Texas Sports Betting

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Texas sports betting isn’t live yet, but there is a lot of interest in the state. State lawmakers missed the chance to bring sports betting to Texas sports fans last year. Although there were signs that sports betting legalization could happen, lawmakers missed the deadline when the legislative session ended. Now there’s a push to get it back on the agenda next year.

Some big names in the Texas sports industry have voiced support for Texas sports betting. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the Dallas Mavericks, and Texas Rangers have formed a coalition. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who defeated Democrat challenger Beto O’Rourke in November 2022 to gain re-election, said he is open to expanded gambling options in Texas.

However, Texas has some of the country’s strongest laws against gambling. Despite the flood of casino donations pouring in from across the country, Texans will likely have to wait until the 2024 ballot or 2025 legislature for sports betting to have a realistic shot.

Best Sports Betting Alternatives for Texas:

  • Fliff Sports Betting – Fliff lets you make traditional sports betting wagers (spreads, point totals, prop bets, etc.) You do so with fake currency, but then you can redeem the fake currency for cash prizes. Because you technically aren’t playing with real money and because it is totally free to play, Fliff is perfectly legal in Texas.

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Texas Sports Betting Recent Updates

  • November 16, 2022:

    Fresh off his record $72.6 million win on the Astros to win the World Series, Houston-based Gallery Furniture store owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale made a total of $2.55 million in wagers to win $22,925,000 on the Houston Cougars to win the NCAA men’s basketball title, Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

  • November 8, 2022:

    Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott wins re-election to a third term, soundly defeating a challenge from Democrat Beto O’Rourke. Abbott’s office had indicated in a statement that he would consider proposals to legalize commercial casinos in Texas, according to a report by the Houston Chronicle.

  • November 5, 2022:

    Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, owner of Houston-based Gallery Furniture, took home $75 million – widely reported to be the largest payout in the history of sports betting – when the Houston Astros won the franchise’s second World Series title with a 4-2 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies. McIngvale made a series of bets amounting to $10 million on the Astros to win the World Series.

  • October 23, 2022:

    The Houston Astros are heading to the World Series again after finishing a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees in the AL Championship Series with a 6-5 victory. If the Astros win the World Series, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, owner of Houston-based Gallery Furniture, would earn an estimated $75 million payout, the largest in sports betting history.

  • October 12, 2022:

    Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, the owner of Houston-based Gallery Furniture, is a step closer to receiving a massive $75 million payout after the Houston Astros’ 8-7 ninth inning comeback against the Seattle Mariners in Game 1 of the ALDS.

  • September 21, 2022:

    Texas residents are hopeful that the opportunity to wager legally on their favorite sports teams will come soon enough, but optimistic assessments put Texas sports betting as unlikely to come to fruition until at least 2024. Dan Zimmerman details the latest outlook for sports betting legalization in Texas.

  • September 19, 2022:

    Texas Motor Speedway will play host to the 2022 NASCAR Playoffs this week. The NASCAR Playoffs doubleheader will be highlighted by the NASCAR Xfinity Series Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 on Saturday, Sept. 24 and the NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 on Sunday, Sept. 25.

  • August 4, 2022:

    Rush Street Interactive, the sports betting and online casino company in the United States that operates BetRivers, announced financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2022. Rush Street Interactive has a marketing deal with the Frisco Fighters of the Indoor Football League. RSI’s sponsorship includes placement of signage for BetRivers, sponsorship of pre-game, in-game segments and a presence on the team’s digital media.

  • August 2, 2022:

    While proponents continue to push for legal sports betting in Texas, the state continues to benefit from the lottery. According to The Texan, the Texas Lottery Commission is on track to exceed its all-time sales record this fiscal year after the Mega Millions jackpot reached a historic $1.33 billion.

  • July 18, 2022:

    Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, the owner of Houston-based Gallery Furniture, stated during the SBC Summit North America that he currently has approximately $4 million bet on the Houston Astros to win the World Series at around 10-1 odds. The wagers coincide with a promotion that gives customers who spend $3,000 or more their money back – if the Astros win the World Series.

  • June 15, 2022:

    The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the State of Texas does not have the authority to prohibit electronic bingo on tribal lands because electronic bingo is not a game that is prohibited by state law.

  • May 9, 2022:

    BetMGM announced that the company now is the exclusive Sports Betting Partner of the Houston Astros. This marks BetMGM’s first relationship in Texas.

