Best online casino sites in texas for 2023 [updated]

Is Texas one of the states that allow online casino gaming? No. At this point in time, it’s not. […] But before you hit that back button, give me a couple of minutes of your time. Maybe things aren’t as bleak as they seem — or, indeed, might be. 

Everyone wants to get their hands on the . Everyone wants a slice of the action. Everybody wants to play online slots and poker from the Lone Star State. So, even though there aren’t any brick-and-mortar casinos in Texas, many people are searching for the best online casinos in Texas. 

We must differentiate between online casinos and , which is available in legitimum in the state. In essence, offshore gaming sites operate in a gray area of the law, making them illegal in the state of Texas. However, regardless of the legal situation, plenty of Texans partake in offshore online gaming sites. 

What Happened With the 2021 Texas Casinos Bill?

Before we go any further, I want to touch on the subject of casino gambling in Texas. 

Multiple bills were introduced into the Texas Senate and House of Representatives during 2021 that aimed to legalize various forms of .

The most ambitious of these was the , which would have allowed entities to secure a casino license if they received at least 60% of the vote in a statewide election.

A maximum tax rate of 20% was proposed for casino operators, and they would have been obliged to pay $250 million initially and then an annual fee of $125 million thereafter.

The bill stated that licensees could build up to six casinos with more than 2,000 gaming machines each or up to eighteen establishments with 800 slots per location.

In addition to traditional slot machine parlors and casino resort hotels, the proposers wanted to introduce an online casino element. This would involve applicants paying a $1million fee, and any company wishing to offer digital games would need to fork over a further $500,000. 

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Senator Jane Nelson introduced another bill(SB 2043) that would have seen “satellite” casinos dotted around the state. These would be linked to licensed racetracks and permitted up to 2,000 slot machines. Full-scale resorts close to the borders of other states with casino gambling would also be allowed to be built.

There was also talk of introducing a lottery-style game similar to the UK’s National Lottery. This would have seen the winning ticket holder scoop the lion’s share of the proceeds rather than the lottery operator.

Another proposal within SB 2043 involved the creation of a new commission to regulate all forms of legal gambling in Texas. 

Several prominent figures opposed these bills. Pastor Ed Young, who runs Houston’s largest megachurch, compared gambling with drugs and alcohol, citing potential problems for families. 

  • Date Last Reviewed: October 5, 2023
  • Author: Ali Boyle
  • Oversight and Updates: Lodoenscka L.

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Our dedicated team of writers and researchers will review your feedback and make the necessary changes. Each instance of this page will then be updated at the same time.

As of now, there isn’t much we can tell you about the best online casinos you can use in Texas as they exist in a legal gray area. If and when online casino gaming becomes legally available, you can expect the to enter the Lone Star State.

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Until then, please take note that no off-the-shelf software solution is available that allows us to launch online casinos in region-specific ways. We can’t just tick a few boxes and voila; the casinos are available in Texas. Even if our servers and systems are based in the US and we accept registrations from Texas residents, it would be up to local authorities to crack down on our operations. At the very least, they could levy heavy fines against the casino providers.

Given the above, we recommend against using any online casino services, however accessibles they may appear to be. Any deposits or funds you may win while playing will exist in a legal gray area, leaving you open to potential issues further down the line.

Fortunately, we have loads of content related to and other games. Why not check out our expert guides while you wait for online casino gambling to become legal in Texas?

What this means for you

Online Casino Sites Are in Legal Gray Area in TX

It’s important to understand the concept of implied consent when it comes to internet gambling laws. Essence itself, online gambling exists in a gray area across the United States outside of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, and Delaware. However, no authority has come down hard on players or tried to prosecute online gamblers since Congress failed to pass the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006.

Of course, various sites have come and gone over the years, and the ones still standing tend to be the well-run, honest operations. On the flip side, there are plenty of online casinos that shouldn’t be trusted, whether they serve another state or purport to be a Texas online casino. That’s why we stress the importance of only playing at online casinos reviewed by experts. 

