if the state wanted to legalize sports gambling it would still need to amend its constitution to allow for betting on sports.
All types of gaming, with the exception of this state lottery and dog and horse racing, is illegal in Texas.
There’s but one tribal casino in the entire state and it isn’t allowed to offer 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 betting 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 associate with a casino.
This does not mean legalization is coming shortly to Texas, however the state’s flagship sports franchise inking a significant deal with a casino business is just another portion of the puzzle that’s coming together.
Another large factor is that Texas’s neighbors such as New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma have fully fledged legalized sports betting or have invoices in motion to legalize it. That means Texans will have considerable chance to take their billions of dollars and bet it out of state.
Texas Betting Laws Summary
Sports gambling is illegal in Texas.
A sports betting bill was released in February of 2019 that may take effect on January 1, 2020.
While sports gambling is illegal, dog and horse 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 gambling is lawful and DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo! all accept players from Texas.
The History of Online Sports Betting in Texas
There is no real sports gambling history in Texas. The state has enforced one of the nation’s strictest group of anti-gambling laws and it goes way back. Dog and horse racing are legal in Texas, nevertheless gamblers can only put in-person wagers. OTB gambling isn’t permitted.
To give the present scenario some context, let us look at the most pivotal 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 legislation. Two years after this judgment is overturned once more making it illegal .
1982 – Licenses for charitable gaming are legally sanctioned. This took an amendment to the state constitution in 1980.
1987 – Pari-mutuel horse track betting return thanks to a favorable result in a state referendum. Simulcast betting from external racetracks is released in 1991.
1988 – Casino Cruises are available which sanction legal gaming as 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 pulls 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 – Many bills are introduced to expand gambling in the country but do not see 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. Looking at the current sports gambling bill, nevertheless, it’s clear that the future of legal Texas sports gambling will include online and mobile betting choices.
The Lone Star state is unique in that it only has one tribal casino, and it is situated near the Texas/Mexico border. It is a fantastic bet that this business will attempt to become involved using a land-based sportsbook and an online betting app.
Other physical infrastructure so far as casinos is infrequent so we anticipate the majority of the actions to happen online.
Like we mentioned before, the WinStar World Casino made a formal deal with the Dallas Cowboys which can be an indication that it’s considering entering the market.
We also expect established online sports betting sites that are already working in different states to apply for permits. Including brands like BetStars, 888sport and many more.
If legalization does occur, check this page for specialist reviews on all of the best online sportsbooks in Texas.
Which Sports Can You Bet on Online in Texas?
Texas is among the very sports mad states in the entire country, with just two NFL teams, three NBA teams, two MLB teams, two MLS teams, and also an NHL team.
And that does not even tap into their huge collegiate match footprint, with top rated 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 have the ability to bet on favorite North American sports and pretty much anything else found anywhere in the world.
A Normal menu of sports Texans will be able to bet on includes:
Football (MLS, Premier League, Champions League, La Liga, International Competitions and much more )
How to Bet on Sports Legally in Texas
Gambling is presently extremely limited in Texas, with one 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 later on.
In other states that already allow online sports gambling, the practice of signing up for an account, depositing money and placing legal wagers is actually simple.
First browse reviews of all the best online sports gambling 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 actually make bets.
You’ll need to supply some personal info and once your account is set up, you can deposit money using tons of popular banking choices. You may frequently get in on particular welcome bonuses and other supplies when you deposit.
Once the money is on your account, just discover the game you want to wager on and put your wager.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Texas?
Players can place wagers at popular DFS betting sites including FanDuel and DraftKings, however there’s a bit of a legal gray area when it comes to if it is really valid or not.
While the state doesn’t press charges against everyday dream sites, there have been unsuccessful bills to fully legalize DFS in the past.
Both FanDuel and DraftKings take Texas players along with the state seems content with letting this play out at a state of lawful flux until it fully believes their next steps online sports betting.
In terms of safety, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the US Gambling Commission are responsible for all DFS activity so at the end of the day, funds on the websites are 100% secure.
What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting at Texas?
While historically a dark place for legal gambling, Texas’s potential so far as sports gambling goes is becoming a bit brighter.
There is still a ways to go but with the introduction of a new bill to legalize sports gambling we are starting 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 almost $2 billion dollars into the local economy and produce over 9,000 jobs. With Texans already betting on sports illegally and in other nations, new laws may really 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 approximately 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’d make a revenue tax blush with its regressivity. So, can it be smart for people to finance our government 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 sports betting will be even larger.
Questions Stay 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 perform.
Our best guess is it will happen but it might not be the recent sports gambling bill that gets the work done.
But if all goes perfectly and H 1275 moves with a change to the constitution, Texans will have the ability to get started betting on sports lawfully as early as January 1, 2020.
The sheer dimensions of the potential sector and gains, literally billions of dollars, is the largest reason we might see this legislation fast-tracked.
In the meantime, sports bettors in Texas can bet on DFS, or make the excursion to among a few nearby states which are already legalizing full-on sports betting.
2019 will be an important year for online sportsbooks in Texas and we’re going to post big developments as they happen on this particular page.
Additionally, browse our state by state guides to legal sports betting in the united states for more info on other parts of the country.
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