Despite a totally enormous sports culture, sports betting isn’t legal in Texas.
Historically, the Lone Star State has maintained a firm stance against gambling in almost all forms and although there are indications of a change, Texans shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for legal sports betting to arrive anytime soon.
However, there are a couple of exceptions. While standard sports betting isn’t allowed, sites providing daily fantasy sports, for example DraftKings and FanDuel are permitted to operate in the state.
Early in 2019 a state lawmaker filed a brand new Texas sports gambling bill to allow in-person and mobile sports gambling and whether it looks awesome on paper, it faces a few huge challenges. More importantly in another section.
In this guide we will Have a deep dive into Texas sports betting laws to reply:
When are you going to be able to bet on sports legally in Texas?
What’s the new Texas sports gambling bill H 1275 all about?
How can people in Texas have the ability to bet on sports if it becomes legal?
We will also delve into the questions of if it’s legal to bet on daily fantasy sports (DFS) in Texas and how the state’s enormous professional and college sports culture will play into the legal sports betting industry we may one day see develop from the Lone Star State.
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Texas Sports Betting Bill Filed Feb 1, 2019 (H 1275)
About February 1, 2019, Rep. Eddie Lucio III registered H 1275, the first sports betting bill in Texas since the US Supreme Court overturned the decades-old national ban on sports gambling known as PASPA.
We’ll lay the bill’s most important points in a second but first let’s go over the main reasons this bill can have a hard time passing.
To start with, it had been introduced by a Democrat and Texas is a staunchly Republican state. Secondly, for the bill to pass, a referendum to amend the state constitution to add sports gambling has to be held. The settlement will have to pass by a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate and be approved in a voter referendum. The earliest that may happen is November, 2019.
Here would be the bill’s most important attributes:
Online and mobile sports betting in Texas will be lawful.
A maximum of five licenses will be marketed. Each license will allow two online betting site skins.
Gamblers will cover a 6.25% tax, similar to a sales tax, on all money payable.
In the event 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 suggest billions of dollars of tax revenue could be produced from sports gambling legalization and that Texas are the second-biggest sports betting state in the country.
Even without online and mobile betting, it is projected that Texans will bet $9 billion on sports annually. A 6.25% tax on those sales would equal over $500 million.
The desire to access that potential revenue is butting up against a largely conservative, anti-gambling institution which will make for an interesting dynamic if this bill moves ahead.
A prevailing anti-gambling mindset isn’t the only barrier that this bill is going to have to clear. As you’ll read about below, even if the country wished to legalize sports betting it’d still must amend its constitution to allow for betting on sports.
All types of gambling, with the exception of this state lottery and dog and horse racing, is illegal in Texas.
There is but one tribal casino in the whole country and it’s not permitted to provide casino table games, only slots.
The gaming laws are incredibly stiff from the Lone Star State and bookmaking is a Class A misdemeanor.
Despite sports gambling being illegal in Texas, the state’s most significant sports team, the Dallas Cowboys, have agreed to a sponsorship agreement with WinStar World Casino.
With the deal, the Cowboys became the first NFL team to partner with a casino.
This does not mean legalization is coming soon to Texas, however the state’s flagship sports franchise inking a major deal with a casino company is another portion of the puzzle that is coming together.
Another large element is that Texas’s neighbors including New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma either have fully fledged legalized sports betting or have invoices in movement to legalize it. That means Texans will have ample chance to take their billions of dollars and wager it from state.
Texas Betting Laws Summary
Sports gambling is currently illegal in Texas.
A sports betting bill was released in February of 2019 which may take effect on January 1, 2020.
While sports gambling is illegal, horse and dog racing are lawful. 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 dream sports gambling is lawful and DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo! all accept players from Texas.
The History of Online Sports Betting at Texas
There is no real sports betting background in Texas. The state has enforced among the nation’s strictest set of anti-gambling laws and it goes far back. Dog and horse racing are all legal in Texas, nevertheless gamblers can only place in-person wagers. OTB gambling is not permitted.
To give the present situation some context, let’s look at the most crucial moments in Texas’s gaming history:
1933 – Texas implements its very first Pari-Mutuel horse race gambling.
1937 – Four years into the state’s foray into lawful horse racing that the paths are shut down and gaming on the races is prohibited.
1971 – Charity gaming is exempted from anti-gambling laws. Two years later this judgment is overturned once more making it illegal .
1982 – Licenses for charitable gambling are legally sanctioned. This took a change to the state constitution in 1980.
1987 – Pari-mutuel horse track betting return thanks to some favorable result in a state referendum. Simulcast betting from external racetracks is released in 1991.