Any reputable offshore online casino site will clearly outline its position regarding state laws and let you know which states it accepts players from. For example, some states like Washington block offshore gambling sites, so their best online casinos are all homegrown. If a site fails to mention anything about state laws or regulations, you should view it with suspicion. After all, if they are prepared to lie to your face, what other terrible practices are they engaging in?

At the very least, reputable offshore online casinos will limit the accounts of Texas residents, removing deposit and bonus options and preventing access to certain games that violate state or federal laws. Any respected offshore casino site won’t turn a blind eye to state laws and hope nothing happens. They are acutely aware that the Western District of Washington has used the Wire Act to prosecute Starpoker and 

Any offshore casino site claiming to be the best online casino in Texas must understand the risks and operate responsibly. Anything else is simply too risky for us to endorse such sites to you, our reader.

Texas lawmakers have discussed casino gambling at length over recent years. Various casino bills have passed the Senate but stalled in the House Business and Industry Committee.

One of the biggest obstacles to full casino gambling approval is Deputy Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. A casual conversation with Patrick will confirm that he views casino gambling as a “slippery slope.” He also appears to buy into the idea that poorer people deserve to be poor and that helping them win the lottery is wrong. Of course, this ignores the fact that wealthy people disproportionately win the lottery. 

So, should you use offshore online casino sites in Texas? Ultimately, the decision is yours. We cannot condone breaking the law, nor can we tell you what to do with your hard-earned money. However, as things currently stand, offshore casino sites operate with impunity, and plenty of Texans continue to use them without incident. 

If you decide to sign up for an offshore casino site, always remember the following points:

  • Reputation. Read reviews from multiple sources to determine the quality of service offered by an online casino site. You can also ask around in online forums to see what other users think of the site. 
  • Licensing/Regulation. The best online casinos are operated by legitimate companies that hold licenses in reputable jurisdictions. You don’t need to memorize which bodies issue gambling licenses — I certainly haven’t. Just read the website footers of any online casinos you’re interested in joining. 
  • Banking Options. Always look for reputable casino sites that offer safe and convenient payment methods. 
  • Bonuses & Promotions. Don’t be tempted by sites offering bonuses that are too good to be true. Always read the terms and conditions associated with bonuses/promos. 
  • Game Selection. Check out the library of games available at a prospective online casino. Do they have enough slots, table games, and live dealer titles to keep you entertained? 
  • Mobile Compatibility. Can you play games on your smartphone or tablet? Does the mobile platform offer the same range of games as the desktop platform?
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Current Gambling Options in Texas

Is there a Native American casino in Texas? No – at least not yet. As we’ve said multiple times, multiple tribal groups have attempted to negotiate Class II or Class III gaming compacts with the state government.

Some of these proposals included plans for full-scale Indian casinos in Texas. However, none of these bills have progressed through the House or Senate. As things stand, no legal Texas tribal casinos exist or appear to be imminent. 

In short, Texas is among the most anti-gambling states in the USA. Other than the Lottery and some charitable wagering options, almost every form of gambling is prohibited. This applies to both brick-and-mortar venues and online platforms. 

Things have moved on slightly in recent years, and lawmakers have discussed legalizing sports betting, poker, and casino gaming. Several bills made their way through the Senate, only to stall in the House.

Many lawmakers remain opposed to gambling expansion. In my opinion, this is likely due to the influence of powerful lobbyists and voices within the state. There is also the belief that the more impoverished members of society could be exploited if they are allowed to gamble. Ignoring the fact that gambling revolutions in other states have largely benefited the working and lower-middle classes, some politicians genuinely believe they are doing the right thing.

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Can you gamble at tribal casinos in Texas? No.

The Lottery

The Texas Lottery was first established in 1991 and has since paid out more than $29 billion in prizes. Instant wins, draw games, and Texas Lottery online play give players plenty of opportunities to win cash prizes. 

