Despite a totally massive sports culture, sports betting isn’t legal in Texas.
Historically, the Lone Star State has maintained a firm stance against gaming in almost all forms and though there are indications of a change, Texans shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for lawful sports gambling to arrive anytime soon.
However, there are a couple exceptions. While standard sports gambling isn’t allowed, websites providing daily fantasy sports, such as DraftKings and FanDuel are permitted to function in the state.
Early in 2019 a state lawmaker filed a new Texas sports gambling bill to permit in-person and mobile sports gambling and while it looks awesome on paper, it confronts a couple of big challenges. More on that in the next section.
In this guide we will Have a deep dip into Texas sports gambling laws to answer:
When will you be able to wager on sports lawfully in Texas?
What is the brand new Texas sports gambling bill H 1275 about?
How will people in Texas have the ability to bet on sports if it becomes legal?
We will also delve into the questions of if it is legal to bet on daily dream sports (DFS) at Texas and how the nation’s enormous professional and college sports culture will play into the legal sports betting industry we will one day see develop from 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 filed H 1275, the first sports betting bill in Texas since the US Supreme Court overturned the decades-old national ban online sports gambling known as PASPA.
We’ll lay out the bill’s main points in a minute but first let’s discuss the main reasons this bill can have a hard time passing.
First of all, it had been introduced 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 oldest that can happen is November, 2019.
Here are the bill’s most important attributes:
Online and mobile sports gambling in Texas will be legal.
A maximum of five licenses will be sold. Each permit will permit two online betting site skins.
Gamblers will cover a 6.25% tax, very similar to a revenue tax, on all money wagered.
In the event the resolution and bill to amend the constitution pass, sports betting will be lawful in Texas on January 1, 2020.
The Current Sports Betting Situation at Texas
Estimates indicate countless dollars of tax revenue could be generated from sports betting legalization and that Texas are the second-biggest sports betting state in the country.
Even without online and mobile gambling, it is estimated that Texans will bet $9 billion on sports yearly. A 6.25percent tax on these sales would equal over $500 million.
The urge to get that potential revenue is butting up against a mostly conservative, anti-gambling institution which will result in an interesting dynamic if this bill goes forward.
A prevailing anti-gambling attitude isn’t the only barrier that this invoice is going to have to clear. Since 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 gambling, with the exception of this state lottery and dog and horse racing, is illegal in Texas.
There’s but one tribal casino in the whole country and it isn’t permitted to provide casino table games, just slots.
The gambling laws are amazingly rigid from the Lone Star State and bookmaking is a Class A misdemeanor.
Despite sports gambling 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 doesn’t mean legalization is coming shortly to Texas, however the country’s flagship sports company inking a major deal with a casino business is just another part of the puzzle that’s coming together.
Another big 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 ample chance to take their billions of dollars and bet it out of state.
Texas Betting Laws Summary
Sports betting 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, horse and dog racing are legal. The state lottery has been in existence since 1991.
There’s one tribal casino in Texas, the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass to 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 betting history in Texas. The state has enforced one of the country’s strictest group of anti-gambling laws and it goes way back. Dog and horse racing are legal in Texas, however gamblers can simply put in-person wagers. OTB gambling is not allowed.
To give the present scenario some context, let us look at the most pivotal 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 legal horse racing that the paths are shut down and gambling on the races is prohibited.
1971 – Charity gaming is exempted from anti-gambling legislation. A couple of years after 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 return thanks to a positive result in a state referendum. Simulcast betting from external racetracks is introduced in 1991.
1988 – Casino Cruises are offered which sanction legal gambling 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 which includes pulls 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. Only one tribal casino remains to date which is owned by the Kickapoo tribe just south of San Antonio near Mexico.
2013 – Many bills are introduced to expand gaming in the state but do not see 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 lawful. Looking at the current sports gambling bill, however, it’s apparent that the future of authorized Texas sports gambling will include online and mobile gambling choices.
The Lone Star state is exceptional in that it only has one tribal casino, and it’s situated near the Texas/Mexico border. It is a good 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 expect the majority of the actions to happen online.
Like we mentioned previously, the WinStar World Casino made an official deal with the Dallas Cowboys which can be an indication that it is interested in going into the market.
We also expect established online sports gambling sites which are already working in other nations to apply for licenses. Including brands such as BetStars, 888sport and many more.
If legalization does happen, check this page for specialist 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 mad states in the entire country, 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 high ranked teams coming from colleges such as Texas, Texas Tech, SMU, Vanderbilt, and Texas A&M.
If and when legal sports betting comes to Texas, gamblers will be able to bet on popular North American sports and pretty much anything else located anywhere on the planet.
A typical menu of sports Texans will be able to wager on includes:
Soccer (MLS, Premier League, Champions League, La Liga, International Competitions and more)
The Way to Bet on Sports Legally in Texas
Gambling is presently extremely restricted in Texas, with one property tribal casino in the entire country and no bodily sportsbooks.
The sports betting legislation that is currently in the works gives us an indication of how things will likely work in the future.
In other countries that currently allow online sports gambling, the process of signing up for an account, depositing money and placing legal wagers is actually straightforward.
First browse reviews of all of the best online sports betting sites in Texas, find one you like and then register 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 provide some personal information and once your account is installed, you can deposit money using tons of popular banking choices. You may frequently get in on particular welcome bonuses as well as other offers when you deposit.
Once the money is on your account, just discover the sport you want to bet on and put your wager.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Texas?
Players can place wagers at popular DFS gaming websites such as FanDuel and DraftKings, however there’s a small legal gray area when it comes to whether it’s really legal or not.
While the state does not press charges against everyday dream websites, there have been ineffective bills to fully legalize DFS in the past.
The two FanDuel and DraftKings accept Texas players along with the state seems content with allowing this play out at a state of legal flux until it completely believes their next steps on sports betting.
In terms of 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 sites are 100% protected.
What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting at Texas?
While a dark location for legal gambling, Texas’s potential as far as sports gambling goes has gotten a bit brighter.
There is still a ways to go but with the debut of a new bill to legalize sports betting 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 gambling could inject almost $2 billion dollars into the local market and create over 9,000 jobs. With Texans already gambling on sports and in different states, new laws may actually have a chance of passing.
On the other side of the argument are groups like the General Baptist Convention of Texas which consists of roughly three million Texans. Not only are they contrary to legal sports gambling, 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 poorest people in the country that the most, like the lottery.
“It would create a sales tax blush with its regressivity. So, is it smart for people to finance our government with all the people that we’re giving money to help? No,” said Kohler.
However, the State lottery failed to generate $1.3 billion in 2017 for the state’s education system. The tax revenue from legal sports gambling will be even bigger.
Questions Remain for Legal Texas Sports Betting
Whether sports gambling is eventually legalized in Texas depends on lots of different factors and no one can predict exactly how it’s going to perform.
Our best guess is that it is going to happen but it might not be the current sports gambling bill that gets the job done.
However, if everything goes perfectly and H 1275 passes with an amendment to the constitution, Texans will have the ability to start gambling on sports legally as early as January 1, 2020.
The sheer size of the potential industry and gains, literally billions of dollars, is the largest reason we may observe this legislation fast-tracked.
Meanwhile, sports bettors in Texas can gamble on DFS, or even make the excursion to one of a couple of nearby states which are already legalizing full-length sports gambling.
2019 will be a significant year for online sportsbooks in Texas and we’ll post big developments as they happen on this page.
Also, browse our state by state guides to legal sports betting in the US for more info on other areas of the country.
Despite a totally massive sports culture, sports betting isn’t legal in Texas.