They say that everything is bigger in Texas, but that doesn’t include the gaming or sports betting industry. As states all across the country move to legalize sports betting in their state, it doesn’t appear that Texas is anywhere close to joining the party. There are some interesting laws in the state of Texas that make legalizing sports betting extremely hard, and not much progress has been made by lawmakers.
Texas is one of the best sports states in the country, and their die-hard fans are hoping to add sports betting to the mix. The state doesn’t even have any retail casinos, and gambling fanatics have to make a trip across the border to Louisiana or Oklahoma to gamble. There will be more discussion around legalizing sports betting in the coming months in Texas, but don’t expect anything to change in the near future. It appears that Texas will be one of the last states to legalize sports if it happens at all.
Texas is also one of the biggest states in American not only for size, but for the popularity of sports as well, but sports betting is not legal. This is despite the fact that state is one of the most populous and has many professional sports teams and some of the biggest college football and basketball programs in the nation that can drive the sports betting. While it may be an uphill battle to legalize sports betting in the Lone Star State, there may be hope on the horizon.
First of all, in May of 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act making sports betting legal, but on a state-by-state basis. Second, there has been a bill in the Texas legislation that would allow for sports gambling in the state. Still, the Republican-controlled legislature has been against gambling expansion, including sports betting, for many years, and because of that, it may be a while before legal sports wagering is legal in Texas.
Texas Sports Betting Status
When talking about the status of sports betting in the state of Texas, we should start by saying that there is not any sort of bill or law imminent in the near future. Texas is one of the few states across the country that don’t even allow casinos to be present in their state, and legalizing sports betting seems like an extremely far-fetched idea. The NFL and NBA have both done their part to try and persuade lawmakers in Texas to have the discussion, but having a discussion and taking action are two completely different things. Even in states where sports betting isn’t legal at this time there have been some great debates and proposals happening, but Texas just briefly brought up the topic this spring. Texas definitely has the teams and the fan base to get sports betting up and running, but a lot of things will need to change before it becomes legal in the Lone Star State.
Texas is currently not a state that allows for legal sports betting as of July 2019. The state is not one that is keen on gambling, as in such a huge state, there is only one casino, which is on Native American land. In February of 2019, Texas Representative Eddie Lucio III filed H 1275, which would make sports betting legal in the state in both land-based sportsbooks as well as allowing for sports betting online and through mobile devices. Bill H 1275 would require amending the Texas constitution that would have to be approved by the voters in the state on the November 2019 ballot. House Joint Resolution 61 was also introduced by Lucio that, again, will amend the Texas Constitution so that, “the legislature by law may authorize and regulate the placing of wagers on professional and collegiate sports.” This would have to be approved by a two-thirds vote in the House as well as the Senate in order to get it on the ballot to be voted on by the citizens of Texas.
H 1275 would have the provisions of:
- Five gaming licensing permits available, and for each permit, two skins would be allowed
- Mobile betting and online betting would be legal.
- Operators would have to collect a tax of 6.25% on all wagers made. (this is a very tough thing for operators considering the tax is very high and for all wagers, not on gross revenue coming from sports betting.)
- In the concern about the Wire Act H 1275 would deal with the issue of the routing of electronic data being intermediated, with all transmissions dealing with sports betting have to be initiated as well as received in the state.
Texas is a sports-mad state with many pro teams and major college sports programs, and according to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming forecasts, the state would be the 2nd biggest sports betting market in America. There would be a major influx of funds to the Texas state government if sports betting were to be legalized in Texas, but that has not swayed the Republican-controlled state, as other casino and fantasy sports bills have not had any success in the state legislature in the past. There is legal horse betting in Texas as well as a state lottery and bingo, but other bills in terms of gambling have gone nowhere. Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been on record many times being against any gambling expansion. Back in 2015, he asked the lottery officials in Texas to stop the collection of possible betting games for sports. In terms of this issue, he stated, “State laws on gaming are to be viewed strictly as prohibitive to any expansion of gambling.” As you can see, even with the new bill in the legislature and the overturning of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, it may be some time before sports betting is legal in Texas.