  • April 21, 2022:

    Beto O’Rourke says he may support a sports betting measure if elected governor of Texas. “From listening to Texans across the state, it’s one, a very popular proposal, and two, it would also help us address some of the challenges we have in reducing inflation and property taxes in the state,” O’Rourke said. “So, I think that warrants a very close look, and it’s something I’m inclined to support.”

  • February 13, 2022:

    Texas sports betting could produce revenue numbers similar to New York once legalization occurs in the Lone Star State, according to one industry expert.

    “Texas would be right up there,” Ben Fawkes, the vice president of digital content for the Vegas Stats and Information Network told KCENTV. “It would be in the top three for sure and then probably one or two depending on adoption but it’s such a massive population base, it’s gonna be one of the biggest markets.”

Best DFS Apps In Texas

Daily fantasy sports, or DFS, is a shorter version of popular fantasy sports games. It allows players to put fantasy teams together every day in intense competitions. Every player on a player’s fantasy sports team accumulates points based on the real players’ real statistics. It’s a great way for players to test their knowledge of the sports and players they’re using in their fantasy teams. DFS also has the advantage of occurring more often, so players can get this practice year-round. It’s legal in Texas because DFS is classified as a skill-based game instead of a game of chance. So, it’s not gambling in the same sense that a slot machine in a casino is.

But if players want to get into fantasy sports, there are two giants in the industry to choose between: DraftKings and FanDuel.

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DraftKings has become the United State’s foremost DFS company. It’s an old company that has since expanded into sports betting and online casinos where it’s allowed to offer them. But in Texas, players will only have access to DraftKing’s DFS product. DraftKings offers a welcome bonus to new DFS users, too. Players can get a 20% deposit match up to $500. However, players won’t get that money until they wager their own money. Players will receive $1 for every $25 they wager. But players should play at a comfortable consistent rate to maximize the welcome bonus. There’s no reason to go bankrupt over some fantasy sports credits.

DraftKings remains the king of DFS, so interested Texans should consider a DraftKings account.

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FanDuel is DraftKing’s strongest competitor, which is appropriate since FanDuel was founded first. It’s remained a force of nature in the DFS industry. So, players should be familiar with it. Like DraftKings, FanDuel offers players many daily fantasy contests to put teams together for. If players are good at making picks, then they could win real money that they can withdraw from their DFS accounts later. FanDuel offers new DFS players one free sports entry on sign up + Deposit $10, Get $10. If Texans want to branch out of DraftKings, FanDuel is the other good DFS option available to players.

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Other Betting Alternatives in Texas

  • Monkey Knife FightGet $5 free on sign up! Monkey Knife Fight is a mix of daily fantasy sports and prop gaming. Just make two picks (over/under) and you can win up to 100x your initial play.

Why It’s So Difficult To Legalize Sports Betting In Texas

The Lone Star State is counter-intuitively conservative when it comes to sports betting, which is currently illegal in Texas. 

In 2019, a 15-page bill called HB 1275, championed by Representative Eddie Lucio III, was brought to Texas’s legislature. It included provisions that would authorize both online and mobile wagering for Texan residents. The bill stipulated further measures including:

  • The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation would oversee the resulting gambling industry
  • There would be a 6.25% tax rate imposed for any sports wager
  • It would allow sports bettors to wager on both professional and college sports

However, this bill—and, as many Texas lawmakers argue, any effort to legalize sports betting—would require a referendum to amend the Texas Constitution.

In Texas, gambling is outlawed due to a constitutional provision, not a regularly passed law.

As a result, passing any bill will be quite difficult. It not only would need two-thirds support in the House of Representatives and Senate, it also needs to go on a ballot and receive approval from voters. 

Still, Texas sports betting is looking more and more likely every day. 

Many big Texas professional sports team owners, such as Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks, and Tilman Fertitta of the Houston Rockets have announced their support for Texas sports betting. And every legislative session, sports betting bills will be introduced until one or two finally pass.

Texas sports betting could produce revenue numbers similar to New York when that happens, according to one industry expert.

New York saw $1.6 billion bet on mobile sports betting sites during its first month of operation starting in January. With a 51% tax rate, the state’s coffers received nearly $58 million.

“Texas would be right up there,” Ben Fawkes, the vice president of digital content for the Vegas Stats and Information Network told KCENTV. “It would be in the top three for sure and then probably one or two depending on adoption but it’s such a massive population base, it’s gonna be one of the biggest markets.”

It’s possible Texas sports betting could become a reality in 2023.

Texas Legal Sportsbooks

For now, Texas sports betting enthusiasts have a long road ahead as they wait for sports betting legalization. But even though it may take up to a year or more for online sports betting to launch, it’s still a good idea to wait rather than use an offshore or illegal betting site.