However, you must be at least 18 years old and living (not just visiting) in the state of Texas to play. Those aged 18-20 can purchase tickets for drawings, scratch-offs, and instant games. However, they are not entitled to claim their winnings unless they are 21 or over. Anyone in this age group that wins less than $600 can claim their prize at a retail location. Those who win more than $600 must attend the Lottery’s headquarters in Austin. 

The Texas Lottery operates under the authority of the Texas Lottery Commission. Its executive director is Susan B. Williams, and Governor Greg Abbott appoints all five commissioners. All lottery profits are directed towards the Foundation School Fund, which supports public education in Texas. 

Texas is among 44 states that operate lotteries. Georgia, Alaska, Hawaii, Alabama, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin are the exceptions. Instead, you can play online at some of the top lottery sites in the US.

Poker Rooms

Is there a casino in Houston? No. How about poker rooms in San Antonio? Once again, the answer is no.

While lawmakers have discussed the possibility of full casino resorts, no serious discussions have taken place regarding legalizing poker rooms in Texas. As things stand, it would take a total rethink of current gambling laws before anyone can open a Texan poker room. 

Recent Legislative Attempts to Introduce Regulated Poker

In recent years, several attempts to legalize poker have been made. However, none of these bills managed to make their way through the Texas legislature.

In 2019, Senator Dawn Buckingham introduced a bill to legalize poker rooms in categories like hotels or resorts. She also pitched the idea of adding poker variants to the state lottery. This bill never advanced beyond the Senate.

Similar bills were introduced in 2017 and 2018 and suffered the same fate. Any bills proposing legal Texas poker rooms struggle in the House Business and Industry Affairs Committee. This committee is chaired by Republican Senator Kevin Bonnen, who self-describes as a “limited gambler.” 

I’m not saying there’s a link, but it’s worth noting that the last time Texas poker lawyer James Willoughby took this commitment appeared was with a small group of supporters and schoolchildren in 2011. Bonnen has since represented a daycare center in disputes with nearby strip clubs and objected to the installation of a mosque near his house.

Is Playing Poker in Texas Illegal?

Can you play poker in a private game in Texas? Yes, you can. Private member’s club games and home games with a modest entry fee and no buy-ins are exempt from the state’s gambling laws. But does this apply to online games? This is where things get hazy. 

Playing on offshore online poker sites offers a legal gray area, much like the best online casinos in Texas. No authority has moved to shut down these sites or pursue players, but this could change. Anyone that set up an online poker site in defiance of the law would struggle to process payments safely and securely. 

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Any reputable offshore online poker site will be upfront about the legal situation in Texas and advise locals not to use the full range of real-money games. Anyone breaking this advice and playing banned games could potentially leave themselves open to problems further down the line. 

Could you get in trouble for playing online poker in Texas? I cannot give you a definitive answer. But when it comes to the best online poker sites available in Texas, you are taking something akin to a waiting charge.

Sports Betting

Is there a Bahamas casino in the water? Nope, that’s just a colossal Orient Express cruise ship. And can you place a bet on Bovada in Texas? Definitely not. At least not in person. 

As things stand, placing single game wagers with a bookmaker is illegal in the Lone Star State. However, you can take part in certain forms of legal Texas sports betting. Daily fantasy sports sites are not considered gambling under state law. This means top DFS sites are free to operate, and residents can freely take part in player contests.

When it comes to passing sports betting legislation, things have gathered momentum in recent years. Former House Investigations & Special Programs Chairman Eddie Lucio III introduced several sports betting bills. His Joint Committees on Sales, Elections, & Political Subdivisions succeeded in getting HB 649 through the lower house in March 2021.

This bill would have permitted betting at the state’s racetracks and airports. It would also allow for mobile betting within the boundaries of the venue. When it came before the Senate Finance Committee, amendments were added to remove the airport provisions. However, the committee chose not to advance HB 649. A similar bill (SB 1422) met a similar fate. 

