Texas Online Casinos
Online casinos are not legal in Texas, nor is that likely to change any time soon. At present, social and sweepstakes casinos represent the closest Texans can get to the experience of actual online casino and poker play in the state.
As far as retail casinos go, Texas has no commercial casinos and only a couple of tribe-owned properties with Class II gambling. As a result, those in Texas wishing to gamble in a casino are likely going to need to travel elsewhere to do so.
Oklahoma is a popular destination with its dozens of tribal casinos. Those in the eastern part of the state can travel to Louisiana to visit the state’s many tribal and riverboat casinos, or to Arkansas where there are also places to gamble. Meanwhile, those on the western side of the state can visit the tribal casinos and racinos in New Mexico.
Here is an overview of Texas casinos, including information about the current and future status of online casinos and about retail casinos in the Lone Star State.
Play online slots in Texas
Are online casinos legal in Texas?
No, real money online casinos and other forms of online gambling are not legal in Texas. Texans can, however, play casino games online at social and sweepstakes casinos that use virtual currencies.
Will Texas ever legalize online casinos?
It is very unlikely that online casinos will be legal any time soon in Texas, as there is little legislative push to expand gambling in the state. That said, a few lawmakers have tried to introduce casino gambling legislation over recent years, although none of those attempts has earned much support.
For example, Sen. Carol Alvarado has been filing bills consistently since 2009. Her most recent attempt in 2022 proposed adding a ballot initiative asking voters to weigh in on whether to amend the state’s constitution to allow casinos. In the House, Rep. John Kuempel filed similar legislation. However, neither bill advanced.
Industry representatives have lobbied in favor of bringing casinos to Texas, with Las Vegas Sands being the most conspicuous to do so over recent years. Texans have also indicated they are open to the idea. In early 2021, a University of Houston survey indicated that 70% of respondents favored legalizing and taxing casino gambling.
Even so, don’t expect a change to the status quo when it comes to gambling in Texas. There is a slightly better possibility of legalizing sports betting in Texas, although even that is likely a distant prospect at present.
Social and sweepstakes casinos in Texas
While real money online casinos are not legal in Texas, players can play online at social and sweepstakes sites that use virtual currencies. In some cases, players even have the option to redeem their winnings for real cash prizes. Here are some of the most popular social and sweepstakes casinos available to Texans:
- Top games: Sun of Egypt 2, Cycle of Luck
Pulsz offers well over 200 slot games as well as some table game options, like blackjack and roulette. There is even an option for an Ultimate Texas Hold’em-like game.
- Top games: Stampede Fury 2, Twin$pin Megaways
Visitors to Chumba Casino will find more than 80 slot titles, plus video poker, blackjack and roulette. Many of the slots are exclusive to Chumba, too, meaning this site offers an experience you cannot find elsewhere.
- Top games: Winner and a Movie, Neon Valley
A sister site to Chumba, LuckyLand Slots features around 40 slots titles. Many are exquisitely rendered games with fantastical themes and vivid backgrounds. The site also offers some instant win games (i.e., electronic versions of lottery scratchers).
- Top games: Maximo the Magnificent, Paintball Keno
Funzpoints offers nearly 60 slots plus one keno game. The site also features jackpot drawings that give players an additional way to win.
Top games: Texas Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha (including tournaments)
Global Poker almost exclusively offers poker games. Obviously, the most common game on Global is Texas Hold’em. There are also numerous variants of Omaha games, as well as some versions of Crazy Pineapple. Tournaments on Global Poker can feature huge fields and big prizes.
Are there casinos in Texas?
Yes, but only one. Texas is the largest state by size in the continental United States. It is also the second-most populous, with close to 29 million residents, behind only California. But there is only one casino in the entire state, the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel in Eagle Pass, close to the Mexico border.
The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas operates the casino about 100 miles south of San Antonio. The property first opened in 1996 and was rebuilt in 2004 before expanding in 2013.
With a Class II gambling license, the Lucky Eagle offers bingo, keno and non-banked card games such as poker. However, no Vegas-style table games such as blackjack, craps or roulette exist on the property. In fact, Texas is one of only four states that entirely forbids tribes from offering any Class III casino games. The other states on that list:
That said, the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel does offer a large number of slots-like electronic bingo games that technically fall under what the Class II license allows.
There are a couple of other land-based tribal facilities in the state as well, but both are in the midst of a legal fight with the state of Texas.
Naskila Gaming is a Class II gambling facility on tribal lands located just east of Livingston that offers hundreds of electronic bingo machines. The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas owns and operates the venue and continues to fight with the state of Texas to be able to offer these games.
The third federally recognized tribe in the state, the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (aka the “Tigua”), has joined the Alabama-Coushattas in their suit. The Pueblos have attempted to operate their own facility, the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center, for many years. At the moment, they have scaled back their operations to be an entertainment venue after pressure from the state. Clearly, the El Paso-area tribe is hoping that things go well with its fellow tribe in East Texas.
Will more casinos open in Texas?
