Texas Online Casinos and Gambling Sites in 2024

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Gambling in Texas

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Similar to several U.S. states, Texas has yet to address the topic of online gambling through its laws. Consequently, Texans have turned to online platforms to engage in sports, poker, and casino gambling.

As laws surrounding online wagering remain ambiguous, Texans can freely enjoy online gambling with real money without any concerns. This guide offers full information on Texas gambling laws, potential legalization, and where to gamble in the state.

Summary of Texas Gambling Laws

Texas has many forms of gambling: land-based casinos, horse racing, state lotteries, bingo halls, and poker rooms.

While online wagering is yet to be embraced by Texas lawmakers, there is legislation pending that would allow voters to decide whether online sports betting would be allowed in the state. And tribal casinos are seeking laws that would lead to more types of games in land-based casinos.

Here are the most important highlights of what gambling in Texas looks like:

Gambling Texas
Is Gambling Legal? Yes
Playing at Online Casinos Yes. Sites regulated outside of Texas only
Legal Age Online 18+
Land-Based Casinos Tribal Only
Legal Age Land-Based 21+
Sports Betting Pending
Charitable Gambling Yes
State Lottery Yes
Social Gaming Yes

Yes, gambling is legal in many forms in Texas. The table below covers a summary of the current laws for land-based and online casinos, sports betting, and other forms of gambling, as per Chapter 47 of the Texas Statutes Penal Code.

Gambling Texas Legal Status
Online Casinos The law does not mention Internet or online gambling. Online casinos are not permitted to operate from within Texas.

Still, Texans can sign up at online casinos regulated in another jurisdiction and play without worry.

Sports Betting While sports betting falls under the definition of illegal gambling bets in Texas, out-of-state online operations are available, and players are not charged or prosecuted for betting online.
Land-Based Casino Texas features three Tribal casinos with limited gaming options.
Poker Private poker games are allowed so long as the house does not take a rake or percentage of each deal’s pot. Card rooms exist but are established in a legal gray area.
Horse Racing Betting Pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing is legal in Texas. It runs at three licensed tracks and various fairs and events.
Dog Racing Betting Dog racing remains legal in Texas, but as of early 2023 did not have an operational venue.
Lottery Participating in the state-sponsored lottery in Texas, including multistate jackpot games, is legal.
Daily Fantasy Sports Daily fantasy sports are available in Texas. Their legality is questionable, but online operations serve state residents.
Charitable Gaming Charitable gambling is legally offered by nonprofit organizations that receive state licensing. These include casino and poker nights.
Social Gambling Social gambling is strictly regulated in Texas. Bingo and raffles are allowed if an eligible nonprofit organization is granted an official license.

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Where to Gamble in Texas

Texans have various options available if they desire to test their luck and enjoy themselves. The Internet provides numerous gambling opportunities, enabling individuals from the Lone Star State to engage with a multitude of virtual casinos and betting platforms.

Additionally, we will discuss the primary gambling destinations within the state and explore the diverse methods of in-person wagering.

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Land-Based Casinos in Texas

Texas has three Native American-owned land-based casinos that offer Class II bingo slot machines.

While Texas’s safest online gambling sites accept players, the following three locations are the only live-casino action in the Lone Star State:

Casino Address Region
Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel 794 Lucky Eagle Drive
Eagle Pass, Texas 78852
Rio Grande Valley
Naskila Gaming 540 State Park Road 56
Livingston, Texas 77351
East Texas
Speaking Rock Entertainment Center (bingo) 5122 S Old Pueblo Road
El Paso, Texas 79907
West Texas/El Paso

 

Bettors looking for casino action in Texas have limited options. The gambling halls are making legal bids to offer more choices for their players. You may not find your favorite slot or game.

The Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass in southwest Texas also hosts a poker room. The other casinos are Speaking Rock Entertainment Center in El Paso and Naskila Gaming in Livingston in east Texas.

The tribal operations have pressed the state to negotiate gaming compacts allowing for more casino games, but that legislation was pending in 2023.

