A Complete Overview of Online Gambling in Texas

All of Texas’ neighbors have casinos in their states, specifically on the border with Texas. This is because there is only one casino in the Lone Star State, and it’s on the border with Mexico. Texas has consistently taken a hard line stance against gambling and that hasn’t changed in the last few decades, even if there has been a degree of relaxing the state grip on gambling.

Texas was a hotbed for gambling activity before it became a state in the Union, so with their first constitution, as was the trend at the time, they banned gambling altogether. The first type of gambling to be legalized afterwards was in 1933, when pari-mutuel betting was allowed at Texan racetracks. This didn’t last long, as four years later, the state banned the practice once again.

In 1971, Texas allowed charities to conduct lottery games, but this didn’t last long either – two years later, it was banned. A constitutional amendment was filed in 1980 which brought along the first licenses for charitable gaming starting in 1982. Only five years later, a popular referendum allowed pari-mutuel betting to occur once again on Texas territory and four years later the Simulcast option was added as well.

In 1988, the first casino ships sailed out of Texan harbors, which began a legal conundrum which eventually ended with Texas banning these ships with the help of a 1948 law which dictated they had to dock at a foreign port, which the casino ships couldn’t fulfill. The last one stopped sailing in 2008.

Four years later, the Texas State Lottery started selling scratch-offs and lottery tickets, which was a huge step up when you see everything they had banned. From 1996 to 2002, Native American tribes engaged the Texan government by opening bingo halls and casinos. The government won and forced them to close their establishments. Today, only one casino remains, owned by the Kickapoo tribe.

In the last few years there have been various attempts to legalize some forms of gambling in Texas, but the attitude is still the same. Recently, the Texas Attorney General stated even daily fantasy games are illegal and would be prosecuted, but the websites have continued to feign legality and have not withdrawn. Online gambling is nowhere near legalization and that will remain the same in the years to come.

Texas Gambling Overview:

  • Year Texas regulated offline and online gambling: 1982 for offline gambling, online gambling is unregulated but considered highly illegal.
  • Texas gambling age: 18 for bingo and lotteries, 21 for racing and the casino.
  • Legal online casino games in Texas: N/A
  • Number of commercial casinos: 0
  • Number of tribal casinos: 1 (1 additional unlicensed and illegal class 2 casino)
  • Top online casinos Texas-wide:

Gambling in Texas: What’s Legal?

Texas has a very strict code of laws when it comes to gambling. Even social gambling requires you to have a ‘prior social relationship’ in order to be legal. There is a single tribal casino in Texas – the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle, with one card room. Everything else in terms of live gambling is against the law. The State Lottery can do draws and sell scratch-off tickets, you can bet on horses and greyhounds off-track and you can participate in charity bingo. The Lone Star State has six racetracks which may catch your attention, but they are pure tracks – no slots to make them racinos. Texas doesn’t have a smoking ban and even if they did, it probably wouldn’t affect the Lucky Eagle casino as it is on tribal lands. Therefore, you can smoke freely in the single Texas casino.

Name Address Opening Hours Games Dress Code Phone Number Website
Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino 768 Lucky Eagle Dr. 24/7 Over 3300 slots and table games N/A +1 830-773-2255 luckyeagletexas.com

Online Casinos in Texas: What You Should Know

Texas doesn’t have any online gambling and it’s probably going to stay that way for a while as the state is in no rush to legalize anything, even pushing back on existing legal gambling.

Are Texas Online Casinos Legal for Non-Texas Residents?

  • There are no Texas online casinos.

What types of games do Texas online casinos have available?

  • N/A

Can I play online casino in Texas if I don’t live there?

  • N/A

Do offshore online casinos operate in Texas?

  • Yes, but Texas fights them actively by blocking them.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino in Texas

If you want to gamble in Texas, you’re free to visit one of the casinos, both the legal and illegal one, as there are no penalties for gamblers – only the casino itself. If you want to gamble online though, you’ll either have to wait for Texas to implement changes in their law system, which is unlikely, or you’ll have to travel to Delaware, Pennsylvania or New Jersey, none of which are particularly close to this state.

The Bottom Line on Texas Online Gambling

Texas was always a hard line state when it comes to gambling and their track record in the past century proves it. They’ve legalized things just to make them illegal a few years later, which is quite unique in the States. Online gambling won’t be coming to this state soon, but you’re free to enjoy their huge tribal casino with a whopping 3300 slots. You know what they say – everything is bigger in Texas!