For some strange reason, the land of Texas Hold ’em is not a state that likes online gambling. What’s more, they heavily frown upon it and have some of the strictest gambling laws in the United States. The worst states for online gambling are Utah and Hawaii, but Texas is right after them.
It might sound strange that you can barely play Texas Hold’em Poker in the state of Texas, but it is what it is. And in this piece, we thought we would delve deeper into Texas’s gambling laws and where you can and can’t play casino games, be it online or offline.
Here is a list of our top 5 recommended online casino sites to play at for real money from Texas.
Even though most of our wild west and saloon gambling imagery comes from Texas, this state has always been very strict with gambling. As soon as the first forms of gambling in the state, lottery and horse racing, gained popularity, the local government banned them.
What’s interesting here is that Texas has very broad gambling laws, unlike other states. For this reason, almost all forms of gambling are banned. The same goes for online gambling, which was permanently banned even before it arrived in Texas.
To better understand this, here is how Texas law describes gambling: “an agreement to win or lose something of value solely or partially by chance.” With such a broad definition, it’s easy to understand why most gambling is banned.
Naturally, things like state lotteries, charitable raffles, and charitable bingo are all allowed. In essence, if it’s for charity, then it’s allowed, and if the state organizes it, it’s also allowed. For example, the state allows for some coin-operated machines, as they are already covered by a specific part of the Texas Occupations Code.
In addition to that, social casinos are also allowed because they don’t involve real money. So, if you want to play any “gambling” game, you can, as long as you don’t use real money. If you’re going to win real money, you can still play sweepstakes, i.e. social casinos where you participate in tournaments where the rewards are cash prizes. This is allowed as they are classified under a different law.
If that’s not enough, you can also participate in off-track betting on horses, which is essentially a form of online gambling, but in the eyes of Texas gambling laws, it’s still legal.
Now, as for real online casinos, you are probably thinking about offshore casinos. Let’s take a look at how that works in the state of Texas.
Technically, you can. However, beside the fact that the laws are too strict, the government is known to punish players for participating in any form of illegal gambling activities. Naturally, it’s not very common for people playing in offshore casinos to be fined, but it’s not unheard of. If you are caught, you can end up having to pay a fine of $500.
So, if you decide to play in an offshore casino, you need to be aware that a small chance exists of Texas fining you for the activity. Even with the slightest possibility of being punished for playing in offshore casinos, we can’t advise players to join offshore casinos.
Even though many states are changing their views on online gambling, Texas is certainly not one of them. That’s why we can safely say that you shouldn’t hope for online gambling to become legal in Texas anytime soon.
Other states are making plans for the future, but Texas laws are set in stone, so it seems, and there is nothing that can suggest the state’s government will change its mind. This is especially true for online sports betting and online casinos. The first is being legalized in many states, while there are plans for the latter in at least a dozen or so states.
However, no such plans exist in Texas. On top of that, whenever online gambling is brought out by local representatives, the majority in the state’s legislature put it down.
If at some point, the local government changes its mind and starts legalizing online gambling, you will still have to wait for a long time until the whole process is done, and the first licensed online casinos appear in the state. In essence, there is no chance to see any kind of online betting or casino site in Texas for the next several years, at least.
Texas is not lenient with offline gambling. However, there are differences in the laws that you’ll like.
Don’t expect any commercial land-based casinos in the state, as those are not allowed. However, you can still play many casino games in tribal casinos, which are entirely legal in Texas, in the land owned by the local native tribes.
A total of two tribal casinos exist in the state of Texas, and we’ll cover both, so you know what to expect if you decide to visit one.
Kickapoo is the biggest and the best tribal casino in Texas. It’s located in the city of Eagle Pass, and it spans 16,000 square feet in size.
Here, you can play a wide variety of casino games, but there are no traditional table games like craps, blackjack, and roulette. However, there are more than 3,300 slot machines you can enjoy. Furthermore, there is a poker room where you can play most of the day.
As the Kickapoo Casino is also a hotel, you can expect to find accommodation and even restaurants.
Naskila Gaming is a smaller casino owned and operated by Alabama.Coushatta Tribe of Texas. It’s also a newer one, being opened in 2016, but it has a decent selection of slots, as there are around 800 of them in this casino.
On top of that, the casino has a private VIP Lounge and three restaurants.
No, it’s completely illegal, as we’ve explained in the article. Unfortunately, there are no plans to make it legal, and the only way to play any online gambling game is to bet on off-track horse races or to visit an offshore casino. Unfortunately, the latter tends to be risky as Texas is known to fine players for participating in any kind of illegal online gambling game, including offshore casinos.
As online gambling is illegal, there is no legal online gambling age in Texas. However, if you are at least 18 years old, you can still participate in lotteries, and visit and gamble in horse racing and dog racing venues.
No, there are no plans to make online gambling legal any time soon. What’s more, even if these changes sometime soon, online gambling is still several years away.
No, they are not. You can play in them, but you still run the risk of being fined by the state of Texas.
No, just like most other online gambling games aren’t. This is somewhat strange as Texas is the state of Texas Hold’em Poker, but it seems that you won’t be able to play it in this state!