Welcome to your ultimate guide for Texas sports betting! If you’re looking for a way to get in on the action but are not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of sports wagering in the Lone Star State, including the legal landscape, top sports betting sites, latest updates, and much more. Now, let’s get started!
Is Sports Betting Legal in Texas?
In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), removing a 25-year federal ban on sports betting across the country. Many U.S. states quickly introduced new legislation, amended their constitution, or renegotiated tribal gaming compacts to allow online or retail sports betting within their borders.
Today, more than two-thirds of U.S. states allow sports betting in some capacity. However, despite considerable legislative efforts over the years, Texas is not one of them. Online or in-person wagering on sporting events remains unavailable in the Lone Star State.
Overall, Texas gambling laws are fairly strict, and there is a limited number of options currently available to state residents. Legal forms of gambling in Texas include the state lottery, pari-mutuel wagering on horse and greyhound racing, two tribal casinos (Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino and Naskila Gaming), and charitable raffles and bingo.
When Will Sports Betting Launch in Texas?
It is currently unclear exactly when sports betting will become legal in the state of Texas. There is certainly interest among state legislators and strong support from major figures in the world of sports (including Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban).
It is also reasonable to think that Texas could quickly become one of the most profitable sports betting markets in the United States if given the opportunity. However, sports betting legislation has struggled to gain traction in Texas, as conservative values and a Republican-held Senate and House of Representatives proved to be too much to overcome.
HB 1942 and HJR 102, which intended to create a constitutional amendment to legalize sports wagering on certain events and allow Texas residents to vote on the issue in the next general election, both managed to clear the House of Representatives in May 2023. Unfortunately, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick did not allow the bill to advance to the floor for a Senate vote.
The 2023 Texas legislative session came to an end on May 29th without sports betting legislation being passed, and residents of the Lone Star State will now have to wait until at least 2025 (since the Texas Legislature only meets in odd-numbered years) to see the legalization of sports betting in the state.
What Are the Best Texas Sportsbooks & Betting Sites?
Unfortunately, there are no online or mobile sportsbooks currently operating in the state of Texas. However, you can expect many of the top U.S. sportsbooks to launch their platform in the Lone Star State if and when an opportunity arises. Here are a few of the most likely candidates:
- Available States: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, VA, WV, & WY.
- Best Feature: Wide Range of Betting Markets Offered
- Full Review: DraftKings Sportsbook Review
DraftKings is a major player in the U.S. sports betting industry. Customers will enjoy an excellent selection of alternative lines and totals as well as a variety of prop markets, allowing users to bet on specific player performances, team statistics, and much more.
The platform is also known for its speedy payouts, ensuring that users can quickly and conveniently access their winnings. Furthermore, DraftKings Sportsbook offers daily odds boosts, enhancing the value of selected bets each day and allowing users to maximize their potential returns.
- Available States: AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, & WY.
- Best Feature: Top-Tier Mobile App
- Full Review: FanDuel Sportsbook Review
FanDuel is a leading sportsbook known for its fantastic mobile app, offering users a seamless and intuitive betting experience on the go. The app provides a user-friendly interface, allowing users to navigate through different sports and betting markets with ease.
Also highly regarded for its great customer service, FanDuel ensures that users receive prompt assistance and support whenever needed. Additionally, FanDuel Sportsbook offers an exciting welcome offer for new users, providing them with incentives to join and kickstart their betting journey on the platform.
- Available States: AZ, CO, IN, IA, IL, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, MS, NV, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, VA, WA, WV, & WY.
- Best Feature: Fantastic Live Betting Experience
- Full Review: BetMGM Sportsbook Review
BetMGM is another one of the most popular sports betting sites in the United States. It is a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Entain Holdings, creating a trusted and reliable brand. BetMGM offers a comprehensive range of sports betting options, including major professional leagues, college sports, and international events.
Customers will get to enjoy competitive odds, live betting options, and a user-friendly interface. BetMGM Sportsbook also integrates with its online casino, allowing users to enjoy various gaming options in one place.
- Available States: AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, NV, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, & WY.
- Best Feature: Amazing Customer Rewards Program
- Full Review: Caesars Sportsbook Review
As an iconic brand in the gambling industry, Caesars brings its reputation and expertise to its sportsbook offering. Caesars Sportsbook covers a comprehensive range of sports and leagues, providing users with an extensive selection of betting markets.
With a focus on user experience, Caesars offers a user-friendly platform that is very reliable and easy to navigate. Additionally, Caesars Rewards, the brand’s loyalty program, offers users the opportunity to earn points that can be redeemed for various perks, including hotel stays, dining, and entertainment experiences.
