Texas gambling is an interesting case. While the state government bans most forms of land-based gambling, Texans love to gamble. That’s why huge brick-and-mortar gambling operations sit on Texas’ borders with Oklahoma and Louisiana.
Online gambling in Texas is similar. While the Texas government doesn’t condone most forms of online gambling, Texans find plenty of ways to bet their online bankroll. Offshore online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker sites accept Texas gamblers without issue. US and Texas law enforcement does nothing to stop them.
Overview of Online Gambling in Texas
Texas online gamblers are not prosecuted for real money play, even though Texas does not license or regulate online gambling. Texans play at offshore online gambling sites. While Texas officials would prosecute a resident if they launched their own unlicensed online gambling portal, they do not punish Texans who gamble online in the privacy of their own homes.
The online gambling industry is divided into broad categories that might confuse newcomers: casino sites, poker sites, sports betting sites, and sweepstakes casinos. These distinctions exist mainly for marketing and legal reasons. For instance, some gamblers prefer different types of bets. Also, if a gambling site focuses on a specific type of gambling, it can operate in more jurisdictions worldwide. Individual countries sometimes ban one sort of gambling, but not another.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about online gambling in Texas. Our guide to Texas online gambling includes a lot of useful information for land-based Texas gamblers, too.
Gambling Availability in Texas
|Online Sports Betting||Yes|
|Horse or Dog Racing||Yes|
|Best Online Casino||Wild Casino: 250% Bonus up to $5,000|
How to Gamble Online for Real Money in Texas
Signing up at an online casino is easy for Texans. The same goes for online sportsbooks, poker sites, and sweepstakes casinos. If you’re new to the Texas online gambling industry, read through our step-by-step guide and you’ll be playing for real money in minutes.
- Find a Trusted Gambling Site: Read through reviews of online sportsbooks, casinos, or poker sites. Focus on your preferred type of gambling. Do not stop at one review. Seek out trusted sites with a good reputation for reliable payouts.
- Sign Up at a Casino Site: Next, register a player account at your chosen online casino (or another type of gambling site). Be prepared to give a name, username, address, and valid email address. Legit sites also want a bit of documentation for the verification process.
- Make a Deposit: You can play for free with just a player account. If you want to play for real money, make a deposit. Visit the cashier page and pick a payment method: credit card, web wallet, bank wire transfer, money order, or cryptocurrency.
- Accept a Bonus: Most online gambling sites offer a welcome bonus for your first deposit. If you do not mind playing select games to clear the requirement, accept the bonus offer. This lowers the effective house edge while you are playing for real money.
- Play For Real Money: If you accepted the bonus, play casino games that satisfy the wagering requirements. If not, play any casino game you choose. Visit the top menu to find the game you prefer. Click on the game icon to play for real money.
- Withdraw Winnings: Once you have cleared the rollover requirement, make a withdrawal using your preferred banking method. Bitcoin withdrawals take less than a day (perhaps 15 minutes). Other payout methods take a few business days.
The Best Online Casinos and Sportsbooks for Texas Players
|Casino Name||Welcome Bonus||Gambling Niche|
|Wild Casino||250% up to $5,000||Best for Casino Games|
|Las Atlantis||280% up to $14,000||Best for High Rollers|
|SuperSlots||250% up to $1,000||Best For Slots Players|
|BetUS Casino||125% up to $2,500||Best for Sports Bettors|
|BetOnline||100% up to $1,000||Best for Poker Players|
Texas Land-Based Gambling Industry
It’s often said that Texas has a ban on most forms of land-based gambling. When looked at from a distance, though, Texas has a lot of forms of legal gambling, tribal casinos, poker clubs, lottery betting, charitable bingo, pull-tabs, pari-mutuel wagering at horse tracks and dog tracks, and Eight-liners. It’s a lot.
Keep reading below for the answers to each of your questions about Texas land-based casinos.
Does Texas have land-based casinos?
Yes, it has two land-based casinos. These are all tribal gaming facilities. Legality rests on whether the tribe was federally recognized early enough. The State of Texas used legal means to strip certain tribes of their recognition in the 1950s, a decision that continued to be litigated in federal court into the 21st Century. As it is, the
The Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel in Eagle Pass and Naskila Gaming in Livingston are the two land-based casinos with full legal standing. These use Class II gaming machines, based on bingo gaming, to offer a game that otherwise works much like slot machines. Naskila Gaming north of Houston has 800 video gaming machines (VGMs), while Kickapoo Lucky Eagle on the Rio Grande has 3,290 gaming machines, 12 poker games, and a 230-seat bingo hall.
