Texas Online Casinos

Texas online casinos are not currently legal, at least not for real money games. That situation is unlikely to change any time soon, as Texas has traditionally been reluctant to introduce new legal gambling options. It is no surprise, then, to find that Texas has no legislative activity at present regarding the possibility of legalizing online casinos.

Even though the Lone Star State doesn’t offer real money online casinos, there are alternatives for those seeking to play casino games online from Texas. Social and sweepstakes casinos are allowed in the state. These sites offer a chance to play casino-style games and in some cases redeem winnings for cash prizes.

Read on for a full rundown of the current status of online casinos in Texas, including details about what may come in the future and information about current options such as social and sweepstakes casinos.

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Texas online casinos snapshot

  • Are Texas online casinos legal? No, not for real money games. Social and sweepstakes casinos are allowed in Texas.
  • Will they become legal any time soon? No. Even if online casino legislation were to be introduced when the 2025 Legislature meets, and even if a bill legalizing online casinos were to pass, it would likely still take at least a year after that to launch. 
  • Does Texas have any retail casinos? Texas has three tribal casinos, The Lucky Eagle, in Eagle Pass, Naskila Gaming in Livingston and Speaking Rock in El Paso.
  • Are non-tribal casinos legal in Texas? No.
  • Will non-tribal casinos become legal any time soon? Legislation to authorize resort-style casinos in metro areas throughout Texas has been introduced in the recent past, but has failed to gain support. Such efforts are likely to be attempted again, however. 
  • What is the casino gambling age in Texas? For retail casinos the minimum age is 21. You must be at least 18 to play at social and sweepstakes casinos online. 
  • Are there any other online casino options? Online social and sweepstakes casinos are legal in Texas. They offer casino-style slot, card games, and even in some cases live dealer games. These games can be played for fun and sometimes offer ways to redeem winnings for cash prizes. 
  • Are sweepstakes casinos safe? Quite safe. They are regulated by watchdog groups like the Malta Gaming Authority, which protect player identity, and most require identity verification procedures if you wish to play for cash prizes.

Will Texas online casinos ever be legalized?

As noted, it is very unlikely that online casinos will be legal any time soon in Texas. The progression would see online casinos only after retail casinos, retail sports betting, and online sports betting were legalized. Lawmakers have tried to introduce casino gambling legislation in recent years, although none of those attempts have reached the floor for debate.

In recent years, industry representatives have lobbied to bring commercial casinos to Texas, with Las Vegas Sands being the most conspicuous to do so. Casino and Texas sports betting legislation will likely be on the agenda in some form for the Legislature in 2025. Both Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan are on board with the expansion of resort casinos.

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. Most sweeps sites use two forms of virtual tokens for two types of players, Gold Coins for social players playing for fun, and Sweeps Coins (or Sweepstakes Coins) for those who want a chance to redeem winnings for cash prizes. You can purchase the “play money” Gold Coins and play with them, but you cannot purchase Sweeps Coins. Rather, Sweeps Coins are awarded as bonuses, which is how the sites follow the sweepstakes model.

Popular social and sweepstakes casinos where players in Texas can play slots, table games, and live dealer games (on some sites) include:

  • WOW Vegas
  • McLuck Casino
  • High 5 Casino
  • Pulsz
  • Funzpoints
  • Stake.us
  • Hello Millions
  • Chanced
  • LuckyLand Slots
  • Chumba Casino
  • DingDingDing
  • Funrize

There are other social and sweepstakes casinos as well. Also available are online poker sites that similarly use virtual currencies and offer chances to redeem winnings for prizes, the most popular example being Global Poker. You can play ring games and tournaments at Global Poker where there are often huge fields and large prize pools.

Note that social and sweepstakes sites are available in most US states with just a few exceptions. Texas is one state where the sites are all legal and available.

Are there physical Texas casinos?

Yes, three. Texas is the largest state by size in the continental United States. It is also the second-most populous, with more than 29 million residents, behind only California. But there is only one traditional retail 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 100 miles south of San Antonio. The property opened in 1996 and was rebuilt in 2004 before expanding in 2013. 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. 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.

There are two other land-based tribal facilities in the state as well. 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.

The third federally recognized tribe in the state, the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (aka the ‘Tiguas’), offers electronic bingo games at their facility, the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center El Paso.

Will more casinos open in Texas?

The potential for Texas casino legalization got a small shot in the arm with a recent admission of interest by Gov. Abbott. Abbott has slowly softened his stance around legal gambling over the last few years, and he seems interested in leaning into the casino debate.

The Texas Legislature’s 2023 session saw considerable momentum surrounding gaming legalization. In fact, more than 300 gaming lobbyists descended on Austin, aiming to bring legal gambling to the congress floor. Meanwhile, multiple pieces of casino-related legislation were introduced by lawmakers.

Sen. Carol Alvarado’s legislation (Senate Joint Resolution 17) proposed a constitutional amendment authorizing a limited number of “destination resorts.” Rep. Charlie Geren’s legislation (House Joint Resolution 97) proposed a constitutional amendment expanding the number of resort casino licenses from four to seven. Texas’ pari-mutuel racetracks would have received priority in claiming casino licenses. And Rep. Harold Dutton’s legislation (House Joint Resolution 105) called for a Texas constitutional amendment to be voted on to legalize casinos in the state.

None of these efforts received enough support to advance. However, a PlayTexas survey has indicated support among Texans for legalizing and taxing casino gambling. Expect to see further attempts to legalize Texas casinos in 2025.

Closest casinos outside of Texas

There are several large, noteworthy casinos just beyond the borders of Texas, including in Mexico. Here are a few of the most popular casinos near Texas.

Oklahoma

  • WinStar World Casino and Resort (Thackerville, OK): Just five miles north of the state line and 90 miles north of Dallas, the world’s largest casino 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.

New Mexico

  • Zia Park Casino Hotel & Racetrack (Hobbs, NM): Located a few miles from the Texas border, Zia Park 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.

Arkansas

  • Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort (Hot Springs, AR): A two-hour drive from the Texas border, Oaklawn is the largest gambling facility in Arkansas. Oaklawn features a thoroughbred racetrack, more than 1,500 slots, over 30 table games, a sportsbook, and a small poker room.

Louisiana

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
  • Margaritaville Resort Casino
  • Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

All four are popular riverboat casinos (Harrah’s is a racino), with each featuring 1,200 or more slots and video poker machines as well as a wide selection of table games.

There are three more popular riverboat casinos just over the border in Lake Charles, LA, about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Houston.

  • Golden Nugget Lake Charles Hotel & Casino (1,600 slots, 60 table games)
  • L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles (1,600 slots, 75 table games)
  • Horseshoe Casino & Hotel Lake Charles (800 slots, 40 table games)

All three of these casinos also have small poker rooms.