Does this mean we can rule out the likelihood of sports betting any time soon? Not necessarily. Plenty of lawmakers recognize the revenue-generating capabilities of sports betting, especially after neighboring states enjoyed strong launches. Before any meaningful sports betting legislation can be passed, deputies will need to find a way to overcome opposition from the likes of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.

Can you bet on Bovada in Texas? No, you cannot.

Is Sports Betting in Texas Legal?

Are there sports betting jobs in Galveston? No, you won’t find any. Likewise, can you bet on the Grand Saloon, which is allegedly a casino in Galveston? Nope. And can you bet on the Bahamas casino on a ship? Also no.

Anyone looking for the best offshore sportsbooks must realize that these sites exist in a legal gray area. No one has been prosecuted for betting on sports at these sites, and they continue to operate without interruption. However, this could change, so anybody choosing to bet at these sites assumes a degree of risk.

In my opinion, the leading offshore sportsbook sites operate responsibly and clearly outline their stance on local gambling laws. Anyone making explicit references to breaking these laws would clearly be operating outside the realms of responsibility. 

Could you bet on the NFL in Texas on Bovada? Again, you take a charge. One day, the authorities may choose to crack down on offline sportsbooks. When that day arrives, it will be up to local authorities to take action. Until then, thousands of Texans continue to use offshore sportsbooks.

Fantasy Sports

Are there fantasy football sites in Texas? Yes. Given the legality loophole surrounding fantasys sports in America, leading DFS sites operate in all but two states (Alabama and Montana). Residents can play daily, weekly, and monthly fantasy contests for real money.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DSF) differ from season-long leagues. The former permits players to create teams for one-off competitions. You don’t need to worry about player eligibility or managing your squad throughout the season. Instead, you pick a team for a specific game or event and see how it performs. 

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Season-long legles are among the best fantasy football sites for a simple reason: they are the simplest to grasp. You can join public or private leagues, compete against your friends, or mix it up with random players. The beauty of season-long leagues is that you pay your entrance fee once and compete in a series of matches.

When researching this guide, I wanted to know how fantastic sports sites donate to schools in Texas. The answer is that the Texas Fantasy Sports Alliance lobbies lawmakers on behalf of leading sites like and . The alliance believes that regulating fantasy sports will protect players and generate extra revenues for the state.

In 2015, Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an official statement declaring that DFS contests were skill games and not illegal gambling under state law. Some lawmakers remained unconvinced, which led to the introduction of the Fantasy Sports Act in 2017, 2019, and 2021.

These bills aimed to bring fantasy sports under state regulation. They would protect players and generate extra revenue for the state via a 10% tax on winnings over $1,000 in a year. All individuals other than professional athletes were eligible to play.

For now, Texans can enjoy daily and season-long fantasy contests on sites like and . If upcoming legislative attempts succeed, more reliable rules and regulations will be put in place.

Horse Racing

Is there a casino in El Paso? No. How about racebooks? Any establishment taking horse racing bets in Texas must be classified as a casino, and such establishishes do not exist. Private members’ club parimutuel racetracks are exempt from this definition.

The Texas Racing Commission regulates these tracks and the wagers placed within them. Retama Park in Sedley is the only race track licensed in the state. Remington Ventures own the track, which measures 440 acres and features a one-mile dirt track and 7/8ths mile turfed racecourse.

According to the commission, 32 trainers are based at the park, and it employs around 70 people. Retama Park originally opened in 2000 before being renamed several times. It currently operates for around seven weeks of the year, starting in November.

The Texas Racing Commission was created in 1993 and replaced the previous agency, the Texas Thoroughbred Association. Its mission is to “develop, promote and supervise the racetrack and racing-linked industries in Texas.” In practice, the TCR oversees racetracks, racehorses, trainers, jockeys, and employees.

