Why trust BestSportsBettingTexas?
Best Sports Betting Texas is a new site with a big mission – to bring you the latest updates on sports betting in Texas and the top sportsbooks.
While the site only launched in 2023, the expert team behind it comes with decades of experience in the sports betting industry. We'll cover the regulations and explain them in detail for a clear picture.
Moreover, you'll find in-depth law breakdowns to ensure that you are always safe when betting in the state. These are some of the highlights of what Best Sports Betting Texas has to offer:
- The latest news about Texas sports betting regulations
- Expert examination of the current laws and legislation
- A view at alternative sports betting options in Texas
Is Sports Betting Legal in Texas?
No, sports betting is not legal in Texas. There aren’t any operators authorized and licensed to take real money bets on sporting events in the state.
Even so, residents can access a number of offshore sports betting sites, but this is not advised. Since the operators aren’t licensed in the US, customers don’t benefit from any protection or guarantee that the winning bets are actually paid accordingly. It is also not uncommon for offshore sportsbooks to close suddenly and leave users with blocked funds.
As for other forms of betting in Texas, there are ways to legally bet on horses and play casino games.
Residents can take part in pari-mutuel wagering on TX horse racing at local tracks. These host races during the season and also broadcast live races from other locations in order to have betting action throughout the year. Keep in mind that all bets on horse racing in Texas must be placed onsite at regulated facilities, of which there are four.
Casino betting is only available at two tribal establishments, although only one of them is a real casino, operated by the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe. It has over 3,000 slot machines and tens of table games. The casino is located along the Mexico border, which makes it difficult to access for most TX residents.
Poker rooms are also illegal in Texas, for the most part that is. The regulations don’t allow poker games where the host makes a profit from the action. As a result, poker clubs in Texas don’t take rake and instead charge member fees and playing fees.
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) are in a gray area as well. While there aren’t any laws that make DFS contests legal in Texas, the interpretation of the current regulations is still being debated. For now however, DFS is available in the state and Texans can join major operators, like FanDuel and DraftKings.
The Texas Lottery is the main gambling option that is regulated in the state. It allows residents to buy tickets for quite a few lottery games, including multi-state lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions.
Timeline: Texas Sports Betting Latest Updates
Quickly stay up to date with the latest changes and updates regarding sports betting in Texas here:
- March 1st, 2023 – Three sports betting bills have been put forward for the Texas Senate and House to consider. Gov. Greg Abbott has stated he won’t oppose the new bills.
- January 3, 2023 – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says that he doesn’t see any changes regarding sports betting in Texas during 2023.
- December 16, 2022 – Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, becomes the first team owner in Texas to say that he wants to partner with a casino if regulations change.
- November 17, 2022 – Gov. Rick Perry becomes a spokesperson for the Texas Sports Betting Alliance in support of creating a Texas Gaming Commission.
- November 8, 2022 – Greg Abbott wins the re-election for Governor of Texas. He stated in the past that he might consider legalizing some commercial casinos.
- September 12, 2022 – The Texas Sports Betting Alliance projects that sports betting in Texas could generate $278 million in the first two years.
FAQs about Sports Betting in Texas
Does Texas allow sports betting?
Texas regulations don’t currently allow for real money sports betting. There are no authorized sportsbooks or online betting sites available in the state.
Will Texas legalize sports betting?
It remains to be seen if sports betting becomes available in Texas. As it stands right now, it doesn’t seem likely that the regulations will change by the end of 2023. Online sports betting in Texas remains far away.
What sports betting apps are legal in Texas?
Right now, there aren’t any legal sports betting apps in the Lone Star State. Texans can only access offshore betting apps or mobile sites, but these are not secure since they aren’t licensed within the state or country.
Where can I bet on sports in Texas?
You can only bet on sports at offshore sportsbooks. Keep in mind that even the best online sports betting sites in Texas are not locally regulated and come with some risks regarding safety and protection.
Can I bet on DraftKings in Texas?
Yes, you can access DraftKings in Texas, but only for daily fantasy sports (DFS). While the operator also has a real money sportsbook on the platform, this is not available in the state.
Can I use FanDuel in Texas?
Yes, you can use FanDuel for daily fantasy sports. Real money sports betting is not available for Texans on the site or on the mobile apps.
What happens if you get caught online betting in Texas?
