Sports betting in the United States is not regulated on a federal level, which means that each of its 50 states has to do it on its own. Of course, this also leaves the option to not do it at all, or to completely ban it, which has actually happened in several states — most notably, in Hawaii and Utah, where not a single form of gambling is allowed.
However, in our effort to see how each state handled sports betting, we are now looking at the situation in the southern parts of the country — specifically in Texas.
What is happening with sports betting in Texas?
As of today, sports betting is not legal in Texas, but many believe that it is not too far from legalization. It was seriously considered back in the legislative session of 2021, and while 2022 did not see its legalization either, since the Texas Legislature meets once every two years — sports betting proponents are optimistic about their chances of getting a bill signed into law next year.
The initiative to legalize sports betting in Texas brought in several major names in Texas, including gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, as well as an entire coalition of Dallas area-based sports teams, such as the Texas Rangers, The Dallas Mavericks, and Dallas Cowboys. Add the fact that the Houston Astros teamed up with BetMGM, and that Rush Street joined up with the Frisco Fighters, and you have a recipe for one of the most lucrative sports betting markets in America.
What’s the status of sports betting in Texas?
For the moment, sports betting is not legal in texas in any way, meaning that there are no legal sports betting options — not online, not in casinos, nor in any other place or way. The push in 2021 sought to change that, but unfortunately, even the most popular of several submitted bills failed to advance from committee back in April 2021. And, since the legislative session only takes place every two years — during the odd years — that automatically means that Texas cannot see the legalization of sports betting before 2023, at earliest. Whether or not it will be legalized in 2023 still remains to be seen.
But, there is certainly interest among multiple high-ranking officials, sports teams, and the population. And, with the states being on the lookout for new revenue sources to feed their budgets after the years of COVID-19 (and many other unfortunate events that happened since), sports betting has a real chance to see legalization quite soon.
Historically, Texas has seen quite a conservative pushback to gambling, which is what prevented it from becoming one of the major US gambling hub already. However, the changes in the political landscape have seen this conservative view on gambling weaken. Even now, it is fading more and more, which is why there are high hopes for a significant change in 2023. In the meantime, major sports teams are already looking to partner with various sportsbooks in preparation.
Unfortunately, if the state fails to legalize it in 2023, that means another 2-year long wait before the next attempt. And, as mentioned earlier, there is interest among the people, with 43% of Texans in favor of sports betting, 31% ambivalent, and only 26% being strongly opposed. Typically, the ones that are opposing it are older generations, which are also the most likely ones to vote on various issues, and so their views still rule the state even though they are a minority at this point.
One option are offshore sports betting sites.
7 Best Texas Sports Betting Sites
These are the current top gambling sites that offer sports betting to Texas residents.
The first on our list is the Bovada sportsbook and casino, which emerged in 2011. For the first five years of operation, the platform held the Kahnawake Gambling Commission’s license, but in 2016, it decided to give up on it after the Commission went through a policy change that Bovada did not approve of. For the last six years, it has operated without a license, but that still did not affect its quality or performance.
Its sportsbook offers a variety of popular payment methods, and the ability to bet on all kinds of big sports franchises, such as the NBA, NFL, MLB, NCAA football, NCAA basketball, and NHL, among others. Apart from traditional currencies, it also accepts Bitcoin, and it features mobile availability. And, if bettors ever experience an issue or need any sort of help, they can contact customer support at any time via email, phone call, or live chat.
The second on the list is BetUS — a well-known and highly-reputable online sports betting platform for the North American market, although the platform’s reputation has been flawless ever since its foundation in 1994. The platform, which is a casino in addition to being a sportsbook, is the holder of a Curacao Gaming Commission’s license, it is privately held, and it is highly secure and reliable.
BetUS features multiple payment levels, including Visa, Mastercard, and multiple cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and alike. In terms of sports betting, the platform offers numerous options, including football, soccer, baseball, basketball, hockey, cycling, golf, boxing, tennis, and more. Plus, players can also make in-play bets, meaning that they can bet on the games while they are happening. It is also rich with welcome bonuses, promotions, and other benefits that make it highly desirable among bettors.
BetOnline is an online sportsbook that launched in 2004, and like our previous entries, it also offers a casino section with plenty of entertaining gaming titles. It is very user-friendly, starting with the fact that it offers a minimum deposit of $20, it features polite and capable customer support, and it is safe to use. It holds the Panama City license, and it features multiple secure payment methods, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover card, American Express, wire transfers, and even cryptocurrencies.
For those who make a minimum deposit of $55, the platform offers a generous welcome bonus, and those who use cryptocurrencies can also benefit from a number of promotions. In addition to regular, monotonous betting, there is also proposition betting that lets users bet on questions, such as which team will be the first to make the 3-point shot, and alike, just so make it more exciting.
