Offline and Online Gambling in Texas
Table of Contents
Hola, our dear Texas gamblers. You might have heard that gambling is illegal in this state, however, it’s a mistake to think so. Do you really think that gambling can be legally forbidden in the state with 22 licensed land based casinos, 4 horse tracks, 4 licensed bingo halls, 7 simulcasting facilities, 2 greyhound tracks, and 1 sports betting parlour? Evidently, the mere existence of licensed gambling venues in the state shows that you can legally gamble in The Lone Star State. So, we encourage you to carefully read this article in order to learn all the gambling peculiarities in the state as well as find out all the important details about legal gambling regulations in Texas.
Top Land Based Casinos in Texas
|Offline Casino||Location & Contact Info||Gambling Info||Amenities|
|Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie|
(launched on January 1, 1997)
|Address: 1000 Lone Star Parkway, Grand Prairie, Texas|
Tel: (972) 263-7223
|Freerolls Poker Club (launched on September 26, 2018)||Address: 24025 Katy Freeway, Katy, Texas|
Tel: (281) 675-5510
|Naskila Entertainment (launched on May 17, 2016)||Address: 540 State Park Road 56, Livingston, Texas|
Tel: (936) 563-2946
|Post Oak Poker Club (launched August 5, 2017)||Address: 1801 Post Oak Boulevard, Houston, Texas|
Tel: (833) 767-8625
|Jacks or Better Casino (launched on May 12, 2015)||Address: 715 North Holiday Drive, Galveston, Texas|
Tel: (844) 426-2534
|Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino (launched on January 1, 1996)||Address: 794 Lucky Eagle Drive, Eagle Pass, Texas|
Tel: (830) 758-1936
|Carnival Breeze Casino||Address: 2502 Harborside Dr, Galveston, Texas|
Tel: 800 438-6744
|Carnival Freedom Casino||Address: 6431 Central City Blvd, Galveston, Texas|
|KoJack’s Poker Club (launched on September 1, 2017)||Address: 3205 West Cuthbert Avenue, Midland, Texas|
Tel: (432) 349-2047
|Carnival Valor Casino||Address: 6431 Central City Blvd, Galveston, Texas|
Other decent land based gambling locations in The Lone Star State that you might want to visit include the following: Crowley Road Bingo Plex (5701 Crowley Rd, Fort Worth, TX 76134, USA), Gillespie County Fairgrounds (530 Fair Drive, Fredericksburg, TX 78624, USA), Gulf Coast Race Track Bet By Bay (5302 Leopard St, Corpus Christi, TX 78408, USA), Gulf Greyhound Park (1000 Fm 2004 Road, La Marque, TX 77568, USA), Ingram Park Bingo (6709 Southwest Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78227, USA), Post Oak Poker Club (1801 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056, USA), Race Barn (35 Fair Drive, Fredericksburg, TX 78624, USA), Retama Park (1 Retama Parkway, Selma, TX 78154, USA), River City Card Room (6565 Babcock Rd #24, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA), Royal Caribbean International – Liberty of the Seas (2702 Harborside Dr, Galveston, TX 77550, USA), Sam Houston Race Park (7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West, Houston, TX 77064, USA), Triple Crown Bingo (8921 Louetta Road, Spring, TX 77379, USA), Valley Race Park (2601 South Ed Carey Drive, Harlingen, TX 78552, USA).
Interesting Info about Texas
Before we’ll share with you all the gambling aspects of gambling in the state, let us introduce this state to you and tell you all the most interesting info about it. Texas or The Lone Star State is also known as the US Spanish or Mexican state owing to its bordering with Mexico. The Lone Star State is the second largest American state by area as well as population. Peculiar geologic features of The Lone Star State, such as the Balcones Fault, contribute to the impressive diversity of the state’s landscapes formed out of rolling plains, grasslands, rugged hills, coastal swamps, former prairies, forests, piney woods, and the coastline.
Talking about The Lone Star State, it’s worth mentioning such a term as “six flags over Texas”, which means that Texas used to be ruled by different nations before it gained its independence and became one of the fifty states of America. Evidently, initially, Texas used to be inhabited and ruled by Native Americans. The first European country that started controlling the state was Spain. The next country that used to rule over The Lone Star State over a short period of time was France. After France short-term colonial rule, until 1836, The Lone Star State was controlled by Mexico. In 1836, The Lone Star State managed to win independence and became an independent republic. In 1845, Texas was the 28th state to join the union of American states and officially joined the Confederate States of America in 1861.
The state’s nickname refers to its former status as an independent republic as well as its successful struggle with Mexico for the state’s independence. As for the state’s name itself, it comes from one of the Native Americans’ languages known as Caddo. In Caddo language, there’s a word ‘taysha’, which means ‘friends’. Consequently, the state’s motto is “Friendship”, which sounds quite welcoming for tourists as well as for gamblers. However, this friendliness is rather misleading in terms of gambling, since the gambling conditions in the state are not really favourable. For more details, check the section below dealing with legal regulations as for gaming in the Lone Star State.