1988 – Casino Cruises are available which sanction legal gambling as long as they’re in international waters. Vessels depart from the Texas shore. Operations lasted for 20 years before shutting down.
1992 – A referendum passes permitting for a state lottery that includes pulls and scratch-off games.
1996 — 2002: Tribal/state compacts come to a head as bingo halls and casinos on tribal lands are closed and reopened several times. Just one tribal casino stays to date that’s owned by the Kickapoo tribe just south of San Antonio near Mexico.
2013 – Many 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 online sports betting websites are lawful. Taking a look at the current sports gambling bill, however, it’s apparent that the future of authorized Texas sports betting 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 business will try to become involved using a land-based sportsbook and an internet gaming program.
Other physical infrastructure so far as casinos is scarce so we expect the majority of the action to happen online.
Like we mentioned before, the WinStar World Casino made an official deal with the Dallas Cowboys which may be an indicator that it is interested in entering the market.
In addition, we expect established online sports gambling sites that are already working in other states to apply for permits. This includes brands like BetStars, 888sport and a lot more.
If legalization does happen, check this page for expert reviews on all of the best online sportsbooks in Texas.
Which Sports Can You Bet on Online in Texas?
Texas is among the very sports mad states in the whole nation, with just 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, together with top rated teams coming from schools such as Texas, Texas Tech, SMU, Vanderbilt, and Texas A&M.
If and when legal sports gambling comes to Texas, gamblers will have the ability to bet on favorite North American sports and pretty much anything else found anywhere in the world.
A Normal menu of sport Texans will be able to bet on includes:
Football (MLS, Premier League, Champions League, La Liga, International Competitions and more)
How to Bet on Sports Legally in Texas
Gambling is currently extremely limited in Texas, with a single property tribal casino in the whole state and no physical sportsbooks.
The sport betting legislation that’s now in the works gives us a sign of how things will likely work in the future.
In other countries that currently allow online sports gambling, the practice of signing up for an account, depositing money and placing legal wagers is really simple.
First browse reviews of all the best online sports betting sites in Texas, find one you enjoy and then sign up for an account. You can usually create an account from everywhere but you must be in Texas to actually make stakes.
You’re going to have to supply some personal info and once your account is installed, you can deposit money using lots of popular banking choices. You can frequently get in on particular welcome bonuses as well as other supplies when you deposit.
When the cash is on your accounts, just discover the sport you need to wager on and put your wager.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Texas?
Players can place wagers at popular DFS betting sites including FanDuel and DraftKings, however there is a bit of a legal gray area in regards to if it’s really valid or not.
While the state doesn’t press charges against daily dream websites, there have been unsuccessful bills to fully legalize DFS previously.
The two FanDuel and DraftKings take Texas players and the country seems content with allowing this play out in a country of legal flux until it completely considers their next steps on sports gambling.
In terms of safety, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the US Gambling Commission are responsible for all DFS action so at the end of the afternoon, funds on the websites are 100% protected.
What’s the Future of Online Sports Betting at Texas?
While historically a dark place for lawful gambling, Texas’s potential so far as sports betting goes has gotten a bit brighter.
There’s still a ways to go but with the debut 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 into the local economy and create over 9,000 jobs. With Texans already gambling on sports and in other nations, new laws may really have a chance of death.
On the opposite side of the argument are groups such as the General Baptist Convention of Texas which is made up of roughly three million Texans. Not only are they against legal sports gambling, they want to eliminate the entire state lottery.
Rob Kohler is a lobbyist for the Baptist Convention and says the proposed tax on sports gambling will hurt the weakest people in the state that the most, like the lottery.
“It’d create a revenue tax blush with its regressivity. So, is it smart for us to finance our government together with all the people that we are giving money to help? No,” said Kohler.
However, the State lottery did generate $1.3 billion in 2017 for the state’s education system. The tax revenue from legal sports gambling will be even larger.
Questions Stay for Legal Texas Sports Betting
Whether sports betting is finally legalized in Texas depends on lots of different factors and no one can predict exactly how it’s going to play out.
Our very best guess is that it will happen but it may not be the recent sports gambling bill which gets the work done.
But if all goes perfectly and H 1275 passes with an amendment to the state constitution, Texans would be able to start betting on sports lawfully as early as January 1, 2020.
The sheer dimensions of the potential sector and gains, literally billions of dollars, is the largest reason we might see this laws fast-tracked.
Meanwhile, sports bettors in Texas can gamble on DFS, or make the trip to one of a few nearby states which are already legalizing full-on sports gambling.
2019 will be an important year for online sportsbooks in Texas and we’re going to post major developments as they happen on this particular page.
Additionally, browse our country by state guides to legal sports betting in the US for more info on different parts of the country.
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