However, the effort to legalize casino gambling in certain parts of Texas could face some pushback, with Gov. Greg Abbott (R) saying in 2015 that he “wholeheartedly” supported Texas’s gaming. Gambling is generally prohibited in Texas but there are many exceptions to the general rule. Game rooms are generally authorized so long as they do not have illegal gambling devices. Specifically, so-called “eight-liner” machines are illegal gambling devices, unless the prizes awarded are non-cash items that are worth no more than 10 times the cost. The discussions are still continuing and yet Texas is not expected to legalize sports gambling in the near future. Still, we prepared an entire page about Texas sports betting which will be useful to all sports lovers, for sure! Online Casinos in Texas. As we mentioned above, the Texas laws do not specify whether online casinos are legal or not.
Texas is one of the strictest states when it comes to gambling and its laws can cover a wide variety of activities. Under Texas law, (Penal Code §47.02) gambling is considered a criminal offense if someone:
- makes a bet on the partial or final result of a game or contest or on the performance of a participant in a game or contest
- makes a bet on the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or on the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or
- plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, balls, or any other gambling device.
The law does provide for some exceptions such as participating in the state lotteryor placing bets on horse and greyhound dog races (sometimes referred to as pari-mutuel wagering). The law also provides for some affirmative defenses to prosecution:
- the actor engaged in gambling in a private place;
- no person received any economic benefit other than personal winnings; and
- except for the advantage of skill or luck, the risks of losing and the chances of winning were the same for all participants
Additional exceptions include if the person reasonably believed their conduct:
Texas Legalize Sports Betting
- was permitted under Chapter 2001, Occupations Code; (Charitable Bingo)
- was permitted under Chapter 2002, Occupations Code; (Charitable Raffles)
- was permitted under Chapter 2004, Occupations Code; (Sports Charity Raffles)
Texas Legalized Gambling
The first page of this guide will provide you with an overview of the Texas laws on gambling while the subsequent pages will discuss more specific topics like bingo, eight-liners and poker.