Texas, the second-largest state, is still struggling for legal sports betting. Although lawmakers have started the ball rolling, the legal sports betting market is still in its way. All that the Texas gamblers can do is to wait — hopefully, there is not much time remaining until the governor signs all desired sports betting bills.
This review will tell you about the chances to see sports betting legal in Texas, how the process is going, and what prevented Texas from being one of the pioneer states to legalize sports betting. Moreover, we will provide you with some tips on where local bettors can gamble while the red tape challenge is in full swing.
Top Sports Betting Sites In Texas
So, Texas doesn’t allow sports betting. What sites are we publishing, though? Don’t worry. They are all legal… just not specifically approved by the US government. However, ‘not approved’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘banned’: you can safely join them and bet on sports remaining a law-abiding citizen.
Our list contains the best offshore sportsbooks that were created before the USA could even think of sports betting legalization. All these bookies work under the official licenses of various jurisdictions like Curacao and have proven their fairness and security. In fact, their owners initially targeted the US market, which needed wagering options on hand.
So, while you are waiting for the outcome of the legalization efforts, you are welcome to try the following sportsbooks available in Texas:
Is sports betting legal in Texas?
Today, Texas has not opened its doors to legal sportsbooks yet. Still, forecasts say it might happen pretty soon, as lawmakers are actively combating the current ban and trying to establish brand new legislation for offline and online betting.
So, there are no options at all? No, not actually. First, there is always a daily fantasy sports legal option: it’s been around for several years now. Besides, using offshore sportsbooks is legal, too: you can join any sportsbook from our list or search for more online sportsbooks accepting American bettors. However, you can’t go to some retail sportsbook or place bets at a brick-and-mortar casino.
Legalization Effort In Texas
Although Texas seems a perfect place to launch legal sports betting sites and retail sports betting venues, all previous attempts to legalize wagering failed. Despite the strong support of the other states, professional sports, and gambling corporation lobbyists, Republicans keep holding their ground while the bills are pending: they were filed too late to be considered in 2021, which postpones the whole deal to spring of 2023.
However, it all started pretty fine: The House Bill 2070 was ready for the November Ballot and legal sports betting sites, and offline venues could have opened their doors just in time: with the NFL playoffs beginning. There should have been another sports betting bill, in fact: the first one was aimed at amending the local constitution and allowing betting on sports. If things go right, this bill will be followed by another one: will all regulations related to sports wagering: legal age, allowed bet types, licensing prices, and conditions, etc.
The first attempts to legalize Texas sports betting were made in 2021. Unlike some other states who willingly approved sports betting at the beginning of 2020, Texas lawmakers initiated the process no earlier than two years after the US government repealed the federal sports betting ban.
It started in February and started with some demotivating news: Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick claimed there wouldn’t be any legal sports betting in Texas. Fortunately for the gambling lobby and lawmakers, the Governor doesn’t have the final word whatever it concerns, so the legalization process went further. The professional sports teams joined the legalization campaign: Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, and more franchises actively supported sports betting and put significant pressure on lawmakers to speed up the process.
At the beginning of March, it became clear that the prepared bills would not pass and get support from voters. In May, the situation was no better: everything seemed hopeless at least until 2023 as the lawmakers missed the session deadline, and the process is currently suspended.
How does Texas compare to other states?
The first thing that makes Texas the best platform for establishing a sports betting market is its size. The second-largest state could have already generated enormous gambling profits if it had made sports betting legal at the beginning of 2021. Besides, unlike some states that don’t even have any local sports teams, Texas is a home of an enormous fanbase and professional sports franchises willing to support legal sports betting, promote the leagues via the betting sites, and share the data with oddsmakers.
However, Texas law is slightly different from most other states, which makes the legislation process challenging. Here it is very similar to most southern states that are also reluctant to join the legal sports betting community and collect gambling revenues from the online and offline sportsbooks. We’ll tell you about the details in the next paragraph.
Why is it difficult to legalize sports betting in Texas?
One of the reasons Texas is still keeping out of the sports betting legalization hype is the strong criticism from the Governor. Dan Patrick does not feel legalization can somehow support the government and become a big help for the state.
According to Patrick, the lottery, which was legalized under the pretext of paying for education, actually covers two days of education, and the same thing will happen to sports betting, too. In his opinion, there are essential things that authorities must focus on instead of making sports betting legal.
However, Patrick claimed he wouldn’t interfere and legislate against legalization if the bill collected enough votes. So what’s the main reason why the largest gambling market is still not here, like in Arizona, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania?
The thing is that gambling is currently banned by the Texas Constitution. Thus, the legalization will imply two bills instead of the one:
The first bill will need to make an amendment in the local constitution;
The second bill will regulate sports betting legislation, e.g., bring out the licensing and rules.
