Despite an absolutely enormous sports culture, sports betting is not legal in Texas.
Historically, the Lone Star State has maintained a firm stance against gaming in virtually all forms and though there are indications of a change, Texans shouldn’t hold their breath awaiting lawful sports gambling to arrive anytime soon.
However, there are a couple of exceptions. While standard sports gambling isn’t permitted, websites providing daily fantasy sports, such as DraftKings and FanDuel are permitted to function in the nation.
Early in 2019 a state lawmaker registered a new Texas sports betting bill to allow in-person and mobile sports gambling and whether it looks awesome on paper, it confronts a couple of big challenges. More on that in another section.
In this guide we will take a deep dive into Texas sports betting laws to reply:
When will you be able to wager on sports legally in Texas?
What is the new Texas sports betting bill H 1275 about?
How will people in Texas be able to wager on sports when it becomes legal?
We will also delve into the questions of whether it is lawful to bet on daily dream sports (DFS) at Texas and how the nation’s enormous professional and college sports culture will play into the legal sports betting industry we will one day see develop in 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 gambling bill in Texas since the US Supreme Court overturned the decades-old federal ban on sports gambling known as PASPA.
We’ll lay the bill’s main points in a second but first let’s discuss the main reasons this bill may have difficulty passing.
To start with, it had been introduced 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 gambling must be held. The resolution will have to pass by a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate and be approved in a voter referendum. The earliest that can occur is November, 2019.
Here would be the bill’s most important features:
Online and mobile sports gambling in Texas will be legal.
A maximum of five permits will be sold. Each license will permit two online betting site skins.
Gamblers will pay 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 lawful in Texas on January 1, 2020.
The Current Sports Betting Situation at Texas
Estimates suggest countless dollars of tax revenue could be generated from sports gambling legalization and that Texas are the second-biggest sports gambling state in the nation.
Even without internet and mobile betting, it’s estimated that Texans will bet $9 billion on sports annually. A 6.25% tax on these sales would equal over $500 million.
The urge to get that potential revenue is butting up against a largely conservative, anti-gambling establishment which will result in an interesting dynamic if this bill goes forward.
A prevailing anti-gambling attitude is not the only barrier that this invoice will have to clean. As you’ll read about below, even if the country wished to legalize sports betting it’d still must amend its constitution to permit for betting on sports.
All sorts of gambling, with the exclusion of this state lottery and dog and horse racing, is illegal in Texas.
There’s only one tribal casino in the entire country and it isn’t permitted to offer casino table games, just slots.
The gaming laws are incredibly rigid from the Lone Star State and bookmaking is a Class A misdemeanor.
Despite sports betting being illegal in Texas, the state’s biggest 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 associate with a casino.
This does not mean legalization is coming soon to Texas, no matter how the country’s flagship sports franchise inking a major deal with a casino business is another part of the puzzle that’s coming together.
Another big factor is that Texas’s neighbors such as New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma either have fully fledged legalized sports betting or have invoices in movement to legalize it. Meaning Texans will have ample opportunity to take their billions of dollars and bet it from state.
Texas Betting Laws Summary
Sports betting is illegal in Texas.
A sports betting bill was introduced in February of 2019 which may take effect on January 1, 2020.
While sports betting is illegal, dog and horse 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 legal and DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo! all accept players from Texas.
The History of Online Sports Betting at Texas
There’s no actual sports betting history in Texas. The nation has enforced among the nation’s strictest group of anti-gambling laws and it goes far back. Dog and horse racing are all lawful in Texas, however gamblers can only put in-person wagers. OTB betting is not allowed.
To give the present scenario some context, let us 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 to the country’s foray into legal horse racing that the paths are closed down and gambling on the races is banned.
1971 – Charity gambling is exempted from anti-gambling legislation. Two years later this judgment is overturned once more making it illegal .
1982 – Licenses for charitable gaming are legally sanctioned. This required a change to the state constitution in 1980.
1987 – Pari-mutuel horse track betting reunite thanks to some positive result in a state referendum. Simulcast betting from external racetracks is introduced in 1991.
