One would think that Texas would be a state that allows all types of gambling – land-based, horse racing, sports betting and online but sadly, that isn’t the case. Despite many states in America legalizing online and sports betting, Texas has not followed the trend.
Something that is allowed in Texas is social casinos. These are not only legal, but also free, and offer players a similar variety of online slots and casino table games that you would find at any real money casino site.
A great thing about these social casinos is that they provide you with a chance to win some wonderful prizes and even real money, through what they call ‘sweepstakes’. You can access these casinos on your desktop or mobile devices. These games are entertaining, even if you aren’t allowed to legally play online blackjack and other casino games.
Online Gambling in Texas
No matter how deep you dive into the worldwide web, you will not find any online casinos that play with real money or are legal if you reside in Texas, despite neighboring states coming around. These include New Mexico, Louisiana and Arkansas.
One of the reasons could be that Texas, unlike many other states across the U.S. has a wealth of commerce and resources and an insignificant deficit in its state budget. Gambling tax is typically used by the government to make up for any budgetary shortfalls. Since it’s not needed, why would the Governor bother?
Online poker, blackjack, roulette and slots that have jackpots of real cash are, simply put, not allowed.
Could Gambling Laws in Texas Be Changed Soon?
It doesn’t look like the lawmakers in Texas are going to change their minds anytime soon either despite the rest of America doing just that. They are opposed to any kind of gambling, but online seems to be subjected to a particularly harsh form of judgment from those in the government, and there has been no interest shown when it comes to reviewing the legislation.
What Kind of Gambling is Legal in Texas?
It’s not all bad news for punters who wish to play legally and regularly. You can participate in private poker clubs or poker games at home, tribal casinos, daily fantasy sports, games for charity, pari-mutuel betting and a good old fashioned lottery.
It’s best to keep in mind that two of these fall into a little bit of a gray area when it comes to the legality. State law enforcers have them on their radar, so whether they will be around for much longer remains uncertain. The first one to take note of is daily fantasy sports – it’s been a hotly contested topic literally for years, and no conclusion has been reached as yet.
The private poker clubs that are expanding in Texas are also legally questionable. These started gaining traction around 2015, and have somehow managed to stay open through some creative thinking and business ideas. Poker online may be highly illegal, but these private clubs have worked around much of what the law states outright – they don’t charge a door fee, no rake and no tipping is allowed.
What are the Other Options?
Online betting with real money may be forbidden, but there are land-based casinos run by two Native American Tribes on independent tribal lands. Players can also take a ‘cruise to nowhere’ on the Gulf Coast. These boats ferry players into international waters, where they can gamble online to their heart’s content.
A word of warning though. Many offshore online casinos are not reputable, licensed or regulated by any gambling board. Should you choose to wager on these sites and there is a dispute with funds, you most likely will have no legal recourse, so you can kiss that money goodbye. Always check the site you are on before depositing any cash.
If it sounds too risky for you and you don’t want to gamble your money anyway, a lottery or a social casino can also offer just as much fun. On the plus side, you will get to hone your skills for when you eventually start playing table games with real money.