Commissioners regulate races, ensure horse welfare standards are upheld and collect data relating to the industry. The TCR also generates revenue for the state. According to its most recent financial report, the body generated $9.5 million in fees and recouped $10.7m in taxes. After deducting expenses of $2.3m, the TWC made a profit of $7.4m, which was paid into the state treasury.

Can you gamble at a casino in Fort Worth? No. But can you gamble at the casino in Laredo? Technically, there’s a racebook there. Laredo Poker & Pleasure, LLC owns Laredo Casino, which is classified as a racebook. In practice, this establishment does not offer poker; instead, it features slot machines, video poker, and a racebook.

Is it legal? That’s debatable. Prosecutors argue that as the facility makes slots and videos poker the focus of its business and donates a portion of racebook profits to a charity, it is not technically a casino. Those in favor of full casino gambling in Texas disagree, arguing that the facility would be shut down if the charity defense wasn’t upheld.

In my opinion, the Laredo Casino case highlights the confusion and absurdity of the state’s gambling laws. While a physical racebook operated by Laredo Poker & Pleasure, LLC is legal, online racebooks are not. This means that while you can place bets with tracks like Retama Park in Sedley, you cannot wager on races held in other states.

And you definitely cannot place bets on international races. So, can you bet on horses in Texas on Bovada? No. Could you try TopBet instead? Once again, these sites exist in a legal gray area, and anybody considering signing up must assume a level of risk.

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Tribal Casinos

Can you gamble at tribal casinos in Texas? No. Many native tribes have tried to push for casino gaming rights, but none of their proposals have gained traction in the Senate or House. 

One of the most high-profile attempts came in 2019 when the Alabama-Coushatta and Tigua nations proposed HR 1335. This bill would permit Sinatra-style casino resorts on their respective territories. It would also allow for sports betting and daily fantasy sports.

The Alabama-Coushatta Nation own Naskawk County Resort & Casino in Raven, Oklahoma. The Tigua operate the Sacred Mountain Casino in Frisco, Texas, and the Red Water Casino & Hotel in New Mexico. Both nations contributed significantly to HR 1335, but the bill failed to make it out of the Senate. 

Other tribes that have called for gambling expansions in Texas include Alabama-Quassarte, Kickapoo Traditional Arabi, Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, and the Cherokee Nations. But with figures like Lt. Governor Dan Patrick opposing gambling expansion, there appears to be little appetite to change the law in the foreseeable future.

Earlier, I mentioned that the Bahamas casino featured on the Grand Classic is a myth. But what about the Port Aransas casino? Does such a place exist? Unfortunately, no. 

While Texans cannot enjoy the best online casinos in Louisiana or visit a Port Aranas casino, some feel that changing the state constitution would pave the way for casino gambling. Article 1, Section 35 states that “no license shall be granted and no field, fair, or other meeting shall be held for the purpose of gambling,” defining gambling as “the making of a bet”. 

Changing this section would require votes from two-thirds of all state representatives and senators as well as a majority vote in favor in a statewide referendum. As things stand, this seems a long way off.

Charitable Bingo & Raffles

Is there a casino in Corpus Christi? No. Nor does the city host regular raffles and bingo games featuring jackpots worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. In truth, charities and organizations like American Legion, Elks, Moose, and VFW are permitted to run certain games in exchange for charitable donations. 

To qualify, these events must be conducted as fundraisers. They must not promise specific items or services, and the cost of a ticket must be a “de minimis” percentage of the prize on offer. For example, selling raffle tickets for $10 when the prize is a car would be classed as prohibited because 10% of $10 is more than de minimis. 

But what qualifies as de minimis? According to the Texas Lottery, organizers should look at the market value of the item when determining the ticket price. If 5% or less of the market value equals de minimis, they should use that figure. Alternatively, they could sell tickets for 20c if 30% or less of the ticket price is de minimis.