The decision that settled the tribe’s rights came on June 15, 2022, when the US Supreme Court voted 5-4 to reaffirm the tribes’ autonomy to regulate non-prohibited gaming on their lands. It was a big win for the Kickapoo Tribe and Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, which operate the casinos.
The Speaking Rock Casino in El Paso, owned by the Tigua Tribe, operated for 9 years as a casino, but it was shut down in 2002. The site continued for a few years with video gaming machines and roulette, but most games were banned. That was disputed and continues to be. Due to the June 2022 SCOTUS ruling, Speaking Rock can offer electronic bingo now.
Are Texas poker clubs legal?
That depends on the local jurisdiction. At present, 32 legal poker clubs operate out of 16 different Texas cities. Houston has 7 poker clubs. San Antonio also has 7 poker clubs, while Austin has 4 poker clubs. Dallas doesn’t have any poker clubs in its city limits, but the Dallas suburb of Plano has a poker club (named VIP Poker Club).
The question of legality comes down to law enforcement officials in Texas counties and cities. That is why Texas has dozens of poker clubs, though their placement is somewhat spotty. Call the local sheriff’s department to see if poker clubs are legal in your area.
Are Eight-Liners legal in Texas?
The convenience store gaming machines called Eight-Liners exist in a similar legal setting as the poker clubs. Eight-Liner stores might be legal in one city and illegal in the next city over. Texas cities have the right to legalize Eight-Liners in their jurisdiction. The gaming machines, also called maqinatas, are in many convenience stores and gas stations across Texas.
Specific laws must be followed. Owners cannot pay out in cash. Instead, they must pay out in gas credit, lottery tickets, or groceries. Many 8-Liner operators have paid out cash money for these slot machines, which has led to raids, busts, and time in prison. Still, the Texas Eight-Liner industry generated $2 billion when last counted 20 years ago, and it remains a multi-billion-dollar industry here in the 2020s.
Will Texas legalize land-based commercial casinos?
When the 2022 ruling came down, many Texas publications speculated the ruling could herald the legalization of land-based casinos in Texas. The thought process is Texas lawmakers will not want to cede the sole right to host casinos to Native American tribes, so they might open the door for commercial casino operators.
To change the Texas Constitution, a statewide referendum would be needed, though polls show that 85% of Texans support legal land-based casinos. The real question is whether state politicians would let such a decision come down to a vote — a statewide referendum.
If ever Texas legalizes land-based casinos, it will have one of the biggest industries in the United States. Texans love to gamble. WinStar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma are some of the biggest land-based casinos in the world. They exist a few miles across the Texas-Oklahoma border, only an hour’s drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Most gamblers there are DFW residents.
The same goes for Houston. Lake Charles, Louisiana has 9 land-based casinos, which are a 2 and 1/2 hour drive from Houston. These casinos could not exist if Houston gamblers didn’t flock to them.
Does Texas have legal betting tracks?
Texas has 6 pari-mutuel betting tracks. Four of these are horse tracks: Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie (Dallas-Fort Worth), Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, Retama Park in Selma (near San Antonio), and Gillespie County Fairgrounds in Fredericksburg. Texas also has two dog tracks: Gulf Coast Racing in Corpus Christi and Valley Race Park in Harlingen.
The dog tracks no longer host dog races, but they have simulcasting and act as off-track betting facilities.
Does Texas allow off-track betting?
Texas doesn’t have formal off-track betting facilities, but all six race tracks have simulcasts and off-track betting. The two dog tracks act as effective OTBs, because they don’t host dog races anymore. Texas is a huge state, so people in outlying areas might not be close to the pari-mutuel wagering venue. The biggest cities — including Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio — are within a short distance of a pari-mutuel wagering facility.
Does Texas allow charitable gambling?
Yes, Texas has charitable gambling. The laws which stipulate Texas charitable gambling rules are the Charitable Raffle Enabling Act (CREA) and the Professional Sports Team Charitable Foundation Raffle Enabling Act. While Texas Attorney General’s office points out that poker nights and casino nights are illegal, bingo halls are legal and widespread. The AG’s office notes that Texas allows “two kinds of raffles”.
The Professional Sports Team Charitable Foundation Raffle Enabling Act is noteworthy. The law gives Texas sports teams, already known for vast wealth, the ability to host raffles for moneymaking purposes. “Professional sports teams’ charitable foundations” can host raffles during home games to raise money for charity.