How Can I Bet on Sports in Texas?
Until sports betting becomes legal in the state, Texas bettors will not have a whole lot of ways to get in on the action. However, they’re not completely out of luck. A few of the opportunities currently available in the Lone Star State are discussed below.
Offshore sportsbooks are a potential option for Texas residents, as they operate outside the jurisdiction of the United States and allow Texans to place online bets on sports from anywhere in the state. However, it is important to note that using offshore sportsbooks comes with potential risks and challenges.
Since they are not regulated by US authorities, the level of consumer protection may vary, and dispute resolution can be more complex. Additionally, payment processing and withdrawal options may be limited compared to domestic sportsbooks. Texans interested in utilizing offshore sportsbooks should exercise caution, conduct thorough research, and ensure the site is reputable and secure before engaging in any transactions.
Daily Fantasy Sports
There are currently no laws allowing or prohibiting daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests in the state of Texas. As a result, DFS exists in a legal gray area and is legal in practice, as nearly all of the top DFS operators accept players from the state. DraftKings, FanDuel, Underdog Fantasy, ParlayPlay, and many other popular DFS sites are currently available in Texas.
While DFS is often considered a game of skill rather than traditional sports betting, it provides an exciting and legal way for Texans to engage with their favorite sports and potentially win huge cash prizes. With DFS, Texans can enjoy the thrill of sports competition and strategic decision-making without violating any state laws pertaining to sports betting.
Pari-mutuel wagering on horse races is also legal in Texas. Bets can be placed in person at any of the state’s racetracks or simulcast facilities: Gillespie County Fair in Fredericksburg, Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Retama Park in Selma, and Sam Houston Race Park in Houston. Online horse racing betting, however, is prohibited, meaning you will not be able to place bets with TwinSpires, AmWager, TVG, or any other popular online racebooks.
Visit Neighboring States
Lastly, an alternative option for sports betting enthusiasts in the Lone Star State is to visit neighboring states to place bets on all your favorite sports and leagues. Arkansas and Louisiana allow both residents and visitors to place bets online using any of their state’s licensed digital sportsbooks.
You can sign up for an account and make your first deposit with your preferred Arkansas or Louisiana sportsbook from anywhere, including your home in Texas. You’ll just need to take a quick trip across state lines when you’re ready to place your bets. In addition, New Mexico offers five retail sportsbooks in several different cities and may be a great option for those who live in the western half of Texas.
Where Can I Bet on Sports in Texas?
There are no online or retail sportsbooks currently operating in the state of Texas. However, as previously mentioned, Texas residents will always have the option to visit other U.S. states that have previously legalized sports betting. Fortunately, three of Texas’ bordering states allow wagering on sporting events within their borders: Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico.
Sports betting became legal in Arkansas in November 2018, just six months after PASPA was overturned by the Supreme Court. Today, there are retail sportsbooks available in Hot Springs, Pine Bluff, and West Memphis.
In addition, three online sportsbooks have launched in recent years: Betly, BetSaracen, and Oaklawn Sports. These platforms accept wagers from anyone physically located in the state, presenting a great opportunity to bettors in Dallas, Fort Worth, and other cities that are not too far from the Texas-Arkansas border.
Louisiana is another nearby state that offers both online and in-person wagering opportunities. Sports betting is legal in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes (i.e., counties), and Louisiana is home to just about all of the biggest names in the industry, including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Casears, BetRivers, and several others. You may also choose to visit the retail sportsbooks available at various casinos in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and several other Louisiana cities.
Although online sports betting is not yet available in New Mexico, retail sportsbooks have been available in the Land of Enchantment since October 2018. There are currently five New Mexico locations that offer in-person wagering on sporting events: Buffalo Thunder Casino, Inn of the Mountain Gods, Isleta Resort & Casino, Route 66 Casino, and Santa Ana Star Casino.
How To Sign Up & Start Betting in Texas
Are you ready to get started? Here are the steps you can take to sign up and start betting on all your favorite players and teams:
- Choose Your Sportsbook
Pick an online sportsbook that is available in a neighboring state (e.g., Arkansas or Louisiana) and has plenty of great features and a generous welcome offer. We highly recommend DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars Sportsbook.
- Register for an Account
Visit your preferred sportsbook’s website (or download its mobile app), and begin the sign-up process. Enter all requested personal information, choose a username and password, and agree to the Terms & Conditions to finish registering for an account. Most states, including Arkansas and Louisiana, allow for remote registration, meaning this step can be completed from your home in Texas or any other location that is convenient for you.