A bill to open up legalized casino gambling in the state with “destination resorts” in the state’s four major metropolitan areas advanced in 2023 and was awaiting further action. The law would require a constitutional amendment and approval of voters.

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Horse & Dog Tracks

The state has three horse tracks with pari-mutuel betting: Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie near Dallas, Retama Park in Selma near San Antonio, and Sam Houston Race Park in Houston.

The race courses host seasonal thoroughbred and quarter-horse meets and simulcast betting on tracks nationwide.

Dog tracks at Gulf Coast Racing in Corpus Christi and Valley Race Park in Harlingen are licensed but not in operation.

In 2023, lawmakers offered legislation to allow casinos at the race tracks but did not pass it.

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Texas Online Sports Betting

There are no sportsbooks regulated and run in the state. To bet on sports in Texas, you can join offshore online sportsbooks.

Texas still needs to regulate in-state sportsbooks. Many key players, including lawmakers and the state’s sports teams, have backed bills to bring regulated betting to the Lone Star State. So far, they’ve had no luck.

The latest effort was in 2023 when a bill that would legalize mobile-only sports betting stalled in the legislature. It would require voters to make the final decision on whether to amend the state constitution.

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Bingo Halls / Charitable Gambling

Texas is a hotbed of charitable gambling, with more than 1,400 licensed bingo halls statewide.

Bingo and raffles generate around $1.2 billion for various charities every year.

Texans flock to bingo halls across the state to win prizes as high as the legal limit of $750.

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Social Gambling at Home

Social gaming in the form of private poker games is allowed in Texas.

If you host a game and collect a rake – a percentage of each hand’s pot – then your game is illegal.

While players at private games with smaller pots need not worry, several poker clubs have been raided in recent years.

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Poker Rooms and Clubs

Dozens of poker clubs operate in the state. Texans can also play poker online without legal worries at many licensed offshore poker rooms.

Collecting a rake is illegal at poker games in Texas. Still, the land-based clubs make their money by charging a membership or seat fee. Many officials see this as skirting the law, and the houses are constantly under scrutiny by law enforcement.

Raids in poker rooms are common. They have tried to pass laws to allow poker rooms as private games under the legal definition of social gaming.

They have also tried moving the decision to the local level. These efforts are pending in the legislature.

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Gas Stations & Convenience Stores

You can play slot-like machines called eight-liners and skill games in many gas stations and convenience stores around the state.

These games dot the Texas landscape and are also a source of contention as to legality.

The machines can legally offer non-cash prizes of less than $5, such as grocery items, gas refills, scratch-offs, or lottery tickets. But the devices have also appeared in game rooms where kids gather.

A 2022 opinion of a Texas appeals court deemed eight-liners illegal under the state constitution, and the opinion put the machines in a legal limbo that would be solved only by a Texas Supreme Court ruling or a constitutional amendment.

Local governments have scrambled to make laws of their own regarding the machines, and as of 2023, eight-liners were still running.

a green roulette wheel icon

Casino Cruises

As of 2023, no. However, large cruise lines operate out of Galveston and offer casinos onboard.

Casino cruises have existed in Texas in the past, while others might come in the future. Texas port cities like Galveston and Corpus Christie are the likeliest places to find these businesses.

Real Money Online Casino Games for Texas Residents

The top online casino sites have an excellent variety of games for any casino player. They are all accessible to Texas residents and promise lots of fun.

Here are the casino games Texans can find:

Since Texans cannot find traditional slots at land-based casinos within the state, online is the best and most convenient source.

Slots are popular at online casinos and make up the majority of games. These slots run like slots at Texas land-based casinos with random number generators, and they are checked regularly for fairness.

While there are plenty of land-based poker rooms in Texas, low-limit online games are a great practice arena for players. There are many reputable online poker rooms available to Texans.

Of course, Texas Hold ’em is the popular game at online sites, but you can also find various Omaha and stud games.

Look for plenty of tournaments and zone games at these sites. Some of them even host qualifiers for World Series of Poker events. The best online poker rooms are licensed and known for quick and hassle-free cashouts.

The most popular game at Las Vegas-type brick-and-mortar casinos is also at most Texas online casinos. Most of these games are not set up to allow card counting, but many have multi-hand tables and are an excellent way to test your play and betting strategies.

