Texas Online Gambling

Texas has restrictive gambling laws in keeping with most southern states. If Texas changed its laws to reflect other US gambling laws in states like Nevada or New Jersey, it would be one of the most lucrative state-level industries in the country. That isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.

Texans undoubtedly love to gamble. Lake Charles and Shreveport/Bossier City in Louisiana exist because of gaming commuters from Houston and Dallas, respectively. WinStar World Casino and Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma are some of the biggest casinos in the world because of Dallas visitors.

Texas Casino Laws

Despite that, Texans has only two legal land-based casinos: The Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino and Naskila Gaming. A third tribal casino – Speaking Rock Entertainment — seeks federal protection, but appears to be losing the legal battle. Otherwise, a ton of poker clubs exist, but state and local officials dispute the legality of those Texas gaming venues.

Several horse tracks operate in Texas, while pari-mutuel betting is legal. It would be a sin to ban horse betting in Texas. Meanwhile, dog racing is legal in Texas, but not lucrative. Only one of the four greyhound parks have live races anymore, while the rest serve as OTBs with simulcasting.

Though racebook betting is legal, sportsbook betting is another matter. They say football is religion in Texas, which makes gambling on football something akin to heresy. When a legislator introduced a fantasy sports legalization bill, Texas lawmakers voted it down. That’s traditional fantasy football — not DFS gaming through DraftKings and FanDuel.

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Quick Menu: Texas Gambling Laws > What is Legal in Texas? > Online Poker Laws > Sports Betting Legality > Casinos in Texas > Texas Poker Clubs > Texas Track Betting > Charitable Gaming > Texas Bingo

Texas State Online Gambling Laws

Of course, what’s illegal for Indian tribes and small business owners is perfectly justified for the state government, so the Texas State Lottery is a major factor in the Lone Star State. Charitable bingo halls are everywhere, while an idiosyncratic form of electronic gambling machine called an Eight-Liner or maquinada exists. If they do not give out cash prizes, 8-Liners are legal.

One law enforcement official said they pay cash prizes “everywhere”, while a professor at the University of Texas at Austin once estimated maquinadas are a $2 billion-a-year industry. As a native Texan, I can say it; Texas is weird.

Laws That Pertain to Texas Gambling

The Texas Constitution’s statutes on gambling makes specific mentions of cards, dice, ball games, and other gambling devices (wheels). It also specifically mentions a ban on sports betting or other games. More remarkable, political prop bets are banned with a specific mention in the gaming laws.

Section 47.01(1): Definition of a Bet

“Bet” means an agreement to win or lose something of value solely or partially by chance.

The definition of a bet is straightforward. If you win or lose something of value, it is a bet. If the outcome is even partially determined by chance, then you are making a bet. This leads into a discussion of what gambling is in Texas.

Section 47.02: Definition of Gambling

(a) A person commits an offense if he:

(1) makes a bet on the partial or final result of a game or contest or on the performance of a participant in a game or contest;

(2) makes a bet on the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or on the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or

(3) plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, balls, or any other gambling device.

I remember from Texas History classes that the state constitution of 1876 was written to weaken the power of the Texas governor, because governors prior to 1876 were deemed too powerful. For that reason, the Texas lieutenant governor is considered to be the real mover and shaker in the state legislature. That reminds me of the Texas Constitution’s ban on political wagers.

One has to wonder if political proposition bets were a key factor at some time in Texas’ past, because Texas gambling laws ban bets on “any political nomination, appointment, or election”. The statute further defines the law by mentioning a “nominee, appointee, or candidate”.

Section 47.05: What Constitutes Communicating Gambling Information?

(a) A person commits an offense if, with the intent to further gambling, he knowingly communicates information as to bets, betting odds, or changes in betting odds or he knowingly provides, installs, or maintains equipment for the transmission or receipt of such information.

Online gambling is specifically banned in Texas law. A great deal of language discusses someone who “communicates information” about bets and betting odds. This seems to target online sports betting information, such as providing betting lines. This law no doubt targets bookmakers and not in newspapers which print the odds in the sports page, but the broad nature of the law could be interpreted several ways.

While it takes a hardline stance against gambling in many cases, the Lone Star State is huge and you’ll find more gaming opportunities than you might expect. We have our share of Indian tribes, so Texas has an Indian casino. Also, casino cruises leave Texas ports, so a person can always book a trip to the Gulf of Mexico if they want to gamble.

Texas allows several forms of land-based gambling, though Texas online gambling is unlicensed and unregulated. Any online or mobile gambling is done at unlicensed offshore online sites. Land-based gambling takes place in poker clubs, but those might be raided by local sheriff’s departments or police officers — depending on whether local prosecutors see them as illegal.

