Texas Sports Betting Laws
At the federal level, Texas is bound by the same laws as almost every other state in the country. The Wire Act and the UIGEA all apply, though Texas goes another step further with its sports betting laws, banning the practice – both online and offline – throughout the entire state. Most of these state-wide prohibitions are covered under Texas Penal Code Chapter 47 (Gambling), with §47.02(a)(1) explaining the limits specified. This section covers sporting events, individual athletic performances, political nominations and elections, and card- and table-based betting “for money or other things of value.”
But this is not the only sports gambling laws that you should know about. There were attempts being made to change the state constitution of Texas. TX HJR 61 was introduced by Representative Eddie Lucio III on February 1 of 2019 to amend the constitution of the above statement. This would have allowed new sports betting laws and legislation to take place in Texas. Rep. Lucio also introduced TX HB 1275 which would have formally introduced sports betting regulation and laws to Texas. Both needed to pass so state-based sports betting could have occurred in the state.
Unfortunately, neither of the bills ended up passing. The legislative session ended and both bills did not make it past the introductory phase. Although it is unfortunate that this happened, this does show that Texas lawmakers are interested in creating land-based and online sports betting laws to allow sports gambling. Until that happens, there are plenty of legal betting sites available for Texans to take advantage of.
Federal Laws That Impact Texas Sports Betting
There are three federal laws that impact Texas sports betting: The Wire Act of 1961, which forbids using electronic communications to place bets between states; the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which outlaws gambling on athletic contests; and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) which penalizes financial institutions for knowingly facilitating the exchange of money earned from Internet-based gambling activities.
However, each of these laws only penalizes those who take bets, not those who make them. In this way, much of the federal regulations that seem to make sports betting so difficult across America actually just push that $500 billion business overseas (by way of the Internet) where legal Texas sports betting sites – as well as those for all the other states – are not burdened by US law. It is primarily due to this lost taxable revenue that the US is rethinking its policies on sports betting and gambling in general.
What Is PASPA?
PASPA, or the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, is an anti-sports-gambling federal law that went into effect in 1992. Ostensibly designed to “protect” the “integrity” of mainstream industrial sport, the law garnered tremendous support from professional US sports leagues and their affiliates.
In particular, then-commissioner of the NBA David Stern called sports gambling “a national problem” whose “interstate ramifications...are a compelling reason for federal legislation.” The advertised idea was that, by making sports betting illegal, there would be no impetus for athletes or referees or other officials to accept bribes to throw games. Heh.
At the time the law went into effect, only four states fit the criteria for exemption via PASPA’s grandfather clause: Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon. Of these four, only Nevada currently offers comprehensive sportsbook action. (Ironically, PASPA was explicitly designed to allow a fifth state’s exemption, but New Jersey pulled a New Jersey and fumbled the year-long window they were given to implement sports betting. They’ve been actively fighting the law ever since.)
What Is The Game Act?
The Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act, or GAME Act, is a current legislative proposal written with the explicit intent to repeal PASPA. Unveiled by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the GAME Act is sponsored and spearheaded by New Jersey Democrat Frank Pallone, and it comprises one point of a multipronged attack that the representative’s state has been engaged in as it tries to upend PASPA.
The GAME Act not only seeks a PASPA repeal, it actually further attempts to clarify and modernize the definitions of gambling and of those actions and avenues that constitute the pastime. In its new glossary of terms, the GAME Act leaves no doubt that lotteries, sports wagers, fantasy sports, eSports, and the like are all included under the “gambling” umbrella. Further, the proposed law also attempts to clarify “items of value,” specifically mentioning cryptocurrency solutions that pervade the current offshore sportsbook scene.
Keep in mind, the GAME Act will not legalize sports betting in any specific state; it merely removes the federal prohibition and allows individual states to decide for themselves whether or not to allow sports betting inside their borders. As of right now, it is unclear whether or not PASPA’s repeal would allow legal Texas sports betting sites to operate on state land.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal In Texas?
