Charitable Gaming (Bingo) 1981
Pari-Mutuel Wagering 1986
Tribal Casinos 1996
Charitable Gaming/Lottery 18+
Pari-Mutuel Wagering/Tribal Casinos 21+
Tribal Casinos 1
Unquestionably, the Lone Star State has conservative gambling laws. True, Texans will find charitable gaming, pari-mutuel wagering, and a state lottery. However, just one tribal casino makes the market seem under-serviced, considering Texas has 29+ million residents.
Texans who live within border distance of New Mexico could take advantage of the 24 tribal casinos & 5 racinos. To the north, Oklahoma and its 120+ tribal casinos seem well-positioned to welcome Texans. Even Louisiana’s blend of commercial and tribal casinos may offer some relief to Texans along the border.
Of course, driving out-of-state or to the single in-state casino is not practical every time you want to play a few slots or table games. Clearly, more than a few Texans feel the same way as they have chosen to play at offshore online casinos. You can find our best new casinos or bonuses recommendations in our article below.
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Despite being the birthplace of Texas Hold’em, Texas surprisingly remains one of the most restrictive gambling states. During the 1930s, Dallas underground gambling was a common practice, although illegal until law officials cracked down. Today, participation in illegal gambling is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine.
In fact, most gambling in Texas is considered unlawful, with only a few exceptions. Authorized forms include the lottery, pari-mutuel wagering on horses and greyhounds, and charitable gaming. There is only one tribal casino in Texas run by the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe. Two previous tribal casinos were shut down by the Texas government, which has challenged the legality of these casinos for decades. The state considers games of chance involving balls, dice, or cards unlawful.
Charitable gaming, including bingos and raffles, is supervised by the Texas Lottery Commission. Non-profit organizations and other authorized groups may conduct bingo sessions and sell pull-tabs (instant bingo) with a license from the Texas Lottery. Prizes are limited to $750 per game. A county must have approved bingo in a local referendum to be eligible to host events. Qualifying organizations may hold no more than 2 raffles per year for non-cash prizes. Values may not exceed $50,000, except for a house that may not exceed $250,000 unless donated.
The Texas Constitution prohibits commercial casinos, and there is only one Class III tribal casino in the state. It offers 3,300+ slot games, as well as bingo and poker. However, table games are not permitted. Visitors to the casino can also enjoy a holiday stay, bars & restaurants, and entertainment events.
|Class III Tribal Casino||Address||Website|
|Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel||7777 Lucky Eagle Drive – Eagle Pass, Texas 78852||luckyeagletexas.com|
Pari-mutuel wagering is overseen by the Texas Racing Commission. Texas has 3 live greyhound racing tracks and 4 live horse racing tracks. Here, Texans can also participate in simulcast wagers, both in-state and out-of-state.
The Texas Lottery is responsible for the sale of scratch and draw ticket games. Scratch tickets come in various games, starting from $1 all the way up to $50. The lottery also sells several state draws, including ‘All or Nothing,’ ‘Texas To Step,’ and ‘Lotto Texas Extra!’ This is in addition to multistate draw tickets, including Powerball and Mega Millions. In August 2019, lottery sales exceeded $6 billion. Proceeds are directed towards Texas schools and veterans’ causes. Tickets can be purchased from thousands of authorized retailers throughout Texas.
The Texas Racing Act was enacted in 1986, authorizing pari-mutuel wagering. It was approved in a referendum the following year. Pari-mutuel wagering was originally legalized in 1933 before being repealed in 1937.
The Texas Lottery Commission was authorized by a Constitutional amendment (House Bill 1587) approved by Texans in November 1991. It led to the creation of the Texas Lottery Commission in 1993, taking over the administrative role from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
The first lottery ticket went on sale on November 7, 1992. In 1994, the Commission took over responsibility for administering the Texas Bingo Enabling Act from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. By November 2009, the Texas Lottery became a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL).
Charitable bingo was approved in 1981, followed by raffles approved by a Constitutional amendment in 1989, with legislation going into force the following year.
It wasn’t until 1996 that the Kickapoo tribal casino appeared in Texas. This was roughly eight years after the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988.
Repeated attempts to authorize and regulate DFS games have so far failed. In January 2016, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ruled DFS to be illegal. Not long after, DraftKings lodged a legal challenge, suing the Atty Gen. It refiled the lawsuit in 2018. FanDuel reached a settlement with the Atty Gen, where it agreed to stop offering paid DFS contests to Texans. In return, the state agreed not to pursue legal action against it. In 2018, FanDuel changed its position and resumed paid DFS contests, joining DraftKings and others.
In early January 2021, Bills were presented by lawmakers to radically amend the Texas Constitution. These would legalize casino gambling, sports betting and establish a Texas gaming commission to become the state regulator. It would have authorized four destination resorts in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Austin, Texas. These failed to gain support and died in the second quarter of 2021.
The legal gambling age in Texas for pari-mutuel wagering and tribal casinos is 21. This decreases to 18 and over for charitable gaming and the state lottery.
The only casino games available in Texas are slot machines, bingo, and poker at the state’s only casino.
No, The State Lottery Act does not allow lottery tickets to be purchased using a credit card.
No, Texas has not authorized nor regulated paid-entry DFS in the state. Still, operators continue to accept players from Texas.
Online gambling, including online casinos, online poker, and sports betting, is not permitted within Texas state lines.
Texas remains somewhat of a laggard when it comes to modern gambling laws. This not only robs Texans of choice but also denies the state much-needed tax revenue. Traditional forms of gambling are indeed available. However, it’s surprising that modern forms like fantasy sports contests, sports betting, commercial casinos, and interactive gaming are not.
2021 was a hectic year in The Lone Star State, with several legislative bill proposals attempting to authorize casino gaming in coastal areas, sports betting, and poker clubs. Find out about how it all develops by revisiting us soon.
In the meantime, we would like to remind you that you can find our expert recommendations on new casinos and bonuses in our article above.