Two-thirds must approve each bill of the Senate and the House and then the majority of voters. So what’s the issue with preparing the bills and filing them? There was none, actually, and lawmakers did it. However, they missed the deadlines, so there was no time left for the government to consider the documents.
Why not file the bills the next year? It would be a perfect solution but the Texas legislation meeting schedule: is not an annual event, so the next one will take place in 2023.
Texas Sports Betting Recent Updates
The recent news related to sports betting legalization was full of unoptimistic forecasts: bettors and lawmakers will most likely have to wait until May 2023, e.g., the next legislation meeting.
Strong support is still coming. For instance, in April 2021 saw the ad campaign from Las Vegas Sands.
The campaign supported the House Joint Resolution 133, the bill filed for the sake of creating a Gambling Commission in Texas. Why is Las Vegas interested? It would open the way to fruitful collaborations with Texas and lead to opening brand-new casinos in high-profile cities like Houston. The ad boosted public support and might have a great impact on sports betting polls in the future.
The latest updates were in November: Las Vegas Sands went further and hired the sports betting lobby representatives who will explain the prospects of opening casinos in Texas.
Texas sports betting revenues
As most of the gambling revenue in the state goes offshore, it’s hard to estimate the actual figures. Still, obviously, they must be pretty large. For instance, let’s take Arizona, the largest state that made sports betting legal: its sports betting revenue reached $252 million per year in 2021. Keeping in mind Texas is a much bigger state, the possible profits could have been twice more.
The Statista.com research confirms our words: according to its forecasts, gambling profits in Texas will amount to more than $700 million by 2024 — and it is only about brick and mortar casinos and poker rooms! Imagine how much legal sports betting would add to the overall revenue provided Texas is keen on sports and has a significant fan base within NFL, NBA, and other professional and college leagues.
The other sources say the annual revenue from sports betting might be about $150 – $180 million. Overall, everything indicates that sports betting legalization would become a big deal for the state’s wealth.
As you already know, there are no legal Texas sportsbooks: it’s just impossible at the moment. However, there are some alternative options. For instance, daily fantasy sports is an approved gambling activity, so you are welcome at FanDuel and DraftKings, the major fantasy sports providers in the USA.
However, no other legal options are available: if you are into traditional sports wagering, the only solution is turning to offshore bookies.
Fortunately, there are plenty of them: BetOnline, Sports Betting Ag, BetUS, and more. Even better, nobody will punish you for joining and enjoying them: although the local gambling commission didn’t grant them a license, offshore betting is allowed in the US. At least, you won’t pay any fine if someone knows you did, so you can safely join one of the remote bookies before the legislative process is over.
Still, we must warn you: it’s not the safest thing ever. While a local sportsbook works under the control of a state gambling authority, any offshore one will comply with the rules of a remote commission. This commission will hardly protect you in case of any issues like your local one would do, so be careful and opt for reputable sites — for instance, the one from our list above.
Offshore sports betting in Texas
Since offshore sportsbooks are the only option for Texas sports bettors, speaking about them in more detail makes sense. As we already mentioned, there are pretty many of them, so it’s not hard to find a reputable and trusted remote sports betting site to bet in Texas.
Besides the ones we told you about above, there are some more good options. Among the others, you can consider the following:
They all have a Curaçao eGaming license and offer a pretty large selection of various bets and sports. Sometimes, they can offer even better odds and choice of betting markets than the lines in the local legal sports betting sites, so no wonder Texas gamblers, as well as bettors from the rest of the USA, keep opting for offshore options.
How Can I Bet on Sports in Texas?
If you are ready to join some of the sports betting sites available in Texas, you might want to know what are the most popular options. Betting against the crowd is a specific art, so following the majority is usually easier if you are a beginner. This block will briefly overview top popular sports and teams that might become one of the major boosters to sports betting legalization in the Lone Star State.
Betting on Texas teams
As we have already mentioned here, Texas is home to many professional and college sports teams located in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Many of them are at the top of their leagues, so no wonder local bettors look forward to more opportunities. According to several estimations, most bets (placed at offshore bookies, of course) are made on matchups with Texas NFL and NBA teams, so imagine how much would Texas profit if made online sports betting legal?
Texas NBA Teams
Texas is home to a whopping three NBA teams: the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs, with their award-winning Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. In 2016, Texas also entered the WNBA with the Dallas Wings franchise — not the most splendid team in the league, but still a center of a particular fanbase.
Texas MLB Teams
Every Texas bettor and all MLB fans know The Lone Star Series — the tournament between the two Texas MLB franchises, grown from the natural rivalry of the major league’s teams. The Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers first met in 2001, and the whole state is excited by their annual matchup. Their performance at the MLB playoffs is also exciting, and although only Astors has gained a champion title so far, both gathered a massive fanbase in Texas and all around the USA.