Of course, if you visit a tribal casino in Thackerville, Durant, Shreveport, Bossier City, or Lake Charles, you’ll see so many Texans there that you’ll feel like you’re still in Texas. So yes, gambling is quite restricted in Texas, but you never know where it’ll break out.

Texas Gambling Laws

Type of Gambling – Offered/Licensed? – Notes & Restrictions
  • Online Gambling – No – No iGaming bills ever submitted.
  • Land-Based Casinos – Yes – A couple of controversial tribal casinos.
  • Charitable Gaming – Yes – Bingo halls are popular.
  • Lottery Betting – Yes – State Lottery (1991), Powerball (2010), Mega Millions (2002)
  • Minimum Gambling Age – 18 for lottery and bingo. Less than 18 for bingo if accompanied by parent. 21 for pari-mutuels and casinos.

Is Online Poker Legal in Texas?

Texas Online Poker Laws

No. Texas barely has land-based gambling, so online poker and mobile gaming are entirely off the table. Players should not expect to see Texas online gambling anytime in the near future.

Is Sports Betting / Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Texas?

No. Texas does not have legal sports betting or online daily fantasy sports gaming, either. Sports betting is a nonstarter. When the Texas state legislature discussed fantasy sports legalization in 2017 — not daily fantasy sports, but traditional fantasy sports — its lawmakers voted it down by a large margin.

If local fantasy sports leagues are considered illegal, DraftKings and FanDuel probably have a long time to wait before DFS gaming is legalized. Attorney General Ken Paxton delivered an opinion in 2015 that DFS gaming is illegal, which caused all the main DFS sites to withdraw from the Texas market.

Does Texas have land-based casinos?

Texas has two land-based casinos: Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel om Eagle Pass and Naskila Entertainment in Livingston. The Kickapoo casino is the only one on solid legal ground. Texas has three federally recognized tribes, but the Kickapoo Tribe is the only one which is authorized to own and operate a casino under provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1987-88.

Naskila Entertainment is on shakier ground. The Naskila gaming complex is owned by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, which has been fighting with local and state authorities for over a decade to win recognition. The tribe attempted to open a casino in 2002, but state authorities shut it down. Fourteen years later, it opened Naskila Entertainment, but state officials immediately filed a lawsuit to shut it down.

Since 2016, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe has been locked in a battle with the state of Texas. In 2018, Magistrate Keith Giblin ruled that the tribe could not operate its casino. When its federally recognized lands were restored in 1987, tribal officials agreed not to open a casino on the reservation. Giblin wrote in his opinion, “Until Congress can be persuaded to amend or repeal the Restoration Act, the court is obligated to abide by the plain language of the statute and the tribe must conform to the gaming laws and regulations of Texas as provided by the Restoration Act.”

The tribe vowed to continue the legal battle in the appellate court, so Naskila Entertainment remains in operation pending the appeals process.

CASINOS

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Eagle Pass Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel 794 Lucky Eagle Drive, Eagle Pass, Texas 78852-2430 (830) 758-1936 3,365 Gaming Machines, 12 Poker Tables, 230 Bingo Seats
Livingstone Naskila Entertainment 540 State Park Road 56, Livingston, Texas 77351-4502td> (936) 563-2946 365 Gaming Machines

Does Texas have poker clubs?

Texas has over a dozen poker clubs operating at any given time, but these also have a shaky legal status. In the past 3 years, law enforcement in the Dallas and Houston areas try to shut down card rooms. Often, the poker clubs devise rules and policies to work around a Texas ban on poker.

It is illegal to charge a rake on organized poker. The clubs use alternate methods such as “seat licenses” and large up-front entry fees. One charged no fee at the door, but required customers to pay large fees on food and drink. Depending on the opinion of the local sheriff’s department, these policies can be challenged.

