Texas Online Sports Betting: Is it Legal?

Texas is one of the few remaining large market states that has yet to legalize sports betting. With an abundance of sports teams and a few major cities, Texas would certainly benefit from legalized sports betting. There has been some back and forth of late, but nothing has gotten close to passing at the Senate level yet. Unfortunately, offshore sports betting sites are the only way to wager while in the state of Texas. The Lone Star state will certainly need to act quickly if they want to approve and begin allowing operators to come in. 2021 seems like a long shot at this point to get Texas involved in the sports betting market.

Texas Sports Betting Bills

TexasThere are currently a few bills floating around the Texas state legislator and have been for quite some time. With most states in need of some revenue, a few have turned to sports betting. Texas doesn’t seem to be quite pressed for money, and the state currently has more important issues to deal with of late. This could cause a delay in the sports betting bills. TX SJR39 was proposed to legalize sports wagering within the state. There have also been a few bills to decriminalize sports betting, but this hardly helps anyone within the state. In 2019, the state tried to legalize sports betting, but the bill was struck down within the next few months. Lawmakers will need to act quickly if they want to have a shot at the people gambling in Texas.

Sports Betting Legislation Timeline

2019 – After the federal ban was lifted, Texas did submit a bill that would legalize sports betting within the state. However, the bill failed to move out of the house.

2020 – No sports betting bills were put through in 2020.

2021 – This could be where Texas sees some movement as there are currently three sports betting bills in play for this year. A bill has been filed in February to propose the legalization of sports betting. It would also allow pro teams to be sportsbook operators.

Best/Worst Case Scenarios For Texas

The best-case scenario is that Texas gets out in front of sports betting this year and begins legalization before the April deadline. That would give the state some time to figure out all the regulations and details that need to go into it. Taxing and operator fees are the major detail, and how many operators in the state, how to deal with college teams, and venues if they go that route all need to be figured up before bets begin being placed.

Now because the deadline is rather soon, the worst-case scenario remains the bill falls flat, and Texans have to wait a whole year for even the chance of a bill popping up again. There has yet to be anything remotely close to a bill passing, so skepticism is at an all-time high for sports betting in the state of Texas. The state continues to miss out on millions of dollars worth of revenue.

Texas Markets & Sports Teams

Texas is a key state for sports betting. We have already seen states like New York, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania embrace legalized sports betting and casinos while Texas remains stagnant in pushing forward. Given the large state has multiple markets, retail sports betting would be interesting. They could allow professional sports venues to operate as sportsbooks, and many sportsbooks would be lined up to begin operations in Texas.

Dallas

dallas cowboysDallas is one of Texas’s largest cities and is home to three professional sports franchises. You have the Dallas Mavericks, Cowboys, and Stars. All three have been very competitive over recent years, and the market is also big for those visiting. Cowboys Stadium is already a major hotspot. If the recent bill passes that includes professional sports venues allowing retail sports betting, Cowboys Stadium would certainly benefit, alongside the Stars and Mavericks. You also have SMU, located in Dallas, as Texas is loaded with college sports in all the major markets. The Texas Rangers are located in Arlington, just outside of Dallas, who just built a brand new stadium in hopes they can begin to get back to winning ways. FC Dallas is also just outside the city in Frisco. Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, has given an endorsement of sports betting, and he is one of the more influential team owners.

Houston

astrosHouston is another major market for sports betting as it holds three professional teams as well. The Rockets, Astros, and Texans all play in Houston. The Houston Astros have been a powerhouse in the American League over recent years, while the Rockets moved on from their centerpiece, James Harden. The Texans have been struggling, and we will see if Deshaun Watson ends up following in Harden’s footsteps and leaves Houston. There are also some colleges in the area with the University of Houston and Rice, both known for producing quality football players. Houston also has an MLS team, with the Houston Dynamo.

San Antonio

san antonio spursWhile San Antonio doesn’t have multiple professional sports teams, it does have one of the most successful NBA franchises. The San Antonio Spurs might be going through some rebuilding, but Spurs fans have been largely watching playoff basketball for the last few decades. The University of Texas also has a campus here, but it is not their main one. San Antonio also has a semi-professional soccer team and has been launching bids for an MLS team.

Austin

texas longhornsAustin’s city has become one of the most popular cities globally with its beautiful scenery and vibrant nightlife. The food and music bring plenty of visitors as this has become a bit of a transplant city. You will find people from just about everywhere. As far as sports go, that means fans from all over. If you are in Austin, watching Texas Longhorn football is what you do on Saturdays. The main campus is stationed here, and the city also just finalized their MLS team, FC Austin.

College Sports Betting

The state will have a few options for the NCAA and how the state decides to deal with college sports betting. This is something that would need to be regulated in some regard, as most states do not allow live betting when it comes to college sports. Texas would likely go the same route as a majority of states have. Texas would unlikely ban all college sports betting but what is important is how they view the in-state schools. Some states have banned wagering on in-state schools and have allowed everything outside of the state. With Texas having such a large pool in college sports as Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and Baylor, all have strong followings. There is a rather large market here. This isn’t even adding in the Texas Longhorns and then the smaller schools. Optimally Texas would ban live college sports betting and allow everything else to function normally.

