Casinos for you
Land Based GamblingAllowed in Casino, Poker, Bingo, Lottery, Horse Racing Online GamblingProhibited Min Age18-21 Number of Land Based Casinos1 Number of Poker Rooms1 Number of Indian Casinos1 Popular Land Based CasinosKickapoo, Lucky Eagle Casino Pari-MutuelNo Smoking BanNone Estimated Tax Revenue from Gambling$1.2B Estimated Gambling Revenue$4.6B
Land Based Gambling
Regulated Since: 1996
Gambling Age: 21
Regulated Since: 1996
Gambling Age: 21
Regulated Since: 1982
Gambling Age: 18
Regulated Since: 1991
Gambling Age: 18
Regulated Since: 1987
Gambling Age: 21
Online Sports Betting
Despite being the biggest state in America, gambling is not widely practised. Casino gambling is practically non-existent in the region and most betting is done on horseraces, the lottery, or on charitable bingo games. Gambling does, however, manage to rack up a decent income in the state despite its limitations, with revenues of close to $5,000,000,000, with a little over $1,000,000,000 generated on taxes.
The first regulated games in Texas were licensed bingo options, which are now legally offered by charitable organisations across the region. This form of gaming traces back to 1980 when it was first legalised.
Horseracing is probably one of the oldest betting outlets for Texans, as the sport was in existence before Texas was even a state, but regulation and legal issues forced a shutdown to the industry. It wasn’t until 1987 that race betting on both horses and greyhounds became legally regulated. It is said that the legalisation of the market was done to prevent residents from taking their money to neighbouring states that offered race betting. Race betting is a thriving business in TX, more so than in any of the neighbouring states around it. This is probably because there is no competition in Texas from casino operators.
The lottery was legalised by the voters in 1991 and saw the first tickets sold in May the following year. Players have a choice of two ticket types, including normal draw tickets and instant win scratch-off tickets. When it comes to live draws, gamblers are spoiled for choice, with several in-state lotto draws as well as the interstate lottery options, such as Mega Millions and Powerball.
Casino gambling is only offered at one casino in the state. The casino is under the ownership of the Kickapoo tribe that offers gambling through a gaming compact formed with the state in 1996 under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. It offers games such as slots, video poker, electronic tables, and a poker room. Unfortunately, no table games are allowed. The Kickapoo tribe was, however, not the first Native American tribe to offer casino gaming in the state. Betting establishments run by the Tigua Indians and Alabama-Coushatta were closed by the government for operating illegally without compacts. There is fierce competition for casino gambling in this region of the USA, as every bordering state offers casino gambling in some form or another.
Both Sports Betting and Daily Fantasy Sports are illegal in Texas, however, the latter still runs in the state without regulation through leagues such as FanDuel and DraftKings. The laws are about to change in the industry to allow for regulated gaming.
Within the Texan gambling climate, all forms of gambling are illegal unless specifically legalised by the voters and signed into law by the Governor. While outlawed, the penalties for unlawful gambling are small and are treated as misdemeanour crimes under federal law. Each gaming option within the state comes with a specific set of rules, which we will summarise hereunder.
• Horse and Greyhound Betting: There are 6 regulated racetracks in Texas that host either horse or dog races. Betting on such events can be done both at the track, or off-site via mobile app. This means that off-site race betting is the only legalised form of online gambling in the state of Texas. When placing bets on animal races, gamblers must be 21 years or older.
• Charitable Gambling: Charitable gambling with Bingo is the oldest form of legalised gambling in Texas. It is a popular pass-time for many residents as there are no other gaming outlets available to gamblers. Bingo can only be operated by Non-Profit organisations under strict license and may be played by all those 18 years or older. If a minor plays the game, they must be accompanied by an adult.
• Lottery Gaming: The lottery is specifically state-run and cannot be commercially offered by private companies. Both scratch cards and lotto draw cards are sold at thousands of general dealers around the state, where players 18 years and older may purchase tickets and gamble on the outcomes. The lottery revenues are used primarily to bolster the state’s education system.
