Texas Online Sports Betting

Texas Sports Betting

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

As Texas became more of a conservative stronghold in the 1970s and 1980s, the state’s gaming policy turned conservative with it. However, some policy changes since then 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.

While 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.

Update, May - June, 2023: Texas will be without legal gambling at least until 2025, as Lt. Governor rejected a bid for a vote on sports betting and casino gambling bills. 

The senate leader killed such hopes after a series of tweets revealing that he would not refer the HJR 102 to the floor of the senate. 

Being unable to pass the bill on the floor of the Senate before the close of the legislative session now means that Texas will miss out on any form of legalized gambling until a new legislative session in 2025.

Update, May 2023:  Texas sports betting bill advances to the Senate after scaling through with just the required two-thirds vote on the floor of the house.

The bill, HJR 102, scaled through with a 101 to 42 vote, surpassing the 100-vote threshold for two-thirds majority. This means the bill will now advance to the Senate for a vote. However, many believe the bill may be opposed by Republicans who form a majority in the Senate. If passed in the Senate, Texas voters will be able to decide if they want online sports betting.

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.

Legal Land-BasedLegal Online
Sports BettingNoNo
Fantasy Sports (DFS)N/AYes
Horse RacingYesNo
Charitable GamblingYesNo

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 BettingN/A
Horse Racing21
Charitable Gambling18

Betting on Sports in Texas

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.

However, Texas has not yet joined the legal sports wagering party sweeping across the United States, despite introducing two separate sports bills in 2019 that eventually stalled without further debate. 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.

Texas Gambling Laws don’t look favorably upon illegal sports betting. However, 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.

The state legislature introduced several pieces of legislation related to sports betting in its 2021 session.

In a most recent development ( Feb 2018) Sen. Lois Kolkhorst filed Senate Bill 715 (SB 715) and Senate Joint Resolution 39 (SJR 39) and Jeff Leach filed HB 1942 and HJR 102 to legalize sports betting in Texas.

Texas Online Sports Betting Laws

Online sports betting and something that resembles NJ betting sites 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.

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 Texas 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. The 2017 bill was followed up by two additional sports betting legalization bills, HJR 61 and HB 1275 in February 2019. Those bills also ultimately failed, but their introduction was a huge change for Texas in itself. There were additional bills proposed in committee during the 2021 legislative session that never made it to the floor for a vote.

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, 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 across the state. Dog and horse racing tracks are common in Texas’ five largest cities. 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 betting at the 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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