Texans can find various forms of blackjack, including games that offer side bets for bonus wins on special cards. The games generally pay the standard 3:2 for blackjack, but they vary.

The betting ranges are usually smaller than land-based casinos, carrying the same high return to player (RTP) as any casino. Blackjack is another game you won’t find at the tribal casinos in Texas.

If you like the atmosphere of a Vegas-type casino but want to stay home, live dealer games at online casinos are the closest thing to being there.

These are studio setups with real dealers and other players that you can chat with. Play blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and other games you will find on any traditional casino floor but won’t find at Texas casinos.

The bet limits are more like land-based casinos, and the dealers accept tips.

Other Available Games at Online Casinos in Texas

Online casinos offer various games, including Keno and lottery-type games, such as scratch-offs. Most real-money online casinos in Texas host single & double-zero roulette, video poker, and some even offer craps.

All the games have RTPs as good as you will find in any setting.

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Texas Online Gambling Laws

With some exceptions, gambling is illegal in Texas. The only forms of gambling that are undoubtedly legal in the state are games within tribal casinos, the state lottery, pari-mutuel betting at race tracks, and charitable bingo.

Texas law does not cover online gambling other than prohibiting establishing an online gambling operation within the state.

Because state laws do not address internet wagering, Texans can participate in online gambling games at sites outside of the state or offshore.

green playing cards, poker chips, and a dice

The answer is a combination of yes and no. The U.S. Supreme Court has essentially made it up to each state to determine, and Texas has not legally addressed online gambling yet.

It is currently illegal to base an online gambling company in Texas. However, until laws directly address online gambling in the state, Texas residents can legally access and play real money games at “offshore” sites that are licensed outside of the US.

In 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1992 law that barred state-authorized sports gambling. The ruling allowed states to decide on sports gambling, and since then, more than 30 states have legalized some form of sports betting, in-person or online.

Texas is yet to follow this trend, but legislators in 2023 introduced a bill to allow online sports betting. Another bill would force the governor to negotiate gaming compacts with Native American tribes. That bill could also lead to online gambling.

Legislators in 2023 introduced a bill to allow online sports betting. Another bill would force the governor to negotiate gaming compacts with Native American tribes. That bill could also lead to online gambling.

a pile of green poker chips with an X through the middle

In Texas, the Law Generally Prohibits Gambling

Gambling is defined as making a wager on the outcome of an event or the performance of people participating in the event. This can be the outcome of an athletic contest, political vote, appointment, or the degree of success of a political figure.

Gambling also encompasses betting money or other things of value at games played with cards, dice, balls, or any other gambling device.

The exceptions: It is OK to gamble in a private place when no one receives any profit other than personal winnings. And when except for the advantage of skill or luck, the risks of losing and the chances of winning are the same for all participants. (Section 47.02 of the Texas Penal Code.)

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Gambling Promotion

It is against Texas law to gain from the earnings of a gambling place, engage in bookmaking, sell chances on outcomes, or run a private lottery. (Section 47.03 Texas Penal Code)

icon double down green

Keeping a Gambling Place

It is illegal to own, rent, lease, or control a property used as a for-profit gambling place. (Section 47.04 Texas Penal Code)

Two green speech bubbles icon

Communicating Gambling Information

It is against the law to share information on unlawful wagering, betting odds, or changes in betting odds or using equipment for transmitting such information. (Section 47.05 Texas Penal Code)

Exceptions: Race tracks can host simulcast betting and other race-related odds information. (Chapter 2027, Occupations Code)

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Possession of Gambling Equipment

In Texas, you cannot own, make, transfer, or possesses any gambling device that is used illegally or parts for such a device.

Exceptions: You can have a gambling device in a private place where the gambler receives no more than personal winnings, and the chances of winning are the same for everyone. (Section 47.06 Texas Penal Code)

two poker chips atop one another

Online Casinos in Texas

Texas law does not speak specifically to online gambling. But it does expressly prohibit gambling or hosting for-profit unlicensed gambling operations in the state. That has been interpreted to cover online gambling.