• Tribal Casinos: Only the Lucky Eagle Casino on Kickapoo land may offer casino gaming in the region. Games under the compact include electronic games like slots, video poker, and electronic table games. No real tables may be offered. Poker is an exception and is played in a dedicated poker room on the grounds. The age restriction for legal casino gaming is 21 years
• Sports Betting: Sports betting is currently illegal in the state of Texas.
• Daily Fantasy Sports: While the attorney-general of Texas ruled that Daily Fantasy Sports contravened the gambling act in the state, the games are still offered to Texans, as the laws came about without a closure demand. For this reason, residents play on apps like FanDuel and DraftKings without any fear. The state is close to the legalisation of the activity, with the voters clearing a bill that made it past its preliminary state in mid-November of 2019. For now, the sport lingers without formal regulation.
Gambling in the state of Texas is monitored by two different bodies. All Horseracing and Greyhound Racing is regulated by the Texas Racing Commission, while the Lottery is overseen by the Texas Lottery Commission. Both watchdogs align themselves with the legislation on gambling and report as subsidiaries to the State Government of Texas.
Since 1992, the lottery has generated more than $31,000,000,000 in revenue for good causes in Texas. Revenues have been distributed for the enhancement of education in the state, as well as veterans’ services and other vital state programs.
Through strict adherence to the state’s core values and mission, the Texas Lottery is dedicated to ensuring that the benefit to the state is maintained. The breakdown of each dollar spent on the lottery is distributed as follows:
• Prizes Paid – 64.9%
• Education - 25.8%
• Retailer Compensation - 5.4%
• Lottery Administration – 3.6%
• Funds for Veterans’ assistance and other important state programs – 0.3%
The Texas lottery is well regulated to ensure that all players and treated fairly and can play safely. Included in their player protection protocols on their site, they include:
• Security Tips on playing.
• Misconceptions about the Lottery.
• Description of the audible tones on terminals when the tickets are scanned.
• Information on lottery scams to watch out for.
All lottery ticket vendors in the state are strictly and thoroughly vetted to ensure that safety and ethics protocols are always adhered to for the protection of players and the State.
Two parties that must be licensed in the horserace betting industry:
• Racing Participants: Any individual that works or participates in pari-mutuel racing in Texas.
• Association/Racetrack Employees: All employees that have a job that could potentially influence a race or those who would have significant access to the backside of the track must be licensed by the Texas Racing Commission.
The licensing process is implemented to uphold the ethos of the sport and ensure that no races are influenced by any factors, as this could prove devastating for betters. The vetting process for all new applicants involves supplying a fingerprint card and undergoing a full background check. A form must be filled out and the license fee paid.
Casinos and Gambling Facilities in Texas Gambling?
FAQWhat types of gambling are available in Texas?Charitable Bingo, Lottery, and Horserace betting are allowed in Texas, as well as casino betting at a sole tribal casino.Is online gambling for real money allowed in Texas?No. All forms of online gambling (excluding horse racing) is illegal in TX and is a Class-C felony.Is free casino gaming allowed in Texas?Yes, you can play free slots, video poker, and table games online without contravening any laws.Can online casinos outside of Texas state be utilised?No. Any form of online gambling that occurs within TX is illegal.What's the legal minimum age for gambling in Texas?Lottery and bingo players must be at least 18 years of age to play, while casino and race betting requires that gamblers be at least 21 years of age. Minors can play bingo if they are accompanied by an adult.Who regulates gambling activities in Texas?Horse and Greyhound racing is regulated by the Texas Racing Commission, the Lottery by the Texas Lottery Commission, and the tribal casino by the National Indian Gaming Commission.Is Sports Betting allowed in Texas?No. No form of sports betting (besides horseraces and Greyhound races) can be conducted in the state of Texas.Are Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) sites legal in Texas?DFS is not regulated in the state and is technically illegal, even though they still accept Texan players.Can I bet on horse racing in Texas?Yes! Horse racing is legal in Texas. It’s the only form of online gambling allowed too.Where can I play casino games in Texas?Casino games can only be enjoyed at the Lucky Eagle Casino on Kickapoo tribal land. Here, you will find slots, video poker, and electronic table games.