Texas is one of the very few states in the country that does have active laws against people making sports bets. But here is the fact of the matter, these laws are not really enforceable. The local police in Texas simply do not have the technology to pay attention to every household to determine whether or not you are gambling on the Texas Rangers game. That is a task too tall for them. Using our online offshore sportsbooks will most likely not get you into trouble while in the Lone Star State. Just make sure that you are doing to privately and no one will be able to tell if you are making a bet or not.
Mobile Sports Betting Apps For Texas Bettors
While there are no mobile sports betting apps for Texas bettors on Apple’s or Google’s official marketplaces, smartphone and tablet users can enjoy a mobile-optimized experience with their favorite offshore sportsbooks. Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, and 5Dimes, as the top legal Texas sports betting sites around, each offers a completely optimized mobile experience. With user interfaces designed around speed and convenient one-touch betting, these “web apps” provide a dedicated mobile experience. Open up a browser in your mobile device to access your favorite online offshore sportsbook, save the landing page to your home screen, and you’ve got a shortcut to all the portable betting action you can handle.
What Is The Legal Age To Gamble In Texas
While there are different thresholds for different game types, the legal age to gamble in Texas is 21. Yes, you only have to be 18 years old to play the state lottery or bet on dog and horse racing, but for land-based casinos and poker rooms, 21 is the minimum.
Of course, there is nothing in Texas’ law books about age limits for online sports betting or online poker in particular. The online offshore sportsbooks we so often recommend do abide by local laws when they determine if you can bet or not. Although they allow you to begin signing up at 18, that is just their baseline standard. It is always best to stick as close to the laws as possible because you do not want to end up gambling underage. Just wait until you are 21 to be absolutely safe.
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Texas Sports Betting FAQ's
Are online sportsbooks safe to use if you live in Texas?
Yes. While there are laws in Texas that indicate you should not gamble on sports, there is no real danger of being arrested for wagering via online sportsbooks. In addition to featuring top-level data security for their end-users, offshore sportsbooks like Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, and 5Dimes also offer alternative payment methods like Bitcoin, which will help you maintain your privacy even more. Also, it is important to consider the sheer magnitude that enforcing such a law would actually be for a state as big as Texas. There is simply no way for the state government to effectively police the Internet activities of some 28 million people and they know this. As long as you don’t make a public production of your online sports betting, there is almost no chance that you’ll ever get in trouble for participating in the popular pastime. So even if these legal Texas sports betting sites operate in a sort of gray area, online sportsbooks are safe to use if you live in Texas.
Has anyone been arrested for sports betting in Texas?
The only arrests that have been made are always predicated on deeper involvement in gambling or bookmaking businesses. Generally speaking, individual sports bettors are at almost no risk for arrest in Texas. However, active participants in the business of unlicensed gambling rings are a frequent target of state and federal authorities. This means you should never use a bookie. If you want to keep yourself safe, you should use our recommended online offshore sportsbooks. No one has ever been arrested in Texas for using these websites.
What should I do if my bank didn't process my credit or debit card deposit?
If your bank fails to process your credit or debit card deposits for your online sportsbook of choice, there are two possible avenues of action. The first thing to do is simply wait – it can take up to 10 business days for the transaction to go through. Unfortunately, many banks have restrictions on purchasing credits for legal Texas sports betting sites due to federal laws. In these instances, it is best to explore an alternative method of deposit. Luckily, each site offers several different deposit types, including wire transfers, personal checks, money orders, Bitcoin, and more.
What is the best way to fund your sports betting account?
For legal purposes, the best way to fund your sports betting account is via cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, in particular, is very good for use at legal Texas sports betting sites, as it is difficult to trace and maintains almost complete user anonymity. This level of privacy and security is simply not possible with more traditional methods. That is not the only benefits that cryptocurrencies have. Most of the online sportsbooks we recommend to you much prefer you use cryptos to deposit and withdraw funds. They are fast, secure, and there are a number of bonuses you can take advantage of if you use cryptos. If you want to earn even more free funds to bet on the Houston Rockets, cryptos are the way to go.
Do Online Sports Betting Sites Have Odds On Cowboys Football?