According to the regulations regarding Texas sports betting, a person convicted of illegal gambling for the first time will have to pay a $500 fine.
When will Sports Betting be Legal in Texas?
It is difficult to predict when legal sports betting in Texas will become available. The earliest Texas can legalize sports betting is in the spring of 2023, but that is if everything goes perfectly. If it doesn’t happen during this legislative session, interested parties will have to wait two years for another opportunity.
Overall, it will probably take 2-5 years before the pressure from neighboring states and local sports franchises persuade legislators to pass a new Texas sports betting bill. However, it is difficult to predict at this point.
There aren’t any real plans in motion that show promise. The opposition remains strong in Texas with the current governors. Moreover, older residents are more likely to vote and contribute to political parties, a group known to be against gambling.
It is also worth pointing out that some casino interests from other states have contributed substantial amounts to Texas politicians. The goal here being to prevent competition for their tribal casinos in neighboring states.
On the other side of the argument, Texas is home to some of the biggest sporting teams in major leagues. The owners have expressed interest in becoming partners with online sportsbooks in Texas, which would draw in fans and revenue from taxes.
Texans also seem to be on board as a recent poll done in 2021 showed that 43% of residents interviewed want legal sports betting in Texas. This is with 31% being indifferent and only 26% being against it.
Previous Sports Betting Bills in Texas
Despite the lack of legal sports betting in Texas, there have been some attempts over the years to legalize gambling. Several bills were introduced by various representatives, but none of them made it into law. You can learn more about the most recent Texas sports betting bills here:
- HJR 97 – Proposed authorizing a legislature for legal sports wagering in Texas. Left pending in committee along with HB2070 as of April 14, 2021.
- HB 2070 – Proposed regulation, licensing, and taxing wagering on sports events. Left pending in committee.
- HJR 68 – Proposed a constitutional amendment in order to legalize betting on professional and collegiate sporting events. Referred to State Affairs but failed.
- SB 736 – Introduced regulations for sports wagering, acquiring a permit, imposing taxes, and legalizing sports betting. Referred to Business & Commerce on March 11, 2021.
- HB 1121 – Sponsored by Harold Dutton, the proposed bill targeted sports betting in Texas. It failed after being referred to State Affairs.
- HJR 61 – Written by Eddie Lucio III, the bill aimed to legalize sports betting in Texas but didn’t make it past Licensing & Administrative Procedures.
- HB 4040 – A bill that wanted to legalize sports betting in the state. Was read for the first time on March 23, 2015 and referred to the Licensing & Administrative Procedures. It didn’t make it any further.
Is Offshore Betting Legal in Texas?
Offshore sportsbooks are betting sites that are not regulated in the state. These operators are usually based in jurisdictions like Curacao or Panama and operate within gray legal markets. Betting at offshore sites in Texas is not legal since these platforms are not verified or regulated.
As a result, customers don’t have a guarantee that the winnings at offshore sportsbooks and sports betting apps in Texas are paid out. Many also don’t support traditional payment methods for withdrawing funds since these would cause legal issues in the US.
We advise against using offshore sportsbooks, even if they claim to offer the best online sports betting in Texas. There is always a risk of your funds being blocked or even of the entire sportsbook disappearing overnight.
Is Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Texas?
The legality of daily fantasy sports (DFS) in TX is still being debated. Up until 2016, DFS operators could freely accept players from the state and allow them to take part in real money competitions.
However, that changed a bit in 2016 as Attorney General Ken Paxton publicly stated that paying fees to take part in daily fantasy sports leagues is like placing bets. He argued that the outcome of these games depends on chance, even if just partially. As a result, DFS should be illegal in Texas under the current regulations.
A new bill to formally legalize DFS was introduced in 2017, but the attempt to make it into a law didn’t work out. We haven’t seen another big push for daily fantasy sports since, so the interpretation is still up in the air.
The good news for DFS fans is that some of the biggest operators accept players from Texas.
Best DFS Apps in Texas
DraftKings and FanDuel are the two biggest daily fantasy sports operators in the world. Both have opposed the interpretation provided by the attorney general, with FanDuel even pausing its presence in the state from 2016 to 2018. Now, the two sites accept Texas residents for DFS contests with real money entry fees without any hassle.
The two renowned operators have downloadable DFS apps for iPhone and Android devices. These can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and from the Google Play Stores, respectively.
