Texas

Texas gambling laws are among some of the strictest in America. Mostly, his has to do with tradition, with Texas originally settled largely by people with no cultural ties to gambling.

As Texas swung from being a Democratic to a conservative Republican state in the 1970s and 1980s, the state’s gaming policy turned conservative with it. However, some policy changes since ten in gambling law in the Lone Star State have been fruitful. Texas is home to one of the most profitable and popular state lotteries, and the opening of two casino-like businesses.

Whilst online (or land-based) sports betting is not yet a reality in Texas, participation in online Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions is legal for residents and visitors in Texas.

Legality of Sports Betting VS Gambling

No Commercial Casinos (as know them Vegas-style) and no sports betting (yet). Texas is a traditional anti-gaming state but does allow gamblers legal DFS competitions, two Tribal Casinos, a popular state lottery, horse and greyhound racing (trackside & trackside OTB only) and charitable gambling.

Sports
Legal Land-Based
Legal Online
Sports Betting
No
No
Casinos
Yes
No
Fantasy Sports (DFS)
N/A
Yes
eSports
No
No
Poker
Yes
No
Horse Racing
Yes
No
Lottery
Yes
No
Charitable Gambling
Yes
No

Texas Sports Betting Tax Rates

There is no state tax on gambling winnings in Texas.

However, gambling wins over a $600 amount in the state of Texas may possibly attract an additional Federal Tax.

We recommend contacting your tax attorney to assess your potential Federal tax liability if you have a big win in Texas.

Sports betting Age VS Gambling Age in Texas

Sports betting Age VS Gambling Age in Texas

Sports & Gambling Type
Age
Sports Betting
N/A
DFS
18
Casinos
21
Horse Racing
21
Lottery
18
Charitable Gambling
18

Betting on Sports in Texas

Sports Betting in Texas is tied to developments at the Federal level. In May 2018, New Jersey was successful in its legal challenge against the Federal nationwide ban of betting on sports.

New Jersey legalized sports betting shortly thereafter and others have since joined the legal sports betting states (alongside long legal Nevada). Several more are expected to legalize sports betting in 2019 and an additional 15 states have legislation scheduled for debate in their respective State Houses.

Presently, Texas is able to offer state residents and visitors no other legal sports betting options beyond DFS, and horse-and-greyhound racing at the state’s racetracks (read below in our sports betting online section the current legal environment concerning online horse betting in Texas).

For the time being, you are unable to place a bet in Texas on your favorite teams like the Dallas Cowboys or the San Antonio Spurs.

Texas Gambling Laws don’t look favorably upon illegal sports betting, and the conservative State Legislature is unlikely to introduce any sports betting legalizations bills for discussion anytime soon.

A recent study by the American Sports Betting Coalition outlined that legal and regulated Texas sports betting industry could add $1.7 billion annually to the Texas economy and create an additional 9,300 jobs.

It’s unlikely to change soon, but the numbers are compelling for change.

Texas Online Sports Betting Laws

Online sports betting currently sits outside the legal framework in Texas.

However, there are historic legislative precedents in Texas regarding the potential legalization of online sports betting in the state, attempts to become one of the states in which gambling online is not only accepted but legislated as 100% legal.

In 2017, bill HB 3926 was introduced to the State Legislature and it looked to amend the Texas Racing Act to allow state residents to bet on horse and greyhound racing in Texas, across the United States and internationally on legal betting sites. Cleverly, legislators tied the bill to a funding effort to better protect Texan police officers with improved body armor, and supply gamblers with an additional choice of funding charities of their choosing. Even showing the good causes that the bill could fund could not sway the conservative Texan Legislators, and the bill was defeated.

However, given the bill progressed at all, shows the first soft winds of change are beginning to blow in Texas, and transformations in the state’s codes may occur one day.

Until then, players looking for legal online sports betting options in Texas can legally play real money DFS competitions in the state.

Online Fantasy Sports in Texas

The United States Federal lawmakers have ruled that Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions are not concluded to be gambling. Federal Law now actually perceives DFS to be skills-based games, not games of chance. With the Federal ruling, each state has been emboldened to resolve their own legal stance on DFS competitions.

For all their recent attempts to rule positively on DFS legalization (State House Bills H 1457, H 1422 and H 1418 were all introduced in 2015 to 2017 alone), Texas lawmakers have been unable to reach an agreement on a licensing regime for DFS competitions in the state.

Major DFS sites in the meantime are all legally accepting players from the state of Texas for their real money competitions.

Esports Online Betting Laws

When the day comes that Texans will be able to legally bet on sports, betting on eSports in the Lone Star State will transform the available gambling options. As a ‘next generation’ category of sports betting, eSports betting should evolve quickly into a trusted strain of betting that does not have any nebulous illegal history.

What are eSports?

eSports (i.e. ‘competitive gaming’ in popular multi-player online video games like Street Fighter, Rocket League, Fortnite and others) is the largest and fastest growth sector in global sports betting.

From humble-beginnings in the underground-LAN-gaming-community, mainstream sports respectability of eSports has evolved. Professional teams and players compete in global tournaments offering vast prize money attended by huge crowds and watched online by millions-of-viewers.

A huge gambling scene has now grown up around eSports, with competitive betting markets and attractive odds on the major network of global eSports tournaments framed by international bookmakers.

eSports betting markets will be among the first legal betting markets framed by legal Texan bookies soon after legal sports betting lands in the Lone Star State.

Horse Racing in Texas

Wagering at racetracks is one of the only legal forms of gambling in Texas and the Horse Racing Industry in the state is administered by the Texas Racing Commission, a body is responsible for licensing of the state racetracks, approving racing events, animal welfare, simulcasting and track management.

Trackside Betting

Race betting is the only form of gambling beside the lottery that’s widely accepted (legally and socially) across the state. Dog and horse racing tracks are common in the Texas’ five largest cities (possibly due to the lack of casinos in the state). Live, simulcast and off-track betting is available at horse and greyhound racing venues in Texas.

Off Track Betting (OTB) & Online Horse Racing in Texas

Other than OTB betting at tracks, OTBs and Online Betting on Horse Racing are not permitted under Article 11 of the Texas Racing Act;
“The commission shall adopt rules to regulate wagering on greyhound races and horse races under the system known as pari-mutuel wagering. Wagering may be conducted only by an association within its enclosure. A person may not accept, in person, by telephone, or over the Internet, a wager for a horse race or greyhound race conducted inside or outside this state from a person in this state unless the wager is authorized under this Act.”

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