1988 – Casino Cruises are available which sanction legal gambling so 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 which includes draws 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. Only one tribal casino remains to date which is possessed by the Kickapoo tribe just south of San Antonio near Mexico.
2013 – Lots of bills are introduced to expand gambling in the state but don’t see the light of day. Plans included 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 gambling sites are legal. Taking a look at the current sports betting bill, however, it’s clear that the future of legal Texas sports betting will incorporate online and mobile betting options.
The Lone Star state is unique as it just has one tribal casino, and it’s located near the Texas/Mexico border. It is a good bet that this business will attempt to become involved using a land-based sportsbook and an internet gaming program.
Other physical infrastructure as far as casinos is infrequent so we anticipate nearly all the actions 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’s considering entering the market.
In addition, we expect based online sports gambling sites which are already working in different nations to apply for licenses. This includes brands such as 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 Online in Texas?
Texas is among the most sports crazy states in the whole country, 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, with top ranked teams coming from schools such as Texas, Texas Tech, SMU, Vanderbilt, and Texas A&M.
If and when legal sports betting comes to Texas, gamblers will have the ability to bet on popular North American sport and nearly anything else located anywhere on the planet.
A typical menu of sports Texans will be able to bet on includes:
Soccer (MLS, Premier League, Champions League, La Liga, International Competitions and more)
The Way to Bet on Sports Legally in Texas
Gambling is presently extremely limited in Texas, with one property tribal casino in the entire state and no physical sportsbooks.
The sport gambling legislation that’s now in the works gives us an indication of how things will likely work later on.
In other countries that already allow online sports gambling, the practice of registering for an account, depositing money and placing legal wagers is really simple.
First read reviews of all of the best online sports gambling sites in Texas, find one you like and then sign up for an account. You can usually make an account from everywhere but you have to be in Texas to really make stakes.
You’ll have to supply some personal info and after your account is set up, you can deposit money using tons of popular banking options. You can frequently get in on special welcome bonuses and other supplies when you deposit.
When the cash is on your account, just find the sport that you need to bet on and put your bet.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Texas?
Players may place wagers at favorite DFS betting sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings, but there is a small legal grey area in regards to if it is actually legal or not.
While the state doesn’t press charges against everyday dream sites, there have been unsuccessful bills to fully legalize DFS in the past.
The two FanDuel and DraftKings accept Texas players along with the state seems content with allowing this play out in a state of legal flux until it fully believes their next steps on sports gambling.
In terms of safety, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the US Gaming Commission are responsible for many DFS action so at the end of the day, funds on the websites are 100% secure.
What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting in Texas?
While a dark place for lawful gambling, Texas’s potential so far as sports gambling goes has gotten a bit brighter.
There’s still a ways to go but with the debut of a new bill to legalize sports betting we’re beginning 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 market and produce over 9,000 jobs. With Texans already gambling on sports illegally and in other states, new laws may actually have a chance of death.
On the other side of the debate 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 get rid of the whole state lottery.
Rob Kohler is a lobbyist for the Baptist Convention and says the proposed tax on sports gambling will hurt the poorest people in the state that the most, like the lottery.
“It’d make a revenue tax blush with its regressivity. So, can it be smart for people to fund our government with all the folks that we are giving money to assist? No,” said Kohler.
However, the State lottery failed to generate $1.3 billion in 2017 for the nation’s education system. The taxation revenue from legal sports betting will be even larger.
Questions Stay for Legal Texas Sports Betting
Whether sports betting is eventually legalized in Texas depends upon plenty of different factors and no one can predict exactly how it’s going to perform.
Our very best guess is that it is going to happen but it might not be the current sports betting bill that gets the job done.
However, if everything goes perfectly and H 1275 passes with an amendment to the constitution, Texans would be able to get started gambling on sports legally as early as January 1, 2020.
The sheer dimensions of the potential sector and gains, literally billions of dollars, is the biggest reason we may observe this laws fast-tracked.
Meanwhile, sports bettors in Texas can gamble on DFS, or make the trip to one of a couple of nearby states which are already legalizing full-length sports betting.
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.
Also, browse our country by state guides to legal sports gambling in the united states for more info on other parts of the country.
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