It’s quite unlikely, especially when considering commercial casinos. Lawmakers have introduced casino gambling bills at every session of the Texas Legislature for more than a decade. So far, exactly none of them has made it past a committee.
While a recent survey has indicated support among Texans for legalizing and taxing casino gambling, the prospects for casinos coming to Texas appear especially remote given both the current political climate and intense lobbying efforts against casino gambling in the state.
Most notably, the two highest-ranking politicians in the state, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, have repeatedly stated their steadfast opposition to gambling expansion. Abbott retains veto power over any legislation, and the stamp would undoubtedly appear on any bill that somehow managed to make it past both legislative chambers and to the governor’s desk.
Out-of-state interests have made things difficult for proponents of Texas casinos, as well. In fact, some of the largest contributions to campaigns against Texas casino bills have been funded by casino companies in Oklahoma and Louisiana. The state’s politically powerful conservative groups have additionally influenced the discussion, helping to dissuade some lawmakers from entertaining any form of expanded gambling.
That’s not to say there aren’t those who favor bringing casinos to Texas. One House member, Rep. Joe Deshotel, has proposed gambling expansion bills multiple times in the past. Sen. Roland Gutierrez also recently proposed a Senate bill to add a constitutional amendment that would permit the construction of up to 12 casinos in counties whose residents voted to approve casino gambling.
Meanwhile, a number of Las Vegas Sands Corp. lobbyists have recently made a case for casinos in Texas. Such lobbyists have directed their efforts toward persuading lawmakers sitting on the Texas House Licensing and Administrative Procedure Committee and other relevant committees to reconsider the state’s anti-casino stance.
Even so, unless a large enough coalition of legislators can find enough support to pass a bill and to ensure a veto override, casinos won’t be coming to Texas anytime soon.
Closest casinos outside of Texas
There are a number of large, noteworthy casinos just beyond the borders of Texas, including in Mexico. Here are a few of the most popular casinos near Texas.
Just five miles north of the state line in Thackerville is one of the world’s largest casinos, the WinStar World Casino and Resort. WinStar is actually multiple “gaming plazas” rolled into one, with an incredible 370,000 square feet of total gambling space.
With over 8,500 slots, more than 100 table games, and a poker room with 55 tables, WinStar is a popular destination for Oklahomans and Texans alike. Also, the Chickasaw Nation casino is open to anyone 18 and older.
Located in Hobbs, a few miles from the Texas border, the Zia Park Casino Hotel & Racetrack is another popular destination for Texans, especially those looking for slots and horse racing.
Technically a “racino,” Zia Park is a Penn National Gaming facility. The property features 750 slots and video poker games as well as a quarter horse and thoroughbred racetrack.
Located in Hot Springs is the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, the largest gambling facility in Arkansas. A couple of hours northeast of Texarkana, Oaklawn features a thoroughbred racetrack, more than 1,500 slots, over 30 table games, a sportsbook and a small poker room.
Those in east Texas might also look to Louisiana for casino gambling options, starting with the multiple casinos in Bossier City.
Boomtown Bossier City, Horseshoe Bossier City and Margaritaville Resort Casino are all popular riverboat casinos, as is Harrah’s Louisiana Downs racino. All four of these Bossier City casinos feature 1,200 or more slots and video poker machines, as well as a wide selection of table games.
There are a couple more popular riverboat casinos just over the border in Lake Charles, about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Houston.
Golden Nugget Lake Charles Hotel & Casino features 1,600 slots and 60 table games. Meanwhile, L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles also has about 1,600 slots and 75 table games. Both casinos also feature small poker rooms.
FAQ about Texas casinos
How old do I have to be to play at online casinos in Texas?
There are no real money online casinos available to Texans. The minimum age to play at social and sweepstakes online casinos, meanwhile, is 18 years old. Note that if you wish to visit the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel, you must be at least 21.
Why play at social and sweepstakes casinos?
There are a few reasons to play at social and sweepstakes casinos. Since the sites offer the option to play games for free, they enable players to scratch their gambling itch with no risk. Additionally, in some cases they also offer the chance to redeem winnings for cash prizes. The sites also give players a chance to try out casino games online before they visit a retail casino to play the real thing. Some sites also let players take part in online social communities.
Is casino gambling legal in Texas?
When it comes to in-person gambling, commercial casinos are not legal in Texas. There is one operating tribal casino in the state, the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel near Eagle Pass. There is another tribe-owned gambling facility near Livingston called Naskila Gaming that offers only slots-like electronic bingo games. The Lucky Eagle property is a large facility with more than 3,300 gambling machines.
How many casinos are in Texas?
Just one, the aforementioned Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel.
Are there casinos near Dallas?
Yes, but you need to drive to Oklahoma. The WinStar World Casino is located in Thackerville, OK, just north of the Texas-Oklahoma border. It’s about 79 miles up the road on Interstate 35. By contrast, the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel is located near Eagle Pass, which is close to the Mexican border. That’s a six- or seven-hour drive from Dallas.