Despite an absolutely massive sports culture, sports betting is not legal in Texas.
Historically, the Lone Star State has maintained a firm stance against gaming in almost all types and although there are indications of a change, Texans shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for legal sports gambling to arrive anytime soon.
However, there are a couple exceptions. While standard sports betting is not permitted, websites providing daily fantasy sports, such as DraftKings and FanDuel are allowed to operate in the state.
Early in 2019 a state lawmaker filed a new Texas sports betting bill to allow in-person and cellular sports betting and while it looks awesome on paper, it confronts a few huge challenges. More importantly in another section.
In this guide we will take a deep dive into Texas sports betting laws to answer:
When are you going to be able to wager on sports lawfully in Texas?
What is the new Texas sports gambling bill H 1275 about?
How will people in Texas be able to wager on sports if it will become legal?
We will also delve into the questions of if it is lawful to bet on daily dream sports (DFS) at Texas and how the state’s enormous professional and college sports culture will play to the legal sports betting industry we will one day see grow from the Lone Star State.
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Texas Sports Betting Bill Filed Feb 1, 2019 (H 1275)
On February 1, 2019, Rep. Eddie Lucio III filed H 1275, the first sports betting bill in Texas since the US Supreme Court overturned the decades-old federal ban on sports gambling known as PASPA.
We are going to lay out the bill’s most important points in a minute but first let’s discuss the key reasons this bill can have difficulty passing.
First of all, it was released by a Democrat and Texas is a staunchly Republican state. Second, for the bill to pass, a referendum to amend the state constitution to add sports betting has to be held. The settlement will have to pass with a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate and be approved in a voter referendum. The oldest that can occur is November, 2019.
Here would be the bill’s most important features:
Online and mobile sports gambling in Texas will be lawful.
A maximum of five permits will be marketed. Each license will permit two online betting site skins.
Gamblers will pay a 6.25% tax, very similar to a revenue tax, on all money wagered.
If the bill and resolution to amend the constitution pass, sports gambling will be legal in Texas on January 1, 2020.
The Current Sports Betting Situation at Texas
Estimates indicate countless dollars of tax revenue could be generated from sports betting legalization which Texas would be the second-biggest sports gambling state in the nation.
Even without internet and mobile gambling, it is projected that Texans will bet $9 billion on sports yearly. A 6.25percent tax on these sales would equal more than $500 million.
The desire to access that potential earnings is butting up against a largely conservative, anti-gambling institution which will result in an interesting dynamic if this bill moves ahead.
A prevailing anti-gambling mindset is not the only hurdle this bill will have to clear. Since you’ll read about below, even if the country wanted to legalize sports betting it would still need to amend its constitution to allow for betting on sports.
All types of gaming, with the exception of this state lottery and horse and dog racing, is illegal in Texas.
There’s but one tribal casino in the entire state and it’s not permitted to provide casino table games, only slots.
The gaming laws are amazingly rigid from the Lone Star State and bookmaking is a Class A misdemeanor.
Despite sports betting being prohibited in Texas, the nation’s biggest sports team, the Dallas Cowboys, have agreed to a sponsorship arrangement with WinStar World Casino.
With the deal, the Cowboys became the first NFL team to associate with a casino.
This doesn’t mean legalization is coming shortly to Texas, no matter how the country’s flagship sports company inking a major deal with a casino company is another part of the puzzle that is coming together.
Another large element is that Texas’s neighbors such as New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma have fully fledged legalized sports betting or have bills in motion to legalize it. That means Texans will have considerable chance to take their billions of dollars and bet it out of state.
Texas Betting Laws Summary
Sports betting is currently illegal in Texas.
A sports gambling bill was released in February of 2019 which may take effect on January 1, 2020.
While sports betting is illegal, horse and dog racing are legal. The state lottery has been around since 1991.
There is one tribal casino in Texas, the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass to the Mexico border.
Daily fantasy sports gambling is lawful and DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo! all accept players from Texas.
The History of Online Sports Betting in Texas
There is no real sports gambling background in Texas. The state has enforced among the country’s strictest group of anti-gambling laws and it goes far back. Dog and horse racing are lawful in Texas, nevertheless gamblers can simply put in-person wagers. OTB betting is not permitted.
To give the present situation some context, let us look at the most pivotal moments in Texas’s gambling history:
1933 – Texas implements its very first Pari-Mutuel horse race betting.
1937 – Four years to the country’s foray into lawful horse racing that the tracks are closed down and gaming on the races is banned.
1971 – Charity gaming is exempted from anti-gambling laws. A couple of years after this judgment is overturned once more making it illegal .
1982 – Licenses for charitable gaming are legally sanctioned. This took a change to the state constitution in 1980.
1987 – Pari-mutuel horse track betting reunite thanks to a favorable effect in a state referendum. Simulcast betting from external racetracks is introduced in 1991.
1988 – Casino Cruises are available which sanction legal gambling as long as they are in international waters. Vessels depart from the Texas coast. Operations lasted for 20 years before shutting down.
1992 – A referendum passes allowing for a state lottery that includes draws and scratch-off games.
