While most things are bigger in Texas, that doesn’t apply to the legal gambling industry in the state.
There is only one tribal casino and the only other form of legal gambling is the Texas Lottery. Thus far, the state has strongly opposed the introduction of commercial casinos or online gambling.
However, there is a way for Texans to legally play online poker, slots and table games for real money, courtesy of online sweepstakes casinos. Several of these websites readily accept players in Texas and offer a wide array of games that play just like those you would find at a traditional casino in other states.
Players all around the United States have found these to be entertaining alternatives to visiting brick-and-mortar casinos. Some lucky players have even won six-figure payouts on these sites. Could the next jackpot winner be in Texas? The odds are just as good as they are for such a winner being from anywhere else.
It’s easy to understand why many people in most states question the legality of online sweepstakes casinos. Most states don’t allow legal online poker, slots and table games. At least not yet. Texas is one of them. So, how can Texans legally play on these sites?
It’s really no different than taking part in a promotional contest offered by a candy maker or car dealership. Those contests don’t fit the definition of illegal gambling because there’s no “consideration” element. That essentially means you don’t have to pay to play. The same thing goes for these sweepstakes casinos.
You can play these games for hours on end without spending a penny of your own money. For that reason, even players in states like New Jersey, where legal online casinos and poker sites exist, prefer the sweepstakes casinos.
So, if you don’t have to pay to play, how do you win actual money on these sites? Are these companies just full of really nice people who love giving money away for no reason? Rest assured, these are for-profit businesses. They make money through sales, like most companies.
How do they do that and not risk violating Texas law, then? Through the use of two separate currencies:
There are several ways to obtain Sweeps Coins since they are not available for purchase. The companies that run the casinos offer them as bonuses when you purchase gold coins, for participating in mini-games like trivia contests, and they do just give them away in small amounts. You can even write into the companies for a Sweeps Coin bonus.
However, the only way to really accumulate a significant amount of Sweeps Coins is by wagering them on the sites. The casinos have play-through requirements before you can cash them out. Also, each site sets its own exchange rate for Sweeps Coins to actual dollars.
This model applies to all the games that sweepstakes casinos offer, like poker, slots and table games. Some of the titles have big jackpots, including progressive prizes. Just like with any other casino, you have to risk real money to win real money. The big difference here is that you don’t have to risk real money to play.
There are three popular sites that offer slots and table games. All of them accept customers from Texas. And they all offer bonuses for new customers and accept a variety of payment methods if you decide to purchase any Gold Coins. Those include checking accounts, credit and debit cards, online banking, and e-wallets like PayPal.
If a variety of clean-looking slot titles is what you’re after, Chumba Casino is worth a spin.
Chumba is also known for its frequent promotions, in which it gives away both Gold and Sweeps Coins. While it does have a few table games, the slot titles with multiple progressive jackpots are usually the most popular.
With a Sweeps Coins-to-US-dollars conversion rate of about 1:1 after playthrough, this site offers all the excitement of being on the gaming floor of a retail casino.
On this site, Standard Funzpoints are the equivalent of “Gold Coins” while Premium Funzpoints are the same as Sweeps Coins.
Funzpoints is also unique in that the maximum bet when playing with Premium Funzpoints is just five. Also, the site offers daily jackpot games on top of drawings that happen every three hours.
With several slot titles available, it isn’t difficult to stay entertained between those drawings.
While LuckyLand Slots focuses just on slots, it has more than enough titles to keep players entertained.
It also refreshes the menu often enough to make successfully playing through the entire catalog a challenge. The slot games here come with many unique elements, like expanding reels, bonus mini-games and progressive jackpots.
The conversion rate of Sweeps Coins to USD is also about 1:1.
Global Poker is affiliated with Chumba Casino but offers poker only. It also runs on a Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins model. You can use your bank account, credit card, debit card, or Skrill to buy Gold Coins should you desire to do so. The site also offers a conversion rate of Sweeps Coins to USD of about 1:1.
Global Poker is famous among online poker players for its frequent and numerous promotions. These include special tournaments in addition to daily and weekly tourneys with increased pots. The site maintains a solid menu of games with different buy-in amounts. Perhaps most attractive for new players, besides the welcome bonus, is a “poker school” that is free to access.
The poker variants on the site include:
It’s unclear if Texas law will ever allow for full-fledged online poker and casino products. Until such a time, these sweepstakes casinos can afford Texans some of the thrill and even allow them to play without paying as well.