Where to Bet on Sports in Texas
Since there are no retail casinos in the state of Texas then that really limits where to bet on sports inside state borders. There lone casino on Native American land will likely be given the first crack at applying for a sports betting license, and that might become the top place to bet on sports in Texas. Currently, people who want to gamble in Texas must cross the state border into the state of Louisiana, which has recently legalized sports betting. Without a bill currently on the table it is hard to predict where the best places to bet on sports will be, but we will give it our best shot.
Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel: Eagle Pass, Texas is home to the only Indian casino in the state of Texas. Native American land is not covered under state law, and they are the only ones able to offer gambling in a state that doesn’t allow for that sort of thing. Most states that have tribal conflicts have allowed the tribal casinos to become the first retailer to offer sports betting, and that would likely be the case in Texas as well. The Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino would have to partner with a sports betting company, but they probably be the first and best local spot to place a bet on sports.
Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana: Even if sports betting does become legal in the state of Texas, one of the top betting spots will still be outside of the state. Residents of Houston have been frequenting the Golden Nugget Hotel in Casino in Lake Charles, LA for quite some time, and that is going to keep happening now that Louisiana has legalized sports betting. If the state of Texas has strict limits on where to bet within the state then people are going to continue going across the border to place bets in Louisiana. This is an extremely popular spot, and has great reviews from all of the customers that pass through there.
Offshore Sportsbooks: It is currently legal for a resident of Texas to place a bet through an offshore sportsbook, but an sportsbook is not able to operate in the state of Texas. Offshore sportsbooks have really changed the face of sports betting, and that is likely to continue even with all of these states legalizing betting. Even if sports betting does become legal in the state of Texas then you can expect that offshore sportsbooks will still play a huge role in the state. They are incredibly convenient and fans can place bets from anywhere.
Major Sports Stadiums: If and when Texas does legalize sports betting then perhaps they will take a page out of Illinois’ book and offer sports betting in and around the major stadiums inside of the state. The Dallas Cowboys play in AT&T Stadium which is one of the biggest and bets stadiums in the world. Jerry Jones would love the chance to offer sports betting on-site and Cowboys games, and the other professional sports franchises would likely follow suit. Look for Texas to include this in their law if it ever gets passed.
Before we move onto the latest news, lets look at a few of the cities that are set to capitalize the most in Texas:
Jerry Jones Building Casino in Arkansas: Jerry Jones is the owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the state of Texas, but his latest business venture will be in the state of Louisiana. Jones recently announced plans to build a casino in the state of Arkansas, which recently legalized sports betting. The Dallas Cowboys and Winstar World Resort and Casino came to an agreement just less than one year ago, and Jones clearly has his eye on the sports betting industry. Jones has made it clear that he hopes the state of Texas will soon legalize sports betting, but in the meantime will take his business ventures elsewhere to increase his own net worth.
Texas Rangers Taking An Aggressive Approach: Even though sports betting in the Lone Star State doesn’t appear to be anywhere close, one of their teams is already starting to plan on how to get involved. The Texas Rangers recently announced that they have expanded their sponsorship agreement with Choctaw Casino and Resorts, which has many people believing that they will eventually offer sports betting at the stadium. Choctaw Casino and Resorts is an Oklahoma based company and would be able to get around some of the very strict laws that are in the state of Texas. The Rangers did not discuss sports betting in the new agreement, but it has to be on their minds.
Hurricanes Could Help Texas Become Legal: Lawmakers in the state of Texas are doing everything they can to make sports betting legal in the state of Texas, and they are now turning to hurricanes. Lawmakers are trying to convince voters throughout the state that the money generated from sports betting can help provide relief for victims of hurricanes on the Gulf Coast. The money generated from sports betting would likely be used for a lot of different things, but hurricane aid and relief might be enough to get voters on board with their proposals. Hurricane Harvey cost the state $16 billion in relief efforts in 2016, and increasing state revenue can help get the budget back on track.