CARD ROOMS

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Austin Ace Card House 11907 Manchaca Road, Austin, Texas 78748 (512) 975-5977 6 Poker and Gaming Tables
Austin ATX Card House 1212 West Parmer Lane, Austin, Texas 78727 (512) 382-0805 7 Poker and Gaming Tables
Austin Full House Card Room 4005 West Parmer Lane, Suite D,Austin, Texas 78727 (512) 736-5377 7 Poker and Gaming Tables
Austin Shuffle 512 6501 South Congress Avenue, No.1-104, Austin, Texas 78745 (512) 580-0355 9 Poker and Gaming Tables
Austin Texas Card House 13376 North Highway 183, Suite 605, Austin, Texas 78750 (512) 956-7195 13 Poker and Gaming Tables
Beaumont Texas Poker Club 5395 Highway 105, Beaumont, Texas 77708 (409) 860-8000 5 Poker and Gaming Tables
Galveston Vault Poker Club 2002 Strand Street, Suite 102, Galveston, Texas 77550 (409) 497-2740 6 Poker and Gaming Tables
Harker Heights River Rat Poker Club 534 East Veterans Memorial Boulevard, Harker Heights, Texas 76548 (254) 449-0871 8 Poker and Gaming Tables
Houston Ace Social Club 324 FM 1960, Suite 201, Houston, Texas 77073 (346) 236-6694 20 Poker and Gaming Tables
Houston Deuce Trey Social Club 4800 West 34th Street, Suite D-12, Houston, Texas 77092 (713) 263-1860 1 Poker Table
Houston Kings & Cards 9099 Westheimer Road, Suite K, Houston, Texas 77063 (817) 524-9780 7 Poker and Gaming Tables
Houston Lions Poker Palace 6134 Richmond Avenue, Houston, Texas 77057 (713) 789-5466 13 Poker and Gaming Tables
Houston Mint Poker 18313 Egret Bay Boulevard, Suite A, Houston, Texas 77058 (713) 999-1965 12 Poker and Gaming Tables
Houston Poker Royals 9371 Richmond Avenue, Houston, Texas 77063 (346) 335-7910 3 Poker and Gaming Tables
Houston Post Oak Poker Club 1801 Post Oak Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77056 (833) 767-8625 18 Poker and Gaming Tables
Houston Prime Social Poker Club 7801 Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas 77063 (832) 377-7770 15 Poker and Gaming Tables
Houston Steel House Poker Club 9930 North Freeway, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77037 (832) 379-3910 30 Poker and Gaming Tables
Humble The Hangar Poker House 212 North Bender Avenue, Humble, Texas 77338 (832) 777-6315 8 Poker and Gaming Tables
Midland KoJack’s Poker Club 3205 West Cuthbert, Suite B-9, Midland, Texas 79705 (432) 349-2047 8 Poker and Gaming Tables
Odessa Celebrity Card Club 4555 East University Boulevard, Suite D-1, Odessa, Texas 79762 (432) 653-9561 4 Poker and Gaming Tables
Plano VIP Poker Club 6100 K Avenue, Plano, Texas 75074 (469) 864-0217 12 Poker and Gaming Tables
Round Rock Chisholm Trail Card Club 601 Great Oaks Drive, Round Rock, Texas 78681 (512) 986-2137 3 Poker and Gaming Tables
San Antonio Abby J Card House 7271 Wurzbach, Suite 220, San Antonio, Texas 78240 (210) 616-2029 15 Poker and Gaming Tables
San Antonio Aces Poker Room 4416 Walzem Road, San Antonio, Texas 78218 (210) 369-9114 9 Poker and Gaming Tables
San Antonio Alamo Card House 2899 Northeast Interstate 410 Loop, San Antonio, Texas 78217 (210) 267-9984 15 Poker and Gaming Tables
San Antonio Champions Poker Club 8721 Botts Lane, San Antonio, Texas 78217 (210) 286-9395 4 Poker and Gaming Tables
San Antonio High Rollers Social Club 19239 Stone Oak Parkway, Unit 122, San Antonio, Texas 78258 (210) 973-6882 12 Poker Tables, 6 Gaming Tables
San Antonio Lucky Card House 3709 Colony Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78230 (210) 561-2273 4 Poker and Gaming Tables
San Antonio Rounders Card Club 14602 Huebner Road, Suite 120, San Antonio, Texas 78230 (210) 361-3325 14 Poker and Gaming Tables
San Antonio The Royal Card House of San Antonio 7616 Culebra Road, Suite 117, San Antonio, Texas 78251 (210) 837-6061 7 Poker and Gaming Tables
Spring Rounders Poker Room 250 Cypresswood Drive, Suite F, Spring, Texas 77388 (281) 353-2929 4 Poker and Gaming Tables
Tyler Tilt Poker Room 10972 County Road 140, Suite 150, Tyler, Texas 75762 (903-520-9225 14 Poker and Gaming Tables

Does Texas have casino cruises?

At least one casino cruise business exists in Texas. In Galveston, the Jacks or Better Casinos sets sail most days in good weather. Two cruises occur most days. For instance, a Wednesday schedule involves a cruise from 11:00am to 5:30pm and from 6:30pm to 12:00am. Those booking passage should know that the ship must navigate to the international boundary 3 miles out to sea, where gambling then becomes legal.

