The Lone Star State gets a lone star on its chart when it comes to sports betting. Legislation has been introduced in Texas in the past, which is a step ahead of other states that are out there, but it has not gone very far at all.
It really is a shame that one of the absolute largest sports betting markets in the United States is likely going to stay on the sidelines for the foreseeable future. There are so many pro sports teams and so many Division I colleges and universities and so many people interested in other sports betting markets like golf, NASCAR, and UFC, but Texas is not open for business and probably will not be for a very long time.
Most forms of gambling are illegal in Texas. There are two Native American casinos and there is a state lottery. Horse tracks are around and offer pari-mutuel wagering. The WinStar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma is right on the other side of the Texas/Oklahoma border and has become the go-to spot for Texans that want to gamble because it has table games. The other Texas casinos only have electronic machines. Those are Naskila Gaming and the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel.
As a result, most Texans just go elsewhere for their gambling fixes. Sports betting just hasn’t really been able to pick up a lot of steam for one reason or another. The fact that a lack of gaming is just a reality in Texas seems to be a primary reason. It hasn’t been one of the top of the ticket items for the state legislature. A long border with Mexico and a vast expanse of territory and a large base of constituents to take care of have always taken center stage.
After all, the “slot machines” are really just electronic bingo machines more than anything, so the state really has had no expansion of gaming for a very long period of time. Governor Greg Abbott isn’t exactly making it a priority and any bill that has been presented hasn’t really made it past a committee.
For the time being and for the foreseeable future, it looks like Texans will have to go elsewhere to make their bets, play craps, face the agonizing decision to hit on 16 against a 7, and root for their kids’ birthdays on the roulette wheel in another state.
How Do I Bet on Sports in Texas?
By leaving the state. Texas and its opposition to the expansion of gambling would be one of the last states in the United States to offer legalized betting. Arkansas and New Mexico are bordering states that offer retail betting. None of the border states offer online or mobile wagering, so it wouldn’t even be as easy as driving across state lines.
There is a chance that Louisiana picks up sports betting, but it would likely be retail only because each parish has the opportunity to vote down any sports betting measure. It would be way too hard to enforce and geofence in a state where certain areas could bet and certain areas could not.
With that in mind, other than long drives to retail books in New Mexico or Arkansas, Texans might as well keep hopping on those planes to Las Vegas or hope that they come across another state with betting during their travels.