As of July 9, 2023, betting on sports in the state of Texas is deemed illegal. According to surveys and past experiences, Texans may have to wait up till at least 2025 to indulge in legal sports betting.
All the current sports betting options in Texas are via offshore gambling. However, a bill looking to legalize sports betting in the state has been filed in the 2023 Texas legislature.
The Texas Sports Betting Alliance is in full support of the bill as they, along with the locals, hope that legalized sports betting becomes a reality in the lone star state.
Also Read: How Sports Betting Works? Explained
Texas sports betting timeline.
In May 2023, the Texas sports betting bill faced a mixed fate. At first, the bill was passed in the House with a 100-43 vote, but it was later faced with obstacles in the Senate. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick declared the bill “dead” as it lacked sufficient support from the GOP.
Apart from this, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban openly expressed his preference for the resort and casino legislation over the sports betting bill.
The bill was confirmed to be dead when Rep. Jeff Leach told LSR that there would not be a last-ditch effort to legalize sports betting in Texas.
However, former Texas governor Rick Perry and the Sports Betting Alliance remained optimistic, aiming to allow the electorate to vote on sports betting legalization by 2025. In June, a Texas casinos billboard that highlighted its presence sparked controversy as casinos are illegal in the state.
Furthermore, residents of Texas missed out on the opportunity to bet on Victor Wembanyama as the first overall NBA draft pick, with odds as high as -10000 at various sportsbooks.
Legal betting options in Texas
Despite sports betting being illegal in the state of Texas, there are various off-shore websites that claim to accept bets from all over the USA.
This, of course, comes with a high level of risk as these websites operate outside US jurisdiction, which can result in the bettors falling victim to acts of financial fraud and disputes.
Another form of betting is casino gambling which is also not permitted in the state of Texas. The only gambling facilities available in the state are two tribal facilities which often find themselves amidst legal trouble.
Texas lottery and horse betting are legalized in the state with strict laws. Horse betting can only take place in person and on the race track. Some race tracks permit bettors to place bets year-round, while some stick to race-day betting. Texas lottery is often conducted through scratch tickets and held by state authorities.
Most popular sports to bet on in Texas
Given the craze and popularity of any level of football in Texas, it is obvious to state that the NFL is most likely to attract a significant number of bets from the state. The local team, Dallas Cowboys, has one of the highest followings in the country.
Apart from the NFL, the NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA also have a high following making them contenders to be some of the most bet-on events.