1996 — 2002: Tribal/state compacts come to a mind as bingo halls and casinos on tribal lands are closed and reopened several times. Just one tribal casino remains to date which is owned by the Kickapoo tribe just south of San Antonio near Mexico.
2013 – Lots of bills are introduced to expand gambling in the country but do not find the light of day. Plans comprised offering video lottery terminals at racetracks and eight state-licensed casinos.
Which Online Betting Sites Are Legal in Texas?
As of this moment, no internet sports betting websites are lawful. Taking a look at the present sports betting bill, nevertheless, it is apparent that the future of authorized Texas sports gambling will include online and mobile betting options.
The Lone Star state is exceptional as it only has one tribal casino, and it is situated near the Texas/Mexico border. It is a fantastic bet that this organization will try to become involved using a land-based sportsbook and an online betting app.
Other physical infrastructure as far as casinos is infrequent so we expect the majority of the actions to occur online.
Like we mentioned previously, the WinStar World Casino made an official deal with the Dallas Cowboys which can be an indicator that it is interested in entering the market.
In addition, we expect established online sports gambling sites which are already operating in other states to apply for licenses. This includes brands such as BetStars, 888sport and many more.
If legalization will happen, check this page for expert reviews on all the best online sportsbooks in Texas.
Which Sports Could You Bet Online in Texas?
Texas is one of the very sports mad states in the whole nation, with two NFL teams, three NBA teams, two MLB teams, two MLS teams, along with also an NHL team.
And that does not even tap into their huge collegiate sport footprint, with high rated teams coming from colleges such as Texas, Texas Tech, SMU, Vanderbilt, and Texas A&M.
When and if legal sports gambling comes to Texas, gamblers will be able to bet on popular North American sports and nearly anything else located anywhere in the world.
A typical menu of sports Texans will Have the Ability to wager on includes:
Football (MLS, Premier League, Champions League, La Liga, International Competitions and much more )
The Way to Bet on Sports Legally in Texas
Betting is presently extremely limited in Texas, with a single property tribal casino in the entire state and no physical sportsbooks.
The sport betting legislation that’s now in the works gives us an indication of how things will likely work in the future.
In other countries that already allow online sports betting, the process of registering for an account, depositing money and placing legal wagers is actually simple.
First read reviews of all of the best online sports betting sites in Texas, find one you like and then sign up for an account. You can usually create an account from everywhere but you have to be in Texas to actually make bets.
You’re going to have to provide some personal info and once your account is installed, you can deposit cash using tons of popular banking options. You may often get in on special welcome bonuses as well as other supplies when you deposit.
When the money is in your accounts, just discover the game that you need to wager on and place your wager.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Texas?
Players can place wagers at favorite DFS gaming websites including FanDuel and DraftKings, but there is a bit of a legal gray area in regards to whether it’s really valid or not.
While the state does not press charges against daily fantasy sites, there were unsuccessful invoices to fully legalize DFS in the past.
Both FanDuel and DraftKings take Texas players along with the country seems content with allowing this play out at a country of legal flux until it completely believes their next steps on sports gambling.
Concerning safety, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the US Gaming Commission are responsible for many DFS action so at the close of the day, funds on the websites are 100% protected.
What’s the Future of Online Sports Betting in Texas?
While a dark place for lawful gambling, Texas’s potential as far as sports gambling goes has gotten a bit brighter.
There’s still a ways to go but with the introduction of a new bill to legalize sports gambling we are starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
Estimates range, but the American Sports Betting Coalition considers legalized sports betting could inject almost $2 billion dollars to the local economy and create over 9,000 jobs. With Texans already gambling on sports and in different nations, new laws may actually have a chance of passing.
On the opposite side of the debate are groups like the General Baptist Convention of Texas that is made up of approximately three million Texans. Not only are they contrary to legal sports gambling, they want to get rid of the entire state lottery.
Rob Kohler is a lobbyist for the Baptist Convention and says the proposed tax on sports betting will hurt the weakest people in the country that the most, similar to the lottery.
“It would make a revenue tax blush with its regressivity. So, is it smart for us to fund our government with all the people that we are giving money to assist? No,” said Kohler.
However, the State lottery failed to create $1.3 billion in 2017 for the state’s education system. The taxation revenue from legal sports betting will be even larger.
Questions Remain for Legal Texas Sports Betting
Whether sports betting is eventually legalized in Texas depends on lots of different factors and no one can predict exactly how it’s likely to perform.
Our best guess is it will occur but it might not be the recent sports gambling bill which gets the work done.
But if everything goes perfectly and H 1275 passes with a change to the constitution, Texans will have the ability to get started betting on sports lawfully as early as January 1, 2020.
The sheer size of the possible industry and gains, literally tens of thousands of dollars, is the largest reason we may see this legislation fast-tracked.
Meanwhile, sports gamblers in Texas can bet on DFS, or make the trip to one of a few nearby states which are already legalizing full-length sports betting.
2019 will be a significant year for internet sportsbooks in Texas and we’ll post big developments as they occur on this page.
Additionally, browse our state by state guides to legal sports betting in the US for more information on different areas of the country.
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