Texas NFL Teams
It’s hard to find an American who’s never heard of the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans. However, the AT&T Stadium was also a base for two more teams, formerly playing in the Lone Star. Overall, Texas is famous for its particular love for American football, and no wonder it became a home for the America’s Team — this is how the Cowboys are nicknamed all over the US. The Dallas team is an eight-time Super Bowl winner and one of the most successful franchises of the NFL overall.
Texas NHL Teams
The Dallas Stars, former Stanley Cup champions and three-times conference champions, with the latest award, won in 2020, are not the only hockey franchise in Texas. Cedar Park has also become a base for the Dallas Star’s affiliate Texas Stars, playing for the AHL since 2009. The high popularity of the NHL became one of the reasons for the birth of the Texas Collegiate Hockey Conference in 2016. It includes eight Texas universities and has already been established as a strong competitor within the collegiate rivalry.
Texas Daily Fantasy Sports
It was hard to imagine that such a conservative state like Texas would allow anything related to sports betting even before the PASPA law repealing in 2019. Still, it did! Fantasy Sports entered the Texas market at the beginning of DraftKings history and soon became a very popular entertainment among locals.
However, the untroubled era soon went under threat. In 2016, Texas’ Attorney General initiated reconsideration of the Daily Fantasy Sports legality. As a result, FanDuel was forced to leave the market while the DraftKings sportsbook remained active, but its position was not secure anymore. The court process did not last long, though: DraftKings and Fanduel won the case, and the latter went back to Texas under the approval of House Bill 2303.
The bill stated that daily fantasy sports are not actually sports betting, which implies some luck. Instead, the Texas court accepted the take about considering DFS as a game of skill — and games of skill don’t break any laws of Texas.
In the end, the Lone Star state officially became the place where it is legal to manage the DFS teams — and locals actively use this opportunity as an alternative to traditional betting.
Still, wagering on sports is popular after all, but at the moment, only remote offshore bookmakers can enjoy the financial power of the sports betting popularity in Texas.
Of course, all the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL leagues are in high demand among Texas fantasy sports managers. Besides, college fantasy sports also exist, so the Texas Longhorns and other NCAA teams from Texas are involved in the DFS contests.
So, let’s sum up: Texas loves sports and is longing for better opportunities for wagering on favorite teams. It’s hard to find a state that would be more dedicated to its collegiate sports teams and supported local professional franchises. Texas professional teams are world-famous, and it might give a bigger boost for online betting legalization. Still, we are where we are: the legalization challenge remains unsolved, and things most likely won’t change until 2023.
What are the alternatives? There are two: Daily Fantasy Sports and offshore sports betting sites. Are they any better than the legal bookmaker venues approved by a local gambling commission? We are not sure, but it’s more than nothing after all. However, Texas bettors can still get a breath of fresh air if they visit other states: it’s not prohibited to use sportsbook apps and sites when you are in a state where betting is legal, so gambling tourism is also an option.
With such strong support from many sides, sports betting will most likely become legal sooner or later: good things come to those who wait, and Texans have waited long so far! We’ll keep our finger on the pulse and will announce Texas sports betting news as soon as the Lone Star state opens its doors to legal bookmakers.
Is sports betting legal in Texas?
No, sports betting is not legal in Texas: the bills are pending until 2023, and their fate is hard to predict. However, daily fantasy sports and betting on sports at foreign sites are allowed, so some alternatives still exist.
Can I bet on DraftKings in Texas?
Yes and no. If you want to get access to sports betting markets, back a local team, or create a couple of parlays during a major NFL matchup, Draftkings is not an option for you. Their sportsbook doesn't accept Texas players as it operates exclusively in the states that legalized sports betting. However, if you want to enter the daily fantasy sports world, you are welcome to Draftkings, the largest DFS provider legal in all states, including Texas.
Can you use sports betting apps in Texas?
No, if we speak about the American apps registered by the local gambling commissions. Yes, if you want to opt for offshore bookmakers. All major US bookmakers that entered the legal betting market are not available for Texas players, so you can search for the alternative abroad. Make sure you are using fair and trusted app from established brands.
What are the most popular sports among Texas bettors?
Statistics say it's NFL. However, with the three NBA teams, MLB and NHL franchises, and multiple collegiate sports institutions, it's hard to determine the largest fanbase: Texas is overall keen on sports which is the main reason why legalizing sports betting would be extremely profitable for the state's welfare.
Last updated on 21 Oct 2022- 12:16
Author: Harry Sunderland
As a former successful professional bettor, Harry Sunderland has developed analytical thinking skills helping him to make the right picks for sports events. His specific interest in MMA allows him to provide ... the readers with accurate ideas and create comprehensive guides and reviews on the UFC fights and combatants. Being a huge Soccer fan, Sunderland has much to tell readers about the game nuances and the most probable match outcomes.Show more
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