It is also worth mentioning that DraftKings and FanDuel have expanded their offerings to include real money sports betting in states that allow for it. This is not the case here due to Texas sports betting laws, but the two operators might be among the first two to receive licenses if that ever changes.
Professional Texas Sports Teams
Texas is easily one of the biggest states when it comes to sports. It is also second in population, so it doesn’t come as a surprise to see that it is home to quite a few sports teams. There are seven teams across the major leagues, plus two for MLS, a popular WNBA team, and also a team that plays in the National’s Women’s Soccer League.
NFL Teams in Texas
Football is definitely the most popular sport in the state and the NFL would be the top choice for wagering if Texas legalizes sports betting.
Dallas Cowboys is one of the largest NFL franchises in the nation, having won five Super Bowl championships. It has a massive following and gets loads of support when the team plays at home, at the AT&T Stadium. This location would also become a massive hub for sports betting in Texas if this ever becomes legal.
Houston Texans are the second NFL team based in Lone Star State. While only founded in 2002, the team already has six division championships. Unfortunately, they haven’t made it to one Super Bowl so far.
NBA Teams in Texas
Basketball is second in popularity among residents and easily a top pick for online sports betting in Texas given the three NBA teams.
San Antonio Spurs are the most popular NBA team in Texas, even if they aren’t the flashiest. They have won five NBA titles over the years, with the most recent one being in 2015.
Dallas Mavericks only have one NBA championship title so far, but the team owner, Mark Cuban, is known to be quite outspoken, including on gambling topics.
Houston Rockets are the third team in this category and might not be a great fit for online betting in Texas. Given the fact that the owner, Tilman Fertitta, also owns quite a few casinos throughout the country, regulators might not be very pleased with an added sportsbook alongside the Rockets.
MLB Teams in Texas
Baseball in Texas is third in terms of popularity, with two MLB teams being based in the state.
Houston Astros is the bigger franchise of the two and has enjoyed some success over the past few years. The Astros won the World Series in 2017 and made an appearance in 2019 and 2021.
Texas Rangers haven’t won a World Series championship title but did come close on two occasions. The Rangers took part in the 2010 World Series, a first for the franchise, and then again in 2011.
NHL Teams in Texas
Hockey is another popular pick that would draw quite a bit of action when the best sports betting sites in Texas go live. Despite being one of the warmest states in the nation, Texas does have a team that competes in the NHL.
The Dallas Stars have a long franchise history and eight division titles. They even won the Stanley Cup in the 1998-99 season. In more recent years, the Stars made it to the Stanley Cup in 2020, but weren’t able to bring the trophy to Texas a second time.
College Sports Teams in Texas
The main two college sports leagues have massive followings in the state, which can result in a lot of betting.
However, we should note that the regulations in other states prevent bettors from wagering on local college sporting events and on those involving local teams. So, a Texas sports betting bill might not allow gambling on these teams either.
NCAAF Teams in Texas
Texas has the most teams in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), with 12 schools competing here. The Texas Longhorns from the University of Texas has one of the best rivalries in the league with the Oklahoma Sooners. Moreover, the TCU Horned Frogs and the UTSA Roadrunners are showing great promise this season.
The Best NCAAF Teams in Texas are:
- Baylor Bears
- TCU Horned Frogs
- Texas Tech Red Raiders
- Texas Longhorns
- Texas Tech Red Raiders
- Texas A&M Aggies
- SMU Mustangs
- Houston Cougars
- North Texas Mean Green
- Rice Owls
- UTEP Miners
- UTSA Roadrunners
NCAAB Teams in Texas
All of the big colleges in Texas have teams for multiple sports in NCAA Division I leagues. For basketball, there are a total of 24 men’s basketball teams in the state, only two fewer than California. The Houston Cougars and the Houston Longhorns are often regarded as two of the best in the league.
The Best NCAAB Teams in Texas are:
- Baylor Bears
- Houston Cougars
- Incarnate Word Cardinals
- North Texas Mean Green
- Rice Owls
- SMU Mustangs
- TCU Horned Frogs
- Texas Longhorns
- Texas A&M Aggies
- Texas State Bobcats
- UTEP Miners
Other Popular Sports in Texas
Beyond the major leagues, Texans also enjoy following quite a few other sports.