That’s because offshore sites have terrible digital security and cannot guarantee the safety of your personal information or deposited funds. Identity theft is more common in this day and age than ever before and cybercriminals can all too easily lift your personal information, like your Social Security or credit card numbers, from offshore sportsbooks.

Offshore sportsbooks also have subpar odds and betting lines compared to their legitimate counterparts. Licensed and regulated sportsbooks use professional oddsmakers to create entertaining betting lines for both underdog bettors and those who prefer to wager on favored teams.

In contrast, offshore sportsbooks might come up with their odds randomly, leading to an overall unpleasant or unsatisfying sports betting experience.

Bottom line: Wait for legal sports betting to come to Texas, even if it seems like it’ll take a while yet. For now, you can always cross state lines and visit nearby states with legal sports betting, like New Mexico and Mississippi, both of which have retail sportsbooks (but no online betting). Louisiana does offer mobile sports betting now, so that is another viable option depending on where you reside in Texas.

Texas Sports Betting Revenue

It’s difficult to estimate the precise amount of sports betting revenue that Texas would generate. But it would be absolutely massive. In fact, there’s a good chance Texas would be the biggest sports betting market in the US if it legalizes it.

Texas sports betting could produce revenue numbers similar to New York once legalization occurs in the Lone Star State, according to one industry expert.

New York saw $1.6 billion bet on mobile sports betting sites during its first month of operation starting in January. With a 51% tax rate, the state’s coffers received nearly $58 million.

According to the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, revenue from sports betting in the Lone Star State could immediately bring in as much as $180 million for the current budget and the number could grow as high as $400 million for future state budgets. 

Texas is a big sports state. From Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio all have massive major league teams, and two colleges boast the top ten biggest stadiums on the planet by capacity (Texas A&M is 6th and Texas Longhorns is 9th).

Texas also has the second biggest in US after California, with 29.36 million residents. The current biggest sports betting market in the US is New Jersey, where online sportsbooks handle close to a billion dollars per month. New Jersey’s population is 8.882 million residents, which is less than a third of the population of Texas.

That is to say Texas online sports betting apps would handle at least a billion dollars or more per month. If we go strictly based on New Jersey, Texas sportsbooks would handle over $3 billion per month or $36 billion per year. That’s a lot of revenue, and that translates to a ton of tax dollars for the state.

How Texas Compares To Other States

Texas’s history might be considered relatively wild or frontier-oriented compared to many other states. But in the modern-day, Texas remains a stalwartly conservative state on most major social issues, including gambling. This is becoming even more true as southern states progress more rapidly with respect to legalizing sports betting, including Arizona, Louisiana, and even Florida

In fact, it’s incredibly hard to practice any kind of legal gambling in Texas. This ranges from casino games to card games to sports betting. That’s partly due to the state’s hardline conservative stance against gambling, and prohibition was a part of the state’s constitution where it was admitted to the union.

Texas does technically allow for casinos on tribal-owned lands. There have been three Native American casinos in Texas so far, but only two remain since one closed down some years back. One is the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle along the Mexican border and the other is Naskila Gaming outside of Livingston.

As a result, Texas compares pretty poorly to other states, at least in terms of its current gambling opportunities. Players can only participate in any gambling games by visiting one of the two above-mentioned tribal casinos. 

However, Texas does have legal poker rooms, many of which are located in and around major cities like Dallas and San Antonio.

Texas Betting Successes And Failures

Texas Sports Betting Successes

Texas currently doesn’t have many sports betting successes to speak of. That’s because the road to sports betting legalization has been long and slow despite the Supreme Court overturning PASPA in 2018.

However, Texas legislators have pushed for sports betting legalization in the past, and momentum seems to be growing. It would be surprising if Texas doesn’t legalize sports betting before the end of the decade, and hopefully by 2023.

Furthermore, Texas as a whole is a state with well-developed professional and college-level sports industries. In fact, professional and college sports are two major cultural touchstones for Texans and are core parts of the state’s national identity.

Therefore, any future Texas sports betting industry will benefit from built-in fans for local teams, including favorites like the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas A&M Aggies.

Where Could Texas Improve Online Gambling

Naturally, Texas could seriously improve its online gambling industry by enabling it in the first place. At the time of this writing, no online gambling activities are permitted whatsoever, even on tribal land. The tribal casinos are pretty limited in terms of their activity options too.