In short, setting up an online gambling business inside Texas is illegal. That would cover online casinos, sportsbooks, or poker sites.

Under Chapter 47 of the Texas Penal Code, any online gambling operation based in Texas would be considered a Class A Misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.

Disclaimer

Please be advised that the information provided on this page does not constitute legal advice. Our team strongly recommends you seek professional counsel from a qualified attorney regarding your specific questions or concerns on the topic.

Texas Online Gambling vs. Neighbor States

Here’s how the state of Texas compares to other states in its region in the legal status of various types of gambling.

US State Playing at Online Casinos State Regulated Casinos  Social & Sweepstakes Casinos Online Sports Betting Lottery Daily Fantasy Sports Charitable Gaming
Texas Legal Not Legal Legal Pending Legislation Legal Gray Area Legal
New Mexico Legal Not Legal Legal Pending Legislation Legal Gray Area Legal
Oklahoma  Legal Not Legal  Legal Not Legal  Legal Pending Legislation  Legal
Arizona  Legal Not Legal  Legal  Legal  Legal Not Legal  Legal
Louisiana  Legal Not Legal  Legal  Legal  Legal  Legal  Legal

Texas is generally more strict about wagering than others in the region. But most of these states have either approved online sports betting or have introduced legislation to make sports betting legal.

Also, many Texans cross the border into Oklahoma and Louisiana to find land-based casinos with more Las Vegas-type games.

None of these states allow online casinos to be based within their borders.

Learn More About Online Gambling in the USA

Tips When Playing at Online Casinos in Texas Safely

As with anything on the internet, you have to be careful about the online casinos you pick. Too many offshore online casinos are not worth your time and money.

Here are tips on finding the right online casinos that our expert team always follows:

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Find a Reputable Site

You want a popular casino with a good reputation with players and reviewers.

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Look for a Security Guarantee

Some casino sites have a security seal of approval or at least 64-bit secure socket layering (SSL) encryption that keeps your money and information safe.

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Consider Licensing

A good casino is licensed under a jurisdiction that demands specific standards.

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Seek Transparency

The more an online casino tells you about its background, game creators, RTPs, and rules, the better. 

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Read Forums

Your fellow players will tell you about a casino’s good and bad aspects. But don’t be misled by angry people who simply want to vent.

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Look for Responsible-Gaming Advice

The best casinos have a section about responsible gaming, with some sites offering advice and tools to keep your gambling in check.

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Review Deposit and Withdrawal Options

Too many casinos make it easy to deposit money but hard to withdraw, so check for various options that include cryptocurrency. 

Pros & Cons of Gambling in Texas

While Texas may have stringent laws regarding gambling, the current legislation still offers convenient options for Texans who wish to gamble online or in person.

Here are some drawbacks and benefits you need to consider when gambling in Texas:

Pros

  • Access to out-of-state online casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks
  • They are actively legislating for more access
  • Horse tracks, dog races, and bingo are available
  • Over a dozen poker clubs around the state
  • 1,400+ licensed bingo halls statewide

Cons

  • Land-based tribal casinos are few and far between
  • Online sports betting and state-regulated casinos are unavailable
  • No gambling cruises

Future of Online Gambling in Texas: Our Prediction

With the many legal disputes and the willingness of Texans to gamble, the wagering laws in the state are in dire need of reform.

It is just a matter of time before its legislators realize the monetary benefits the state can gain from state-controlled gambling. If you are from the Lone Star State and interested in gambling, keep up with the news from Austin and let your representatives know how you feel.

As far as online gambling is concerned, the first significant change would probably come with the legalization of online sports betting. But the next legislative session is not until 2025, and the procedure will likely involve a public vote and an amendment to the state constitution.

In the meantime, online gambling is legal for bettors in Texas because state laws do not specifically address online gambling. And it is against Texas law to host an online gambling operation within the state.

So, to gamble online, Texans must access online gambling sites based outside the state. Take a look at our recommended online casinos and pick the one you like the most!

Texas Online Gambling FAQs

Here are some common questions about gambling in Texas:

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