Other casino cruises have existed in Texas in the past, while others might in the future. Texas port cities like Houston, Galveston, and Corpus Christie are the likeliest places to find such a business. For now, you’ll need to go to Galveston.

CASINO CRUISE

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Galveston Jacks Or Better Casino 715 North Holiday Drive, Suite 100, Galveston, Texas 77550-3056 (409) 356-9148 N/A

Does Texas still have Eight-Liners?

Yes. Eight-liners are gaming machines found in gas stations and convenience stores in many parts of East Texas and South Texas. An 8-liner looks and acts much like a slot machine. Such machines are often in the back of the store near the cold drinks or the restrooms. They are legal (under the “Fuzzy Animal Rule” of 1993) only if they do not pay out in cash. Also, the prizes have to be worth less than $5. As a general rule, the payouts tend to be grocery items, gas refills, scratch-offs, or lottery tickets.

Despite those rules, Texas law enforcement claim that Eight-Liner businesses that pay out in cash are “universal”. Fifteen years ago, a UT professor estimated that Eight-Liners have $2 billion in turnover every year, so they are a major industry. They exist on the sufferance of local law enforcement, as raids are reported several times a year from one city or another. Owners of businesses with 8-Liners have been sent to prison for illegal payouts (see: Operation: Bishop), while local sheriffs have been prosecuted for taking bribes to look the other way.

For those who might be confused by the terms, among the Spanish speaking population of Texas, Eight-Liners are known as “maquinadas” (machines).

DOES TEXAS HAVE ANY LEGAL BETTING TRACKS/SHOPS?

Yes. Texas has four horse tracks and three dog tracks spread around the state. Grand Prairie is between Dallas and Fort Worth (adjacent to Arlington). Fredericksburg is 1-hour and 30-minutes west of Austin and 1-hour and 10-minutes north of San Antonio. Selma is on the outskirts of San Antonio. La Marque is near Galveston. Harlingen is near Brownsville on the border with Mexico (and the Gulf of Mexico).

Texas legalized pari-mutuel wagering in 1933 to raise funds for the state during the Great Depression. Governor James Allred banned pari-mutuels again in 1937, a ban which would last for 50 years. Beginning in 1960, notable gambler Virgil “Red” Berry began a long campaign to legalize pari-mutuel betting again, with four separate attempts (1962, 1968, 1974, 1978) defeated. The Baptist Church was a major opponent of such laws.

In 1987, the state legislature finally approved pari-mutuel wagers again. The Texas Racing Commission oversees four classes of licensing. Texas has three Class 1 horse tracks: Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, and Retama Park in Selma. The idea was to place one Class I track near the state’s three biggest population centers: Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

DOG TRACK RACING

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Corpus Christi Gulf Coast Racing 5302 Leopard Street, Corpus Christi, Texas 78408-2507 (361) 289-9333 Race Book
Harlingen Valley Race Park 2601 South Ed Carey Drive, Harlingen, Texas 78552-1708 (956) 412-7223 Race Book
La Marque Gulf Greyhound Park 1000 FM 2004 Road, La Marque, Texas 77568 (409) 986-9500 Race Book

HORSE TRACK RACING

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Fredericksburg Gillespie County Fairgrounds 530 Fair Drive, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624 (830) 997-2359 Race Book
Grand Prairie Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie 1000 Lone Star Parkway, Grand Prairie, Texas 75050-7941 (972) 263-7223 Race Book
Houston Sam Houston Race Park 7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West, Houston, Texas 77064-3417 (281) 807-8700 Race Book
Selma Retama Park 1 Retama Parkway, Selma, Texas 78154-3808 (210) 651-7000 Race Book

Does Texas allow off-track betting?

No. While the seven race tracks have simulcasting and off-track betting, no off-track betting facilities (with no racing) exist in the state. Pari-mutuel gamblers must go to a race track to enjoy OTB gaming.

Does Texas allow charitable gambling?

Yes. Texas is a hotbed of charitable bingo. As a native Texan, I can remember my grandmother taking me to the local VFW for its charity bingo nights. 226 of 254 counties in Texas have legalized charitable bingo. As of 2011, the state had 1,227 charitable bingo organizations. They awarded $533 million in prizes that year. The biggest legal prize amount of $750, so bingo gaming is widespread and popular.