For bettors, the best course of action would be for Texas lawmakers to simultaneously legalize online sports betting while authorizing multiple in-person casino locations. There will be a new push in 2022. And if it doesn’t happen then, sports betting advocates will push for it in 2023, and so on until it gets done.

Legalization Effort In Texas

The sports betting legalization effort in Texas has been relatively slow going so far. Opposition from the President of the State Senate, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, as well as other influential Republican lawmakers will continue to keep hopes low for would-be Texas sports bettors.

However, various big players in the sports industry, including Mark Cuban, Jerry Jones, and Tilman Fertitta, have all voiced their support for Texas sports betting and own many of the state’s major teams. Furthermore, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) has voiced his own support for Texas sports betting on a provisional level (i.e. he needs to see the details before coming out in full support).

Time will tell, and Gaming Today will be keeping you updated every step of the way.

With neighboring Louisiana live now, and given its close proximity to Texas, residents of the Lone Star State won’t have to drive too far to get their sports gambling fix. Shreveport, for example, is approximately 20 miles from the Texas border.

Timeline Of Texas Sports Betting

  • 2018 – The Supreme Court overturns PASPA and opens up the opportunity for legal sports betting across the country
  • Feb 2019 – Representative Eddie Lucio III introduces HB 1275, a 15-page bill detailing potential future sports betting regulations
  • Feb 2019 – Lucio also introduces House Joint Resolution 61, which would enable a referendum to amend the state constitution
  • Jan 2021 – The Texas state legislature convenes once again to discuss the above bill and other major matters
  • Feb 2021 – Major Texas professional sports teams form a coalition in support of legal sports betting.
  • April 2021 – Sports betting legal experts see the legalization bills as destined to die in committee.
  • May 31, 2021 – The end of the 2021 legislative session marked yet another failure to legalize sports betting in the Lone Star State.
  • December 2021 – The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States hosts its Winter meeting in Austin, Texas. At the meeting, sports betting industry lawyer Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) tweeted, “Texas Rep. @DanHuberty just gave the keynote speech at the @NCLGS gaming industry conference in Austin. His quote: ‘I really believe there’s an opportunity here to pass sports betting in 2023. If you present it to the voters in the right way, it’s gonna pass. It will pass.’”

Top Sports Betting Sites In Texas

At the moment, there are no Texas sports betting sites to speak of. However, sports betting is becoming more popular throughout the country and many major operators would likely leap at the chance to provide sports wagers to Texan residents.

This is doubly true due to connections that certain big players in the industry have with Texas sports teams. For instance, Tilman Fertitta, the owner of the Houston Rockets, also owns the Golden Nugget, which is a casino and sports betting chain.

Furthermore, Jerry Jones has a big stake in DraftKings, one of the largest sports betting providers in the country. Mark Cuban owns an esports betting platform called Unikrn. All in all, these connections indicate that there’s already some political infrastructure in place to smooth over the launch of certain big sports betting operators.

In particular, we’d expect most major American and international sportsbooks to launch in Texas if and when sports betting is legalized. That’s partly because Texas is the second most populous state in the country, so the potential gambling fanbase is unimaginable. Popular sportsbooks we’d like to see include:

However, it remains to be seen how exactly future Texas sports betting legislation may pan out. Some states have imposed big restrictions on sports betting registration, requiring each licensed operator to partner with a local casino. States like Illinois and Iowa also initially required players to complete the registration process at those retail locations rather than remotely.

This would theoretically be more complex for Texas as the state currently only has two tribal-owned casinos. Therefore, it would need to approve and build more casinos for sports betting partnerships to become a viable operational method.

It’s more likely that any online or mobile sportsbooks will allow online-only registration to get around this limitation and launch online sports betting more quickly.

Texas Teams

Texas Professional Sports Teams

Texas is home to a wide range of professional sports teams. In fact, it has teams in all four major North American professional leagues, including basketball, football, baseball, and hockey. These teams are:

  • The Dallas Cowboys (NFL)
  • The Houston Texans (NFL)
  • The San Antonio Spurs (NBA)
  • The Houston Rockets (NBA)
  • The Dallas Mavericks (NBA)
  • The Houston Astros (MLB)
  • The Texas Rangers (MLB)
  • The Dallas Stars (NHL)

All of these teams have devoted fan followings and are already represented in sports betting markets in other states. As a result, future sports bettors in this state will have a wide range of betting options and teams to choose from. The sports betting market is practically baked into the state already.

While sports betting is not yet legal in Texas, the Dallas Cowboys have a sponsorship deal with WinStar World Casino. It is the first-ever partnership between an NFL team and a casino.

