Mobile & Online Sports Betting Allowed: Online Sports Betting Available In TX Via Offshore Sportsbooks
- Domestic Texas Sportsbooks Not Available At This Time
- Legislative Movement Toward Legal Sports Betting: Yes
What's the hold up in Texas?:
Texas has repeatedly presented sports betting bills in order to legalize domestic sports betting since the passing of the Supreme Court decision leaving this up to the states.
The latest was HB1121, which was introduced on Jan 14, 2021. Lawmakers in Texas are certainly considering the possibility and it appears it is only a matter of time.
In the meantime, sports bettors can use any number of authorized international sports betting apps to make sports bets.
Here are some of the approved offshore sportsbooks available to Texas residents:
Online Sports Betting Apps & Sites:
Sports bettors in Texas can place bets online at Bovada Sportsbook without violating any domestic gambling laws (unlike in California). It's good to be in the lonestar state. No state income tax, and the ability to use Bovada legally.
Bovada operates legally within the industry under the credentials of its parent company, Bodog. There are no state or federal laws that prohibit Texans from placing bets at Bovada.
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What is the regulatory environment around sports betting and gambling like in Texas?:
In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association [PDF] struck down the federal ban on sports gambling, giving the power to the states to decide whether or not they want to legalize it. In an opinion issued in 2016, the Texas Attorney General stated that he believes paid daily sport fantasy leagues are considered illegal gambling under Texas law, while the "traditional " season-long fantasy leagues may be lawful in certain circumstances.
Below you will find references to areas of the Texas and federal law related to sports gambling. If you find these statutes difficult to understand, please see the Recent News resources below for a more "plain English" discussions of these laws.
- Article 3, Section 47 of the Texas ConstitutionThis section of the Texas Constitution requires the Legislature to pass laws prohibiting "lotteries and gift enterprises”, providing exceptions for charitable bingo, state lotteries and charitable raffles.
- Texas Penal Code, Chapter 47State law that describes criminal offenses related to gambling.
- Chapter 53, Subchapter IV in Title 31 of the U.S. CodeFederal law regulating online gambling. Also referred to as the Federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.
- Bingo, Raffles, Gaming Rooms and Other Gambling Issues Under Texas Law [PDF]A 2019 publication created by the Texas Association of Counties addressing certain exceptions to the general prohibition against gambling including game rooms, eight-liners, bingo and fantasy sports. It also discusses Texas counties' authority to regulate businesses that offer these services.
- The Supreme Court ruled that states can legalize sports gambling. But Texas still might not play.A 2018 article from the Texas Tribune discussing the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow states to legalize sports gambling and its possible effect on Texas law.
Physical Locations Where you can Make Sports Bets in Texas:
Despite being the second most populated state in the country and having plenty of interested bettors, physical locations to place bets are virtually non-existent throughout the large state.
Bettors that live close to the borders often visit neighboring states to fulfill their gambling needs. Those that are located inland often use internet gambling at offshore sportsbooks or casinos to place wagers and enjoy the opportunity to gamble. Texas residents are forced to look out of state to make the bets they want to make.
Texas has exactly one tribal casino, and that is the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass, Texas. Located near the border to Mexico in the Southwest corner of the state, this casino isn't a viable option for most of the state's residents, but does offer standard casino gaming to those willing to make the trip.
Horse racing and dog racing are both legal in Texas, although open tracks are few and far between. The popularity of live racing in Texas is falling due to the state's inability to attract top horses. This is in part due to the fact that tracks in nearby states offer casino options at their race tracks to help build purses which Texas does not.
So, if you're a sports bettor in Texas, it could be worse. You have a variety of options online to legally use for sports betting needs. And new bills continue to circulate moving towards full legalization.
It's only a matter of time, as the state will realize how much revenue they are missing out on from taxing sports gambling establishments.
We'll keep you updated here on new developments.
In the meantime, get prepared for full legalization with our comprehensive newsletter on sports betting tips, news, strategies and more.
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