Organizations found guilty of running impermissible raffles or games can receive fines of up to $5,000. First-time offenders may be offered the chance to pay $500 in lieu of a hearing. 

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Any group found to be repeatedly flouting the law can have its license suspended or revoked. Organizers are required to post their raffle licenses in a visible place during events. The Lottery receives numerous complaints about charitable organizations and welcomes any instances of suspected violation.

Can you play the lottery in Texas while you wait for the results of a Stamford casino vote? No, as the Texas Penal Code considers lotteries as a form of gambling, they are not exempt from the state’s restrictions. However, the Texas Lottery was established in 1991 and now generates millions in revenue for the state. Instant wins, draws, and online lottery tickets are exempt from the general secretary against gambling.

Charitable bingo and raffles games are among the exception to this rule. This means organizations can raise money for good causes by hosting these types of games. However, they must adhere to strict regulations regarding ticket prices and prize values. The Texas Lottery provides a comprehensive guide to help groups stay on the right side of the law.

Charitable Poker Games

Is there a Chuck E Cheese casino in Texas? No. There are plenty of Chuck E Cheese arcades in Texas, but none of them feature casino games. However, charitable organizations can host poker tournaments. 

Once again, these games must be run as fundraisers. Players make a donation to enter the tournament, and the winner receives a proportion of the overall prize pool. However, organizing successful charity poker games in Texas can be tricky.

Poker is considered an unfair advantage game under state laws. This means you could get in trouble for hosting a game that includes a structural advantage for the house. For example, if the cardroom owner is an authorized participant, they would hold a structural advantage over others at the table. 

In this scenario, the cardroom owner would be deemed to have a “statistical edge” over other players. Under the law, a game is defined as one that gives the house a statistical advantage if the following applies:

  • Prohibited Game: A game that is prohibited under this chapter.
  • Player: Any individual who engages in a game.
  • House: The person, firm, corporation, or association that conducts a game.
  • Participant: A player other than the house who receives cards or shares from the house.
  • Structural Advantage: The probability of a participant winning a game during a specified period of time.
  • Statistical Edge: The mathematical difference between the house’s and a participant’s chances of winning a game.
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Based on the definitions above, any game that gives the house a statistical edge is classified as an unfair advantage game. So how can charities run poker games and other card games without falling foul of the law?

The answer lies in running an equal opportunity game. This means participants and the house have the same chances of winning. One of the easiest ways to achieve equal opportunity status is for the house to pay a player to act as the dealer. The dealership obligations must be explicit in the rules of the game. 

Alternatively, participants can take it in turns to be the dealer. In this scenario, the card room must not have someone with a structural advantage. However, participants must take it in turn to deal and maintain this rotation at all times. Failing to do so will give the cardroom an unfair advantage and leave the game open to prosecution.

Social Gambling

Is there a casino in Amarillo? No. How about a San Angelo social casino? Once again, it does not exist. Social gambling involves private citizens playing card games, dice games, and slot machines for small sums of money within a private setting. 

The Penal Code defines social gambling as “engaging in gambling to raise funds for a charitable purpose” or “engaging in low-stakes gambling in a private residence.” Low-stakes gambling is classified as games where players make bets of $5 or less. The total pot should not exceed $100. 

The exemptions listed within the Penal Code relate to individuals engaged in gambling activities. Complying police and sheriff departments across the state receive countless complaints about alleged illegal gambling activities. In most cases, these complaints relate to social games.

Complaints might stem from neighbors or competitors, but the Penal Code is clear on this matter. As long as social gambling activities meet the criteria outlined above, they are exempt from state gambling laws. However, the code also states that the actions of a corporate entity cannot be covered under these exemptions.

So, can you visit a Galveston casino boat? No. But could you organize one with a few friends onboard? Highly unlikely.

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List of All Casinos in Texas

Is there a casino in Midland Texas? No. How about a Odessa casino? Same answer. The list below includes all operating casinos in Texas. In reality, the only entries on this page are class 2 historical horse racing facilities. 