BINGO HALLS

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Abilene Ambler Bingo 3374 Ambler Avenue, Suite A, Abilene, Texas 79603-2531 (325) 672-2700 500 Bingo Seats
Amarillo Gold Star Bingo 3506 Spade Drive, Amarillo, Texas 79104-2747 (806) 376-9603 486 Bingo Seats
Arlington Pioneer Bingo 1000 East Pioneer Parkway, Suite A, Arlington, Texas 76010-6406 (817) 860-3344 300 Bingo Seats
Austin Balcones Bingo 13096 North Highway 183, Austin, Texas 78750-3253 (512) 861-5111 546 Bingo Seats
Austin Big Star Bingo – Austin 910 West Anderson Lane, Austin, Texas 78757-1546 (512) 452-9904 350 Bingo Seats
Balch Springs Balch Springs Bingo 11903 Lake June Road, Balch Springs, Texas 75180-1377 (972) 288-1000 500 Bingo Seats
Beaumont 11th Street Bingo 2655 South 11th Street, Beaumont, Texas 77701-7605 (409) 840-5268 700 Bingo Seats
Brownsville International Bingo 1649 Resaca Village, Brownsville, Texas 78521-1408 (956) 541-2042 600 Bingo Seats
Bryan Brazos Bingo 1805 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan, Texas 77802-3453 (979) 774-7266 450 Bingo Seats
Copperas Cove Funtime Bingo 413 East Business 190, Copperas Cove, Texas 76522-2914 (254) 518-8800 220 Bingo Seats
Dallas North Buckner Bingo 3120 North Buckner Boulevard, Dallas, Texas 75228-5265 (214) 660-9988 550 Bingo Seats
Dallas Players Bingo – Dallas 928 South Buckner Boulevard, Dallas, Texas 75217-4505 (214) 398-1684 600 Bingo Seats
Denton North Texas Bingo Hall 2217 North Carroll Boulevard, Denton, Texas 76201-1833 (940) 383-3801 250 Bingo Seats
El Paso Bingo Plus 6369 Montana Avenue, El Paso, Texas 79925-2071 (915) 775-0714 300 Bingo Seats
Fort Worth Five Star Bingo 712 West Daggett Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas 76104-1123 (817) 338-0227 550 Bingo Seats
Fort Worth Town & Country Bingo 2514 Jacksboro Highway, Suite A, Town & Country Shopping Center, Fort Worth, Texas 76114-2261 (817) 625-5150 430 Bingo Seats
Garland Country Club Bingo 1416 Castle Drive, Garland, Texas 75040-5315 (972) 272-4189 450 Bingo Seats
Grand Prairie Bingo Bingo 1806 South Carrier Parkway, Suite 102, Grand Prairie, Texas 75051-3759 (972)352-2885 200 Bingo Seats
Gun Barrel City Gun Barrel Bingo 1710 West Main Street, Gun Barrel City, Texas 75156-4398 (903) 880-4101 200 Bingo Seats
Houston Family Bingo Center – Houston 641 West Crosstimbers Street, Houston, Texas 77018-5522 (713) 692-4640 700 Bingo Seats
Houston Triple Crown Bingo – Houston 10535 Jones Road, Suite 200, Houston, Texas 77065-5473 (281) 257-2769 1,000 Bingo Seats
Irving Betcha Bingo 2420 West Irving Boulevard, Suite 125, Irving, Texas 75061-4273 (214) 492-0909 200 Bingo Seats
Killeen Bingoland 452 North Roy Reynolds Drive, Killeen, Texas 76543-4258 (254) 690-1111 500 Bingo Seats
Lubbock Bingo Express II 3409 Clovis Road, Lubbock, Texas 79415 (806) 747-0864 500 Bingo Seats
Lubbock Bingo Express III 3605 North Loop 289, Lubbock, Texas 79415 (806) 744-0677 750 Bingo Seats
San Antonio Northeast Bingo 11123 North Interstate 35, Building 1, San Antonio, Texas 78233-6017 (210) 629-0330 600 Bingo Seats
Sam Antonio Southeast Bingo 1131 Southeast Military Drive, Suite 110, San Antonio, Texas 78214-2876 (210) 334-0109 650 Bingo Seats
Texarkana Super Bingo Too 1630 North Robison Road, Texarkana, Texas 75501-4114 (903) 832-7868 386 Bingo Seats
Tyler Tyler Bingo 1631 South Vine Avenue, Tyler, Texas 75701-3870 (903) 592-7437 150 Bingo Seats
Waco Buckeye Bingo 2423 Cole Avenue, Waco, Texas 76707-2849 (254) 752-3993 572 Bingo Seats

Is Social gaming allowed in Texas?

Social casinos allow Texas online players to enjoy poker or casino games at Zynga, Double Down, Big Fish, or Slotomania, but they cannot accept rewards for play. MyVegas would be illegal in Texas.

Social gaming in the form of private poker games are allowed in Texas. If you collect a rake, then your game is illegal. Several poker clubs have been raided in the past few years. Private poker games among friends seldom would be harassed.