Halfway down the list, we have Xbet, which is a platform known for a lot of things, from tight betting odds to excellent customer service and the ability to offer things for novices and professionals alike. Xbet offers a myriad of deposit options, fast payouts, multiple betting options, bonuses, and a lot more that makes it highly attractive to bettors all over Texas.
The benefits of using this platform keep popping up, but in terms of flaws, it only has 3 eSports games, at least for the time being. But, there are plenty of regular sports, like MLB; NHL, WNBA, golf, soccer, tennis, MMA, boxing, NASCAR, F1, and many more options for new and experienced bettors.
In the fifth spot, we have BUSR, which stands for Bet US Racing. This is easily the best racebook for the US, and one of the leading sportsbooks, available across the country, with the only exceptions being New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. Luckily, Texas is not on the list.
There are numerous betting options on the platform, apart from horse races, such as MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, MMA, NCAA, betting on live baseball, and more. The platform offers multiple bonuses, including a sign-up bonus, casino bonus, cash bonus, and referral bonus. It also has great customer service available around the clock available via phone call, live chat, or email.
The BUSR website has a lot to offer, and we have listed its features and offerings in our BUSR review. So, if you are thinking of using this platform for your online betting, definitely give it a read first.
Nearing the end of the list, we have MyBookie, which is among the most trusted platforms for online gambling. Like most sportsbooks, it also offers a casino section, but both offer top-notch betting opportunities, with the sportsbook also featuring live betting options. You can bet on a variety of major international sports like basketball, football, soccer, and alike, as well as cricket, rugby, and even politics and entertainment.
MyBookie features multiple bonuses, such as a 50% sign-up bonus, a 10% cash bonus, and a 150% Casino bonus. The minimum deposit for Visa and Mastercard is somewhat elevated, sitting at $45, but if you use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum Litecoin, or XRP, the minimum is only $20. Other than that, the platform also has 24/7 customer service available via email, live chat, and even phone calls, so you can always reach out if there is a need.
The last on the list is SportsBetting.ag, which is actually a platform operated by BetOnline Group. The platform does not offer a great design, but don’t be deceived by that — it has been around for nearly two decades for a reason. It did experience financial issues in 2012, and BetOnline used this opportunity to take over. Ever since, the platform has been running smoothly, licensed by the Panama Gambling Control Board, and servicing US bettors with no issues.
It features multiple great betting opportunities, and a variety of payment methods, including crypto and fiat options alike, and it even has a casino section. In terms of available sports, there are all the popular ones, such as soccer, football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and even things like snooker, darts, and handball. A welcome bonus is also included, and so are numerous promotions for crypto users, and even a loyalty and VIP program.
Are there any legal betting options in Texas right now?
As mentioned before, sports betting is not legal as of yet, but there is a chance that it will be soon enough. In the meantime there are off-shore gambling websites that people tend to use in order to bet on major leagues and generally sports that they are interested in. However, they do not have the license to operate in the US, but despite that, they do allow US users to joint their platforms and place bets.
Commercial casino gambling is another thing that is not allowed in Texas, other than two tribal facilities — the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe’s Eagle Pass, and Naskila Gaming, which is an electronic bingo parlor in the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe’s reservation near Livingston, Texas. While this is also a tribal casino, it has been under threat from the state since 2016, when it emerged.
The state of Texas does have a legal lottery run by the state itself, however, this is the main form of gambling. It is also legal to bet on horse racing, in the form of pari-mutuel wagering, but only at one of the tracks. There are four tracks, including the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals, Lone Star Park, Retama Park, and Sam Houston Race Park.
It is worth noting that Greyhound racing is still technically legal, but there are no locations with active racing at the moment.
And, lastly, Texas also offers legal poker games, and it is home to numerous independent poker clubs, but only because they found a way to tiptoe around the explicit exceptions to the Teas gambling law. Technically, poker is actually illegal in Texas, but there are three conditions that can be combined in order to form a strong defense to prosecution.
The game can be played if it is in a private location, the players need to have an equal chance to win, and no one outside of the game is allowed to profit from the game. Combining these rules led to the creation of the clubs and they have managed to survive in the state to this day.
What are the most popular sports to bet on in Texas?
Texas is a massive state — second in both population and size, and so it is not surprising that it is filled with professional sports teams. There are 11 in total, with two of them being NFL teams — the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans. Three are NBA teams, including San Antonio Sours, The Dallas Mavericks, and the Houston Rockets.
Then, there are MLB teams the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers, both of which compete in the American League. And, finally, there are multiple NCAA teams, including the Baylor Bears, TCU Horned Frogs, Texas A&A Aggies, Texas Longhorns, and Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Other than that, there are daily fantasy sports that are neither legal nor illegal in the state, and with no clear regulations, DFS providers have been known to accept bets from Texans, while the authorities have been known to ignore this for the most part.
Lloyd is passionate about online gambling, he lives and breathes blackjack and other table games, and he enjoys sports betting.
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