Possible Sportsbooks To Operate In Texas

There are a few sportsbooks that would jump in early as Texas still needs to legalize sports betting. With the state being as large as it is, they would certainly provide many operators, especially if sports teams were able to partner up. Here are some of the leading sportsbooks currently. These sportsbooks could also open sports betting locations.

betmgm-115x115DraftKings Sportsbook Starting as a daily fantasy sports site, DraftKings pushed their chips into the sportsbook world and have made out a huge winner. With one of the best sportsbooks around and the combination of fantasy sports, they have a huge edge on the field. They have strong customer service and an endless amount of props.

FanDuel Sportsbook Much like DraftKings, FanDuel was the other side of the competition when it came to daily fantasy sports sites. FanDuel has a quality product and provides one-game parlays where it is a unique way to wager on one game with multiple props. They have established themselves as one of the top sportsbooks.

BetMGM You likely have heard the name from their brand in Vegas, but they are new to the sportsbook world like most. Already having an established image has made it easier for them to break into the scene, but they have followed it up with a quality mobile and desktop product.

WynnBet – WynnBet is a branch off of Wynn Resorts and has a lot of momentum in the sports betting world. They are moving into a majority of legalized states and have begun partnering with sports teams and data companies. While the mobile and desktop interface needs a bit of work, WynnBet is certainly an up and comer in sports betting apps.

Offshore Sportsbooks

At the moment, offshore sportsbooks like Bovada are the only way for Texas residents to bet. Offshore accounts have been servicing many Americans over the last decade as sports betting was restricted for most. These sportsbooks come with some warning as they are not legally obligated to pay out account balances or winnings. While this is rare, you don’t have that same risk with regulated and domestic sportsbooks.

Texas Daily Fantasy Sports

FanDuel Daily Fantasy App logoTexas residents have been able to play daily fantasy sports from the beginning of their operations, as long as they are 18 years of age or older. Both FanDuel and DraftKings operate within the state as daily fantasy sites, but currently, you can’t be a sportsbook member in Texas. You still can view odds and what they have to offer but can’t place any sort of wager. While the sites battled legal trouble on a national level, that is, water under the bridge as fantasy sports has been removed from the list of gambling.

Texas Sports Betting FAQ

Is Sports Betting Legal In Texas?

Sports betting is not legal in the state of Texas unless you are using an offshore site. But currently, Texas has not legalized domestic sports betting, meaning you can’t bet on a site like DraftKings or BetMGM while in the state of Texas.

When Will Sports Betting Be Legal In Texas?

It is unclear when sports betting will be legal in Texas. There have been mixed reviews amongst the Texas legislators, but a bill has come about in 2021 that could move Texans closer to legalizing sports betting. Stay updated over the next few months.

What Are Texas Sports Betting Laws?

Currently, Texas has outlawed sports betting, both retail and mobile, in the state. Since the federal ban has been lifted, Texas has been one of 30 states who have yet to allow legalized sports betting in any fashion while in state lines.

Are There Casinos In Texas?

There are no commercial casinos in the state of Texas. They are prohibited. There are only two casinos located in Texas that offer electronic games and are operated by Native American tribes. You can’t bet on sports at tribal casinos in Texas.

Can I Bet On Offshore Sites In Texas?

Yes, any resident that is 21 years or older can use offshore sites. This means sites like Bovada are legal in Texas and have been a way to sports bet for many years as the ban was just lifted in 2019.

Is There Online Betting In Texas?

There are no online sports betting in Texas. That means you cannot bet on any mobile or desktop device. Online sports betting has been legalized in multiple states since the new year, and bills have included it in Texas, but no actions have been made.

Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal In Texas?

Yes, you can legally play daily fantasy sports while in Texas as long as you are 18 or older. DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo all can be played while in state lines with no consequences.

Is FanDuel Betting In Texas?

FanDuel Sportsbook is not operating in the state of Texas but would certainly be one of the early operators if Texas ever does legalize sports betting. FanDuel is one of the top sportsbooks and most trustworthy in the industry.

Is DraftKings Betting In Texas?

DraftKings sportsbook is not allowed in Texas. You can access the site for daily fantasy or view odds, but you can’t wager any sort of money. DraftKings has become a world-leading sportsbook since operations began.

If Legal Sports Betting Passes In Texas, When Would It Launch?

Based on other states, if Texas was to legalize sports betting, they would need to finalize taxes, operator fees, and other regulations before allowing it. This can take a few months or up to a year before residents would be able to place their first bets.

Sam Shefrin is the founder of Lineups.com, Inc. Before Lineups, he started Daily Fantasy Cafe, Inc. in 2014. Armed with a passion for sports and every Atlanta team, his journey continues with the goal of making Lineups a premier sports analytics destination. He has been quoted on Forbes.com for industry insight and his websites featured on NBATV, Yahoo! Sports, Fantasy Pros, Bleacher Report and SB Nation.