Retama Park is a one-mile dirt track and 7/8ths mile turf racecourse located in Sedley. Lucky Lady and Kickapoo Cripple Creek Casino & Hotel are class 2 historical horse racing facilities. The former boasts 350 slot machines and electronic table games. Meanwhile, the latter features 700+ games, including slots and ETGs plus table games.

Aladdin Casino Temecula California is not in Texas. Neither is Choctaw Durant casino. Neither of these establishments can be visited if you live in Garland and want to play casino games. So, if none of these places are options, why are they listed below? Simply put, websites need to have something in the listings, otherwise, they’d be empty! Here’s the complete list of casinos in Texas:

History of Gambling in Texas

When did gambling begin in the US? Long before the first European settlers arrived on these shores, native tribes used rudimentary gambling games as a means of resolution. Early English explorers observed these games and, in many cases, participated. 

The Mayflower Compact, signed on November 11, 1620, is often cited as the founding document of the United States. It established the rights and obligations of pilgrims and served as a precursor to the US Constitution. Within the text of the compact lies the first reference to gambling in America.

Article 30 states that “upon advancement of any particular person before the time appointed, shall be fined, (towards the profitt of the common treasurey) double the sume which he would have had … if cast lost ... Or if the game be continued, shall forfeit somer material piece of his liberally to the use aforesaid.”

This passage suggests that gambling was prevalent amongst early settlers, and efforts were made to control it. The concept of gambling persisted as the US expanded westwards, and frontierspeople used various games to pass the time and potentially make money. 

The Gold Rush saw huge numbers of Americans head to California in search of wealth. Card games played for high stakes were commonplace, and many men lost everything in pursuit of fortune. During this period, Nevada also emerged as a hub of gambling activity. Miners would travel to the Silver State to enjoy games that weren’t available in California.

When Texas became a Republic in 1836, gambling was already a part of everyday life. Soldiers passing through the region would play cards and dice for money, goods, and services. 

Gambling took root, and games could be found in towns and cities across the state. However, legislators began to view the activity as immoral and passed a series of anti-gambling laws in the late 1800s. These bills restricted various forms of gambling, and many saloons and gambling halls closed. 

Despite repeated attempts to banish gambling from the state, Texans found ways to play their favorite games. Pari-mutuel wagering on horse races was legalized in 1933, and the first racino opened in 1934. The Texas Lottery was established in 1991, and voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2019, allowing voters in qualified regions to approve sports betting in person at licensed establishments. However, this referendum was canceled due to issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Today, the Texas Penal Code outlaws most forms of gambling, aside from the exceptions noted above. Charities can run raffles and bingo games, and the lottery and racinos are legal. Sports betting, online gambling, commercial casinos, and casino cruises from ports like Galveston are all verboten.

Geography of Texas

Why can’t I gamble in Texas? This is a question asked by many people, especially those visiting the state for the first time. After all, a quick search for “casinos near me in Texas” will reveal dozens of establishments. 

However, many of the top-rated results are social venues or restaurants. Scroll past the sponsored links and you may find a couple of racinos. But what about all the Fort Worth casinos and Cypress casino boats? Sadly, they are mythical. 

Any establishment advertising herself as a “casino” is lying. Either that or their definition of a casino is broad enough to cover a convenience store. For example, one Texas newspaper describes a local shop as “one hell of a casino” after the 50-year-old man scratched a winning Texas Millionaire raffle ticket there. 

So, where are the Baytown casino boats? In the garage, no doubt. The same goes for Pasadena casino parties and Tyler casino buses. Despite claims made by certain establishments, it is illegal to run a terrestrial casino or casino boat in Texas. 

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The second-largest state by land area, Texas covers 695,662 sq. Mi. It is situated along the Gulf of Mexico and shares borders with five states: Louisiana to the east of Texas, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and Chihuahua to the west and south. 

The border with Mexico stretches 709 miles