The main focus is the countless charitable bingo halls throughout the state. As of June 2021, Texas lawmakers changed the Charitable Raffle Enabling Act to raise the “allowable value of each purchased prize from $50,000 to $75,000”. It also changed the allowable number of raffles that may be held per calendar year from two to four.
Regular bingo nights are a staple of Texas gambling. Pull-tabs, locally known as “instant bingo”, are also available.
Is social gambling allowed in Texas?
Private poker games are allowed in Texas, but special conditions apply. Under the law, no one but the winner of the bet can gain a financial advantage. That means no rake for the poker hand, no fees at the door, and no seat licenses at the poker table. It also means no exorbitant fees for snacks and drinks. It must be a true game among friends.
Another rule applies. The chances of winning and losing the bet must be the same among all parties. That is, any game where a player bets against the house and a house edge exists would be illegal. Poker is thus the game that would be legal. Obviously, exceptions for luck and skill exist.
What is the legal gambling age in Texas?
To buy a lottery ticket or gamble at a bingo hall, you must be 18 or older. To make pari-mutuel wagers at race tracks and OTBs, play at a poker club, or play at the tribal casinos, you must be 21 years old. If you wish to gamble online, you must be 18 years old or older.
Texas Land-Based Casinos and Race Tracks
|Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel||Eagle Pass||Over 3,300 slot machines. Poker tables active 15 hours a day (noon to 5 am). No table games.|
|Naskila Gaming||Livingston||Over 800 slot machines and electronic games. No table games or poker tables. Has a VIP lounge.|
|Retama Park||Selma||Racebook. Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing.|
|Sam Houston Race Park||Houston||Racebook. Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing.|
|Lone Star Park||Grand Prairie||Racebook. Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing.|
|Gillespie County Fairgrounds||Fredericksburg||Racebook. Quarter Horse racing.|
|Gulf Coast Racing||Corpus Christi||Racebook.|
|Valley Race Park||Harlingen||Racebook.|
Online Gambling Texas FAQ
Is online gambling legal in Texas?
Yes. Online gambling is legal in Texas. Though Texas doesn’t regulate online gambling, it does not enforce a ban on online gambling. Texans can sign up and play for real money at offshore online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker sites. Texas law enforcement doesn’t prosecute people for gambling online in the privacy of their own homes.
Also, mobile gambling in Texas also isn’t prosecuted. Texans can download mobile casino apps, mobile sports betting apps, and mobile poker apps and gamble on the go on their mobile devices. Android gamblers and iPhone gamblers have no restrictions when they gamble at an offshore online casino.
Finally, Texans also can sign up at online sweepstakes casinos. These sites state that sweepstakes gambling is legal in 30 US states (including Texas), and allow Texans to sign up for real money play. Some of these sites, like Chumba Casino, offer slots and table games. Others allow only online slots gambling so keep that in mind.
Can I legally gamble at online casinos in Texas?
Yes. Texans can sign up at offshore online casinos without legal restrictions. While Texas doesn’t have legal and licensed online casinos, it cannot stop Texans from gambling at real money casinos that use international servers. These sites offer a full list of online casino games, including slots, table games, specialty games, and live casino games. They offer huge welcome bonuses, plus all the banking methods that Texans use and love.
Can I gamble for real money at online sportsbooks in Texas?
Yes. Texans have the option to sign up and play at offshore online sportsbooks. These bookmaker sites not only have bets on the sporting events that Texans find interesting, but they also offer live in-play betting on sporting events. They have a full range of moneyline bets, point spreads, parlay bets, teasers, pleasers, and prop bets. Most accept deposits with credit cards, web wallets, bank transfers, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. When it’s time to withdraw, some allow payouts as high as $50,000 or $100,000 a day.
Can I gamble at online poker sites in Texas?
Yes. Offshore online poker sites accept Texas card players. These sites might not have as many tournament and ring game options as PokerStars, but they do offer Texas Hold’em, Omaha Holdem, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Seven-Card Stud. They have ring games, tournaments, and sit’n go events at a wide range of bet limits. They offer poker bonuses and pay out millions of dollars each week. Most of all, Texas law enforcement doesn’t prosecute Texas online poker players.
How do I gamble online in Texas using crypto deposits?
Texas online gamblers can use a wide range of crypto banking methods to fund their accounts: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV are the main options. Offshore online gambling sites that feature casino games, poker, and sports betting all support cryptocurrency payments. These sites offer huge Bitcoin bonuses worth thousands of dollars, while offering play with Texans’ favorite casino games: slots, blackjack, video poker, craps, roulette, baccarat, specialty games, and live casino games.
How to Gamble Online in the United States