Texas Online Gambling

Welcome to PlayTexas. Here you will find up-to-date information about gambling in Texas, including coverage of potential online options.

As anyone who has visited an Oklahoma or Louisiana casino can tell you, Texans love to gamble. After all, the most popular poker game in the world is named after the state: Texas Hold’em. In addition, many famous gamblers have hailed from Texas.

However, that love has not translated into many options for legal gambling in the state. Texas lawmakers remain reticent to expand legal gambling, despite public opinion to the contrary. However, as more states in the region legalize, the potential for change increases. So, we’re keeping an eye on Austin.

Read on for all the latest in online gambling, sports betting, casinos and poker in the state of Texas.

Legal Gambling in Texas

Online Casinos

Real money online casinos are not legal in Texas. The only online casino options available to Texans are social and sweepstakes casinos like Pulsz, Chumba Casino, and Luckyland Slots.

Casino gambling is also prohibited in Texas. However, there is one genuine retail casino in Texas. It is owned and operated by the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas. The Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel offers slots, poker and bingo to patrons who visit the facility in Eagle Pass near the Mexico border.

Poker Rooms

Real money online poker is not legal in Texas. However, Texas can play poker online at social and sweepstakes sites such as Global Poker. Poker rooms and card rooms operate in Texas but due so by insisting upon memberships and charging for seat time — and, most importantly, not taking rake. The clubs argue their operations fall outside of the blanket ban on gambling. Thus far the poker rooms have not faced any serious challenges from law enforcement or the attorney general. The clubs are likely to stay open, at least for now.

Horse Racing

There are three active horse racetracks in Texas at present, all in major population centers. Modern horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering on the results became legal in Texas in 1987. Subsequent changes to the law additionally allowed for simulcast wagering at each licensed facility. Thus, each racetrack houses its own off-track betting location for races around the country, but there are no standalone OTB sites in the state. Online horse betting on sites like TVG remains illegal under Texas law.

Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily fantasy sports contests are available for play in Texas. Like other states, Texas has no law explicitly authorizing or prohibiting DFS. Sites like DraftKings and FanDuel operate in a legal gray area. That said, the issue of DFS’ legality has been a matter of contention over recent years.

In 2016, Attorney General Ken Paxton opined that daily fantasy sports contests are gambling under state law and are illegal. DraftKings responded by filing a lawsuit. The lawsuit continues today, and there is no timeline for any kind of resolution. However, DFS is not explicitly legal in Texas at this time. A 2021 legislative effort to make DFS legal passed out of committee favorably, but never received a floor vote.

Texas Lottery

The Texas Lottery became legal in the state through a legislative action in 1991 and began selling tickets in 1992. Its goal is to provide funding for education in the state. However, Texas also allocates lottery tax dollars to veterans associations. The Texas Lottery offers draw games and scratchers at thousands of retail locations throughout the state. It also participates in the popular multi-state drawings Mega Millions and Powerball. Top Texas-specific draw games include Lotto Texas and Texas Two-Step. However, Texas does not allow the purchase of lottery tickets online.

Sports Betting

There is no legal sports betting in Texas at this time. None of the legislative sessions since 2018 has borne any fruit for sports bettors in Texas. As is the case with most Texas gambling bills, there hasn’t even been a floor vote on the question. Texas lawmakers are loath to allow voters to decide the matter through a referendum, much less vote on the issue themselves.

Although there is hope that sports betting might become a question in the upcoming 2023 session, there are also several reasons for pause. Two likely impediments to any forward motion are Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Both are fervently opposed to legalizing sports betting.

FAQ

No. Texas does not permit online gambling. Even horse betting and lottery games, which are both legal in person in the state, are not legal online. The only legal options to play casino games online in Texas are social and sweepstakes gambling sites.

No. All efforts to legalize new forms of online gambling in Texas failed in 2021. The Texas Legislature meets during odd years, so 2023 is the earliest that lawmakers could make another attempt.

Most gambling activities in Texas require players to be 18 or older to play, although in some cases you must be at least 21. You must be at least 18 to play the Texas Lottery. However, the one tribal casino operating in the state requires players to be 21 or older. Also, some Texas poker rooms set the minimum age at 21, while others require only 18. If Texas legalizes any additional gambling activities, the minimum age would likely be 21.

No. There are no legal sportsbooks in Texas at the moment. Any books that accept wagers from people inside Texas are doing so outside the law. It is risky to bet at such sportsbooks, as there is no way to determine if the sites are honest and fair in their treatment of players.

Yes, but begrudgingly. DraftKings and FanDuel both allow players from Texas to participate in their contests, as do other DFS sites. However, both major companies are part of ongoing litigation with the Texas attorney general, and there could be a decision to disallow DFS as gambling in the near future.

No. There are no real money online casino games in Texas. The best online options for Texans are social and sweepstakes sites like Pulsz, Chumba Casino and Funzpoints.

No. There are no online poker sites where Texans can play legally. The nearest alternative is a sweepstakes site like Global Poker.

The state government remains generally hostile toward any gambling expansion. Even though a majority of Texans support the legalization of casinos in the state, bills to expand gambling never seem to move out of committee in the Texas Legislature. Since the governor would presumably veto any move to allow casinos or sports betting, it’s possible that lawmakers don’t see the point in proceeding, since there aren’t enough votes for an override, anyway.