Teams That Drive Texas Sports Betting
Texas is one of the biggest states in our country, and naturally they are home to a large amount of professional sports teams. The sport of football is king in Texas, and the Lone Star State has a pair of extremely successful and popular NFL teams. The National Basketball Association also has three teams located in the state, and they have all been very successful of late as well. The NFL and NBA have started to align themselves with the sports betting industry, and they would love to get Texas on board. If sports betting ever does become legalized in Texas then there is no shortage of teams that will drive sports betting.
The state of Texas has a trio of NBA teams, and all of them have won championships within the last 30 years. The San Antonio Spurs are the most popular NBA team in the state, and they draw extremely well. The Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks haven’t been as successful as the Spurs, but they have their die-hard fans as well.
The Dallas Cowboys are known as “America’s Team,” and are probably the most popular NFL team in the country. The Cowboys are owned by Jerry Jones, who would love to get his hands on some sports betting money as well. Houston was also recently given a team in the Texans, and they continue to grow in popularity throughout the state.
The Texas Rangers and Houston Astros represent the state of Texas in Major League Baseball, and they have built up a terrific rivalry in recent years. Baseball is probably the third-most popular sport in Texas, but that doesn’t stop both teams from drawing huge numbers in attendance throughout the summer. Betting on baseball is a touchy subject, but they will help drive sports betting in Texas.
Hockey hasn’t always been a huge thing in the state of Texas, but that changed in 1993 when the Dallas Stars came to town. Dallas quickly warmed up to their new team, and they have one of the best fan bases in the NHL. The Stars have been extremely successful since moving to Dallas from Minnesota, and they would help drive sports betting in the Lone Star State.
College football is one of the most popular sports in the country, and that is definitely the case in Texas. The Big 12 Conference is the home for four universities in the state of Texas, and they have all built up a huge rivalry. The University of Texas has a proud athletic tradition, but TCU, Texas Tech and Baylor have held their own as well.
FC Dallas is a professional soccer team in the state of Texas, and they continue to grow in popularity and attendance. Betting on soccer is one of the top picks for sports betting fans, and that would seem to be the case for FC Dallas fans as well. Football and basketball are kings in Texas, but there is room for other sports as well.
If the state of Texas is ever able to legalize sports betting then it would likely move to the top of the list in terms of revenue. People in Texas absolutely love their sports, and they have some terrific teams to root for. Betting on sports can add some excitement and interest to the games, and it can also bring in a ton of money for the state.
Legal Status of Gambling in Texas
Casino Legal Status: Retail casinos are not legal in the state of Texas, but Native American land does not fall under this law. Attempts to expand casino gambling have gone nowhere.
Sports Betting Legal Status: Betting on sports is currently illegal in the state of Texas, and don’t expect that to change anytime soon.
Horse Racing Legal Status: Horse race betting is one of the only types of legal gambling in the state of Texas. There are racetracks that are authorized to take bets throughout the state.
Poker Legal Status: Betting on card games is illegal in the state of Texas, and that includes the game of poker. Even the Native American casinos are not authorized to run poker games.
DFS Legal Status: Daily fantasy sports is illegal in the state of Texas, and bills that would have legalized fantasy sports have failed in the past.
Lottery Legal Status: The Texas Lottery Commission runs the lottery in the state of Texas, and they are also involved in the Mega Millions and Powerball.
Sports Betting Timeline
- November 2019: Potential first chance for voters to vote on sports betting referendum
- May 27, 2019: Lawmakers announce no discussion on sports betting bill taking place
- February 1, 2019: Bill introduced in Texas to legalize sports betting
- April 2018: Supreme Court strikes down PASPA
- 2015: State lottery stops collecting data on sports betting