- Verify Your Identity
Complete the account verification process by following the on-screen instructions provided by your sportsbook. You will typically need to enter your social security number or provide a form of photo ID (driver’s license, state ID, passport, etc.) to verify your age and identity.
- Make a Deposit
Choose any of the payment options accepted by your sportsbook (e.g., debit/credit card, online banking, or digital wallet) to make your first deposit to your online betting account. In most cases, this step can be done remotely as well.
- Claim Your Welcome Offer
You will then receive a deposit match, first-bet insurance, free bets, or another form of welcome bonus provided to all new players of the platform. Enjoy!
- Start Placing Bets
Now, you’re ready to start betting! You will need to cross over into Arkansas, Louisiana, or whichever state your sportsbook is currently licensed and operating in order to place your bets when you’re ready. Good luck!
What Teams Can I Bet on in Texas?
As of now, sports betting is not yet legal in Texas. However, if and when it becomes legalized, Texas sports fans will have the opportunity to bet on all of their favorite teams, a few of which are discussed below.
The Dallas Cowboys are one of the most iconic and successful football teams in Texas, with a rich history and a large and dedicated fan base. Known for their star-studded roster, the Cowboys have earned five Super Bowl victories and consistently draw massive crowds to their games at AT&T Stadium.
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are a highly respected basketball team in Texas, renowned for their strong team culture and consistent success. Led by legendary coach Gregg Popovich, the Spurs have won 5 NBA championships and have a reputation for their disciplined and team-oriented style of play.
The MLB’s Houston Astros are a prominent baseball team in Texas, known for their strong performance and passionate fan base. The team has had great success in recent years, including two World Series titles since 2017, and they boast a talented roster with star players like Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, and Kyle Tucker, captivating fans with their exceptional skills on the field.
The Texas Longhorns represent the University of Texas at Austin and have a storied tradition in college football. The Longhorns have a rich history of success, including 4 national championships. They regularly compete in the Big 12 Conference (soon to be the SEC), and their games draw large crowds of dedicated supporters all season long.
Texas A&M Aggies
The Texas A&M University Aggies excel in numerous sports, but their football team stands out as one of their best. Competing in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the Aggies football team has a rich history and a passionate fan base. They have achieved success with countless bowl game victories and notable national rankings, showcasing their commitment to excellence on the gridiron.
Strategies & Tips for Texas Sports Bettors
Although sports betting remains unavailable in Texas, it’s never too early to start learning the best strategies to implement and guidelines to follow to increase your chances of long-term success. Here are some tips and tricks for Texas sports bettors:
- Do Your Research: Thoroughly research the teams/players, their performance history, injuries, and other relevant factors. Stay updated with the latest news, trends, and expert analysis to identify valuable betting opportunities.
- Understand Different Bet Types: Familiarize yourself with various betting types, such as moneyline bets, point spreads, totals (over/under), parlays, and props. Understand the potential risks and rewards associated with each type of bet and use them strategically.
- Control Your Emotions: Emotions can often cloud judgment, leading to impulsive or irrational betting decisions. Stay disciplined and objective, and avoid placing bets based on personal biases or fandom. Stick to your research and analysis.
- Compare Odds & Lines: Shop around for the best odds and lines available. Different sportsbooks may offer varying odds, so comparing them can maximize your potential returns. Utilize online platforms and odds comparison tools to find the most favorable lines.
- Utilize Betting Tools & Resources: Take advantage of various betting tools and resources available online. These can include statistical databases, betting models, expert analysis, and more. These resources can help you make more informed decisions and gain a competitive edge.
- Track Your Results: Keep a record of your bets, including wins, losses, and other relevant data. Regularly analyze your results to identify patterns, strengths, and weaknesses. This data can help you refine your strategies over time.
Texas Sports Betting FAQ
No, online or mobile sports betting is not yet legal in the state of Texas.
There are currently no online or retail sportsbooks available in Texas. However, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars stand out as a few of the top U.S. sportsbooks that are likely candidates to launch in Texas when the opportunity presents itself.
Texas permits daily fantasy sports (DFS) to exist in a legal gray area, as there is no law allowing or prohibiting DFS sites. As a result, DraftKings, FanDuel, Underdog Fantasy, and many other popular DFS platforms are available in the Lone Star State.
Yes, you can potentially use a VPN to spoof your location and place bets in a state where sports betting is not yet legal. However, we strongly discourage you from doing so, as the sportsbook will likely ban your account and make you forfeit all winnings once they find out.
Pari-mutuel wagering on horse races is legal in the state of Texas. That said, all wagers must be placed in person at Texas racetracks or simulcast betting facilities. This means horse racing betting sites such as AmWager, TVG, and TwinSpires are not an option in the Lone Star State.