Do they ever! As one of the most popular sports teams on the entire planet, the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys get more than their fair share of online sports betting. It is not a stretch to say that a billion dollars or more is bet on the Cowboys alone each year. And as a deep playoffs favorite, that number can only go up. But Texas has more than just the Cowboys. There plenty of colligate level football teams that you can cheer for. And you aren’t just limited to wager on teams from Texas. There are plenty of other football teams you may be a fan of and our recommended books have odds on just about all of them. If you love football, there are plenty of opportunities to make a bet in an online offshore sportsbook.
What is live betting?
Live betting means that you can wager on a game that is happening live. With traditional betting, once a sports bet is placed, the bettor simply sits back and watches the game, waiting for the final score to determine a bet’s success or failure. With live betting at your legal Texas sports betting site of choice, there are many more opportunities during the course of a game to place bets, and the odds are constantly changing to reflect what has happened up to that point in a given game. Because the odds can change so rapidly, it is best to use your sportsbook’s “quick bet mode” to ensure you get exactly the action you’re after. Live betting is also known as in-game or in-play betting.
Do legal Texas online sportsbooks have live betting?
Yes! All of the major sports on tap in Texas have a comprehensive and engaging menu of live betting wager types. The NBA and NHL lend themselves extremely well to live betting, as the games are fluid by nature, and each in-game event – from penalties to injuries to streaks to cold spells – will have an effect on the moneyline and various prop bets in play. That said, the NFL is the most bet-on league in America, and its selection of live bets reflects that. Is the next play going to end an incomplete pass? Will the next play have a touchdown? Is the ball going to be intercepted? There are plenty of opportunities to makes a live bet in football or any of your favorite sports and our list of Texas online sportsbooks have them all for you.
Can I have more than one online sportsbook account?
Absolutely, albeit with the caveat that you should only have one online account per online sportsbook. In the Internet betting business, it is generally against a given company’s terms of service to have more than one active account per user. However, since legal Texas sports betting sites all offer different lines and different bet types, it makes good sense to have an account at two or more of them. Additionally, you’ll get different perks with each provider, and your sign-up bonuses will also vary site to site. Bet early, and bet often!
What Is Shopping Lines?
Shopping lines is the reason why you would have more than one online sportsbook account. Essentially, it is looking at multiple different sportsbooks and deciding which one will give you the best odds on the team you are going to bet on. The online offshore sportsbooks we recommend to you will never give you bad odds, but one will likely offer you slightly better odds. If you want to make a lot of money, in the long run, betting on the Dallas Mavericks, you need to have more one sports betting account so you can shop the lines. Signing up is free, so there is nothing holding you back from doing so.
Betting On Horse Racing In Texas
Horse racing venues constitute the original legal Texas sports betting sites, and the state allows pari-mutuel betting both on- and off-track. Simulcast betting ensures that no matter where you are, you can always bet on the ponies in Texas. Of course, the state’s ample physical sites mean you can pretty much do that, anyway.
While Manor Downs, Texas’ oldest horse track, closed recently, Grand Prairie’s Lone Star Park remains a large attraction, offering a family-friendly, amusement-oriented venue featuring a 15-acre fun park. Retama Park, Sam Houston Race Park, the Gillespie County Race Track, and Valley Race Park round out Texas’ racetrack offerings. If you want action from all over the world though, legal Texas sports betting sites have dedicated racebooks available so you can bet on the ponies.
The Status Of Daily Fantasy Sports In Texas
Daily Fantasy Sports, or DFS, is a hotly-contested topic in the Lone Star State. For now, it is legal for Texas residents to participate in DFS, but on the operators’ end, its legal status is not so clear. Though DFS is not explicitly illegal by Texas statute, state AG Ken Paxton writes in Opinion No. KP-0057 that it is the opinion of the state that DFS is not allowed. But, that doesn’t mean that DFS does not occur. Both FanDuel and DraftKings are currently operational in Texas because the AG did not formally create a measure to do so. This means that while the law frowns upon DFS, it is not against the law to use these websites. If you are a fan of DFS, you should have no trouble going to DraftKings or FanDuel to participate in fantasy contests.