Texas Sports Betting & Gambling News

Texas may have a poker game named after it, but when it comes to gambling, the state has a long way to go towards bringing more gambling to the Lone Star State.

There are a couple of tribal casinos and some private poker clubs. Don’t forget the lottery and horse racing as well. But if lawmakers and notable names like Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones get their way, sports betting could soon join that list. There is a push to legalize online sportsbooks in Texas during the 2021 legislative session.

Rep. Harold Dutton has introduced an online sportsbook bill, but there is a long way to go from legislation to law. PlayTexas is on the scene to cover all the developments on Texas sports betting and the other facets of gambling in the state.

Texas Lottery

Launched in 1991, the Texas Lottery is the fourth-largest lottery in the country by sales. Texans can’t get enough of the big draw games like Powerball and Mega Millions. There are also other draw game options like Pick 3 and Pick 4. Specific to Texas are some other extremely popular games like the Texas Two Step and the Lotto Texas draw. There are also scratch-off tickets available at lottery retailers throughout the state.

Tribal Casinos

Each of the three federally recognized tribes in the state opened their own tribal casinos, but there are questions surrounding the legality of the properties. The state of Texas contends that the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center in El Paso and Naskila Gaming in Livingston are not legal tribal gaming facilities. The court battles around this have gone on for years while Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino operates without controversy.

Poker Rooms

The granddaddy of all card games, Texas Hold’em, may bear the state’s name, but the Lone Star poker scene leaves a little to be desired. However, there are more and more private poker clubs popping up in Texas that give players somewhere to find action. Essentially, these clubs charge membership fees and require payment for the amount of time you spend in the room. They do not rake the pots, so they stay on the right side of the law in that respect.

Charitable Bingo

If you love bingo, Texas has you covered. The Texas Lottery oversees charitable bingo throughout the Lone Star State. Nearly 1,000 different organizations use charitable bingo halls to raise money for their causes. Players can find bingo action on nearly every day of the week in every major city in the state.

Horse Racing

Texas is home to several different tracks for both horse racing and greyhound racing. The Texas Gaming Commission oversees the racing at facilities like Sam Houston Race Park and Lone Star Park. What bettors cannot do is use any sort of horse-betting apps. The state ruled these advanced deposit wagering (ADW) apps illegal, so all betting in the state takes place at the track.

Sweepstakes Gaming

There are no legal real-money online casinos or online poker sites in Texas, but those seeking those options are not entirely out of luck. Texans can take advantage of sweepstakes online casinos like Luckyland and FunzPoints as well the sweepstakes site Global Poker to play their favorite casino games legally and compete for prizes worth real cash value.


Is online gambling legal in Texas?

No. Texas explicitly forbids many forms of gambling and describes illegal activity as playing for and betting money or other things of value on games involving “cards, dice, balls, or any other gambling device.” Attempts at legalizing online gambling, such as sports betting, have emerged over the years. Each stab at doing so, however, has been rebuffed.

Is sports betting legal in Texas?

No. While the majority of other states appear more willing to modernize their respective gambling industries, Texas has long opposed such expansion.

That said, some lawmakers in the Lone Star State have remained persistent in changing the minds of colleagues, some going as far as proposing bills to legalize the likes of sports betting in Texas. As it stands, though, Texas is still far off from green-lighting regulated wagering.

Can I play real-money casino games online in Texas?

While real-money online casinos are illegal in Texas, players in the Lone Star State still have options available. Online sweepstakes casinos in Texas include Chumba Casino, LuckyLand Slots and Funzpoints. They operate legally in Texas because there is no “consideration” element in their contests.

Simplified, this means you don’t have to pay to play. Customers can acquire special currencies in these games and can even redeem them out for real cash.

What kind of online poker games are available in Texas?

Similar to online casinos, online poker in Texas remains illegal. That said, online sweepstakes poker, like what is offered by Global Poker, is a legal option for poker players in Texas.

Global Poker uses a sweepstakes model and runs on special currency known as Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins. Playing in games such as “cash” games, sit-n-go’s and no-limit hold’em, among others, allows players to accumulate enough Sweeps Coins to redeem for real cash.