Texas Legal Gambling Regulations and Peculiarities
You might have heard that gambling in Texas is illegal, however, it’s an absolute nonsense and the existence of licensed land based casinos, horse tracks, licensed bingo halls, simulcasting facilities, greyhound tracks, and sports betting parlour proves that it’s nothing but rumors. To tell you more, there are the following legal forms of gambling in The Lone Star State: Texas Lottery, pari mutuel wagering on horse racing and greyhound racing, charitable bingo, pull-tabs, raffles, and three Indian casinos.
Now, let’s get into details. Even though there’s a well known poker game Texas Hold ‘Em, card games betting is considered illegal in the state. According to Texas gambling laws (PEN 47.01 et seq.; Civ. St. 179e), you can only legally bet on greyhound dog racing and horse racing. Just for your info, there are 4 horse tracks and 2 greyhound tracks available for legal gambling in the Lone Star State. In addition, you can also be legally involved in social gambling that includes playing bingo games and charitable raffles.
Since 1992, gamblers of The Lone Star State have a chance to test their luck in the Texas Lottery, which is operated by the state’s government and available for all The Lone Star State residents. In the Texas Lottery, gamblers can enjoy different scratch-off and drawing games. Drawing games include the following categories:
- In-house drawings, such as Lotto Texas, Texas Two Step, All or Nothing, Cash Five, Pick 3, Daily 4 games;
- Multi-jurisdiction drawings, such as Powerball and Mega Millions games;
- Former drawings, such as Texas Triple Chance and Monopoly Millionaires’ Club.
Bingo and Raffles
Since charitable gaming is allowed in The Lone Star State, any profit organization as well as any other community group has every right to operate bingo games and sell pull-tabs providing that they are licensed by the Charitable Bingo Operations Division of the Texas Lottery Commission. In case you don’t know it yet, pull-tabs are basically Instant Bingo games. It’s also important to bear in mind that you can take part in bingo sections only three times per week and the maximum prize can’t exceed $750 for a game. Basically, bingo gaming was allowed based on the results of local referendums where 226 counties out of the total number of 254 Texas counties voted to allow bingo games. In such a way, nowadays, you can find over 1227 different non-profit organizations that are authorized to hold bingo gaming events.
As for raffles, they were legalized in 1989 when voters approved the corresponding amendment to the US constitution. In such a way, nowadays, raffles can be held only twice a year by qualified organizations. What is more, the winning prize for raffles can’t be higher than $50,000. An exception is winning a house, in this case, the prize can’t exceed $250,000.
There are three federally recognized tribes in The Lone Star State, which are the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, the Tigua tribe of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe. Each of these tribes is legally allowed to operate a casino. In such a way, the Kickapoo operates the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino (with 3300 Gaming machines, 12 Poker tables, Lucky Eagle Poker Room, and such games as Slot machines, Bingo and three poker games — Limit Holdem, No Limit Holdem, 7 Card Stud) located in Eagle Pass, the Tigua operates the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center (with bingo, poker, and a non-banking variant of blackjack known as “Tigua 21”) located in El Paso, and the Alabama-Coushatta operates Naskila Gaming (with 365 gaming slot machines) located in Livingston.
Since gambling has been illegal for some time in the past, enterprising people invented such a profitable business as casino cruises. The main idea of a casino cruise lies in going on a one day cruise (basically, to nowhere) somewhere in the international waters where Texas gambling laws can’t reach. Evidently, on these gambling boats, you can play different casino games, which is actually the main and probably only goal of such cruises.
Actually, casino cruises are quite popular in the USA, especially in the states where gambling is not quite legal. In other states, casino cruises were first offered to gamblers in the early 1980s. However, in The Lone Star State, casino cruises appeared later because of the state’s laws prohibiting the ships docking if there was any kind of gambling equipment on the board. So, the first casino cruise in Texas was in 1988, when Le Mistral sailed out of Port Isabel to the Mexican village of Mezquital. However, the location was stated only nominally. In fact, Le Mistral didn’t reach the Mexican village of Mezquital, it usually stopped approximately a mile of the port in order to let the passengers to enjoy their favourite gambling activities to the full.
Nowadays, there are the following casino cruises where you can enjoy playing your favourite casino games: Carnival Breeze Casino, Carnival Freedom Casino, Carnival Valor Casino. Typically, the gaming options available on casino cruises include popular table games, slot machines, and poker games, such as the following games: Blackjack, Roulette, Slot machines, 3 Card Poker, Let It Ride Bonus Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Dice, Fun 21 Blackjack, Heads Up Hold’em, Poker Pro Texas Hold’em, Poker etc.
Texas Online Gambling Laws
Many gamblers wonder if online gambling is legal in The Lone Star State. Briefly speaking, it’s not. However, you shouldn’t be satisfied with this answer since there are some really important peculiarities that you will definitely find useful. As it is in many other American states, in Texas, there are no legal regulations for online gambling. Moreover, there are no legal online casinos in the state that are regulated by the government or the governmentally authorized gambling commission. That’s why there is absolutely no chance for you to legally play in a Texas local online casino since there are not such casinos in the state. However, you should understand that there are also no laws that would legally ban offshore gambling. For this reason, you can play in your favourite overseas online casinos that accept gamblers from The Lone Star State. Be aware that you don’t break the Texas laws by playing in the offshore online casinos providing that you have reached the legal gambling age, which is 21. The only exception is lottery games that you can legally play in the age of 18.