Soccer is arguably the most popular in this category as the state has a fairly long history with the sport. It used to have teams in the North American Soccer League. Texas was even one of the nine locations that hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Moreover, in 1996, the Dallas Burn were one of the 10 founding members of Major League Soccer (MLS), now known as the Division 1 Soccer League.
There are now three major soccer teams in Texas: Houston Dynamo FC, and Austin FC, FC Dallas.
Horse racing is another sport that is quite popular among Texans. There are currently four tracks where fans can watch races live and also place bets. These locations also broadcast races from other locations in order to provide more TX horse betting action.
We should also point out that Texas is the biggest state for rodeo, hosting the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo event.
Additional notable sports include gymnastics, golf, motorsports, and even esports. The best sports betting sites in Texas would provide markets for all of these, and more.
Sports Betting History in Texas
The Lone Star State has a long history when it comes to gambling and was once a big destination for betting fans. Before the Civil War, Texas was known as being a very wild location with many saloons and gambling houses along the main roads.
After the Civil War in the US, the Reconstruction Era made gambling houses an even more popular destination for entertainment. As a result, betting became the go-to pastime for cowboys and ranchers in the region. This trend only continued to grow as Texas saw a boom in prosperity due to its position on the frontier and the price of buffalo hides going up.
The Progressive Era wasn’t as free when it came to vices like gambling and drinking. Campaigners managed to ban alcohol in the 1920s, which didn’t stop alcohol use but made it only available in hidden establishments. Gambling followed the same trend.
In the 1930s, the Great Depression had a significant impact on the economy and on spending habits. Texas legalized pari-mutuel horse racing betting in 1933 to encourage some form of spending in the state. TX horse betting remains popular to this day.
When World War Two began, cities offered looser regulations on gambling in order to generate revenue from taxes. Houston opened several gambling venues during this time.
After the war, federal regulations targeted gambling and sports betting, making it illegal to place bets throughout the states. The only exception was Nevada, which benefited from special regulations regarding gambling.
In May 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that sports betting is no longer banned on a federal level. This allowed individual states to introduce their own laws and regulate gambling within their borders as they see fit. Since then, 32 states have legalized sports betting.
How Texas Sports Betting Laws Compare to Neighboring States
Some of the states surrounding Texas have introduced new sports betting legislation, which can put some pressure on Texan regulators. The location of the state puts it in a fairly unique situation as Mexico doesn’t have the same federal limitations to worry about. Let’s take a closer look at the neighboring states and how they may affect online sports betting in Texas.
To the west of Texas, we find New Mexico, a state with legal sports betting. In fact, New Mexico was among the first states to legalize sports betting after the federal ban was lifted. Retail sportsbooks opened in October 2018 and two of the five casinos in New Mexico now accept real money bets.
Unfortunately for Texas sports betting fans, the closest sportsbook is four hours away from Lubbock, by car. This makes it quite a trip in order to place some bets.
Moving to the north, we find similar sports betting regulations to Texas in Oklahoma. The state hasn’t legalized any form of sports betting, despite major efforts from the two Native tribes in the state. Similar to legal sports betting in Texas, it will probably take a while to get the green light in Oklahoma.
Arkansas only shares a small border with Texas to the northeast, but it does come with a big advantage compared to its other neighbors. Mobile betting went live in Arkansas in March 2022, only a few years after the state opened its first retail casino.
Moreover, the border is not that far away from Dallas, so Texas gamblers can easily make the drive into Arkansas in order to access sports betting apps.
Louisiana is a great choice for many sports betting fans in Texas due to its location and regulations. Residents of the Houston area can reach the border in around one hour. Once in Louisiana, you will have access to mobile sports betting in 55 out of the 64 parishes.
It is easy to see why Louisiana is a bit concerned about the launch of the best sports betting sites in Texas. Until then, however, it remains a good way for Texans to quickly place a few bets, especially for major upcoming events.
Texas Sports Betting Conclusion
Right now, Texas sports betting is not legal, but this may change in 2023. The last attempt to legalize wagering took place in 2021 and it failed to pass.
Since the Texas Legislature only meets every couple of years, 2023 might be the year for sports betting in Lone Star State. It also means that a failure in this session would push potential legislation another two years.
A proposal on the matter hasn’t been submitted so far, so it is difficult to predict how things will go. Sports betting has definitely become more popular throughout the US over the past few years. Some professional sports teams in Texas have already expressed their support for legalizing betting and their interest in partnering with sportsbooks.