Players will be able to place a wide range of bets, including moneyline, futures, props, parlay, totals, and other wagers.

Texas College Sports Teams

Texas is a big state for college sports. It’s home to 12 Division I colleges, ranging from Texas A&M to Texas State University to Texas Tech. Each of these colleges fields numerous football, basketball, and baseball teams, all of which are popular options for sports betting enthusiasts.

On a cultural level, college sports are treated as a favorite pastime for Texans and a major source of professional and scholastic achievement. However, we’ll have to see how Texas’s future sports betting legislation treats college betting before making any predictions.

Some states have seriously limited collegiate sports betting for both in-state teams and any games that take place within state lines. That leaves collegiate betting for out-of-state teams and games only, which would be a major blow for Texas sports bettors.

But Texas may not impose these restrictions due to how popular college sports already are.

Other Sports To Bet On In Texas

In addition to professional and college sports for major American leagues, big sportsbooks that come to Texas will also allow you to place wagers on sports and leagues like:

  • European soccer
  • Aussie rules football
  • Darts
  • Cricket
  • Rugby
  • Tennis
  • And more

How To Place A Bet In Texas

For now, players are not able to place any online bets in Texas whatsoever, ranging from sports bets to regular casino wagers. However, it will be helpful to know how you’ll be able to place a bet in Texas if and when online sports betting becomes a reality. Here’s the basic process.

Pick A Sportsbook

For starters, you’ll need to choose the online sportsbook you want to use. There will likely be at least a handful of sportsbook operators at launch, and these will likely be comprised of a handful of big companies like DraftKings and FanDuel.

Fortunately, these big sportsbook operators provide robust mobile sports betting experiences and high-quality opening bonuses. You should check out the best sports betting bonuses to determine which sportsbook best suits your wagering style and to take advantage of extra betting credit right off the bat.

However, you should also pay attention to how those bonuses are fulfilled. Some require promotional codes, while others have time limitations. Here’s more about sportsbook bonus terms and conditions.

Download The Sportsbook

Once you choose the sportsbook you want to use, you’ll need to download it. You can utilize the direct links on the sportsbook’s website, or search for it in the App Store for iOS users or the Google Play Store for Android users.

Geolocation software will also be installed to track your location and make sure you don’t place sports bets outside of Texas state lines.

Register For The Sportsbook

Next, you’ll need to register for the sportsbook you chose. Registration might have an in-person requirement component. In this case, you need to finish the registration process by visiting a retail casino partnered with your sportsbook pick.

If registration does not require in-person visits, you’ll need to provide contact and identifying information, such as phone number and address. You will likely have to provide a photocopy of your ID when you make your first withdrawal to verify your identity as well.

Fund Your Account

Most major sportsbooks allow you to fund your account in a variety of ways. Common deposit methods include credit and debit cards, direct bank links, PayPal or Skrill electronic wallet deposits, and ACH transfers. But each sportsbook has different account funding methods.

Here’s more on the best deposit methods for online sportsbooks.

Place A Wager

Once your account is funded, you’re all set. You can navigate through the app of your choice and place wagers on any upcoming or current sporting events.

Texas Sports Betting FAQs

No. In fact, no sports betting is legal in Texas whatsoever, including at the two currently active tribal casinos.

No. But it may be possible sometime in the future when sports betting is legalized. It’s unclear whether Texas will allow betting on in-state college sports, as no sports betting bill has had a notable chance of passage.

No, you will not need to be a resident of Texas to bet in the state if online sports betting is legalized. The requirements will be that you’re at least 21 years old and physically located within state lines.

Yes, if the online sportsbook app is regulated and licensed. Licensed sportsbooks have high-quality digital security and have been investigated by an authoritative body before launching. Therefore, you can trust that your personal information and funds are safe.

Yes and no. DraftKings DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) is available in Texas. However, DraftKings Sportsbook is not available in the Lone Star State, which hasn’t legalized any form of legal sports betting.

If sports betting comes to Texas, you’ll need to be 21 years of age or older. This is the standard age for gambling activities throughout the country. While a few states allow 18 and up, Texas will likely not be one of them.

No, Bovada and MyBookie are offshore sports betting operators that are not legal or licensed to operate in Texas. We do not recommend using them.

More Resources On Texas Sports Betting

About the Author
Amber Hoffman

Amber Hoffman

Amber is the Managing Editor of Gaming Today. She writes for a variety of websites in diverse industries, including gaming and travel and is a fan of international football (not "soccer") and Gaelic sports.

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