Status of Texas sports betting

🏈 Is sports betting legal in Texas? No, not yet
📆 When will sports betting launch? Most likely 2025 or 2026
📱Expected TX betting sites FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars
✅ Last updated May 2024

The Texas state legislature uses a biennial scheduling model. Under state statutes, the Texas House of Representatives and the Senate convene to address their business every two years. These sessions begin on the second Tuesday of January in odd-numbered years.

This means that the next Texas legislative session will begin on January 14, 2025, and it will be the 89th Legislative Session.

The 88th Session began on January 10, 2023, and it concluded on May 29, 2023. It was an eventful session from a sports betting legalization perspective.

Texas House Bill 1942

Texas House Bill 1942 (HB1942) was filed on February 2, 2023. It was a bipartisan bill that would allow for a constitutional amendment that would enable sports betting legislation.

Patrick Svitek is The Texas Tribune’s primary political correspondent, and he closely followed this legislative drama as it reached its conclusion in May. Shortly after the bill’s third reading on May 11, Svitek shared the news on Twitter:

Texas House Joint Resolution 102

HB1942 would have established a constitutional amendment to enable legal sports betting, but that was just half the battle.

Voter approval is required as well, and Texas House Joint Resolution 102 (HJR102) would have let the voters decide in November 2023. It passed by a 101-42 margin.

Enter Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick

Upon passage in the House, the bills could be moved along to the Senate for a vote. Longtime observers indicated that it would be a far tougher sell in the Senate, but the bills never made it out of the House.

In the midst of a wave of optimism surrounding the matter because of the strong House support, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick squashed the momentum:

Public opinion

Since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, 33 states have legalized the activity, and sports betting is legal in the District of Columbia.

For now, Texans are on the outside looking in, and most of them are not happy about it. The Hoppy School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston released the results of a relevant survey on January 26, 2023. It found that 75% of Texans approve of a constitutional referendum that would give the voters the power to decide on sports betting legalization.

A recent poll conducted by Betting TX has revealed a significant inclination toward legalizing sports betting in Texas. The poll found that 67.39% of registered voters in Texas were in favor of the move.

Clearly, the public is hungry for sports gaming, and there are some powerful forces making an ongoing push to satisfy their cravings.

Texas icon

Best Texas betting sites we expect to launch

  • FanDuel Texas: Best for daily fantasy sports
  • BetRivers Texas: Best for mobile betting
  • Caesars Texas: Best for welcome bonuses
  • BetMGM Texas: Best for MLB betting
  • DraftKings Texas: Best for NFL betting
FanDuel

FanDuel Texas

FanDuel sportsbook was first established in the U.S. in New Jersey in September 2018. Since then, it has continued to launch online in state after state. Today, it is available in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

Its appealing and impressive platform offers generous welcome bonuses, a friendly user experience, exceptional customer service, and popular deposit and withdrawal options with a robust menu of various sports wagering options.

Once sports betting goes live, FanDuel Texas will most likely be one of the first operators that enter the state.

📋 Betting site: FanDuel Texas
🏅 Expected Bonus: $100 in Bonus Bets
🤝 Retail location in TX: None
📱 Allows mobile betting: Yes
📅 Live in Texas: No
📋 Betting site: BetRivers Texas
🏅 Expected Bonus Bonus: Up To $500 in Bonus Bets
🤝 Retail location in TX: None
📱 Allows mobile betting: Yes
📅 Live in Texas: No
BetRivers

BetRivers Texas

BetRivers is known for offering a large selection of different sports to wager on. BetRivers Texas players will be able to access better-than-average betting options in the domestic and international markets.

Usually, you’ll find around 20 sports to wager on at any given time. Among these, you’ll find the most popular options like baseball, football, basketball, UFC/MMA, and motorsports, as well as a great selection of less popular sports.

You’ll also find various betting options, bet types, and contests. The betting site offers a simple and user-friendly interface on the website and mobile app.

Caesars

Caesars Texas

One of the largest betting brands in the U.S. is Caesars. By using its web browser platform, you’ll have a user-friendly experience thanks to its clean design and modern features.

The operator offers competitive odds and a variety of wager types for all the popular sports available in North America. It also offers many international leagues. Bettors will find a vast selection of sports, and the welcome bonuses are always generous.

We expect Caesars sportsbook Texas to go live once sports betting is legalized.

📋 Betting site: Caesars Texas
🏅 Expected Bonus: $1250 in Bonus Bets
🤝 Retail location in TX: None
📱 Allows mobile betting: Yes
📅 Live in Texas: No
📋 Betting site: BetMGM Texas
🏅 Expected Bonus: Up to $1000 in Bonus Bets
🤝 Retail location in TX: None
📱 Allows mobile betting: Yes
📅 Live in Texas: No
BetMGM

BetMGM Texas

Another top betting site we expect to launch in Texas is BetMGM Sportsbook. This betting site brings you closer to your favorite sports with real-time betting odds, various betting formats, and enhanced offers.

Players can also take advantage of in-game betting, and they can earn valuable perks through the BetMGM Rewards program.

BetMGM is an official partner of Major League Baseball, so it will most likely run special promotions when the Astros and Rangers are playing.

DraftKings Texas

DraftKings Texas

DraftKings, a leading betting operator in the U.S., is gearing up to launch its sports betting site in Texas once legislation permits. Upon launch, DraftKings Texas will offer a wide range of sports wagering options, including popular American leagues and international events.

With a user-friendly interface and competitive odds, it’s anticipated that DraftKings Texas will become a go-to destination for sports enthusiasts in the Lone Star State.

📋 Betting site: DraftKings Texas
🏅 Expected Bonus: Bet $5 Get $150
🤝 Retail location in TX: None
📱 Allows mobile betting: Yes
📅 Live in Texas: No

No, online sports betting is not legal in Texas. This comes after several failed attempts to legalize sports wagering in the state. However, 2023 saw sports betting undergo serious consideration. During this time, bills were voted on to help create a legal sportsbook market. Unfortunately, these attempts proved to be unsuccessful.

However, there is a chance that it will become legal in the future. There is the expectation that sports betting in Texas will become one of the most lucrative markets in the U.S. if this finally happens.

A girl asking questions

Presently, Texas has 11 professional sports teams, including a National Women’s Soccer League team, three NBA teams, one WNBA team, two NFL teams, two MLS teams, and two MLB teams. These are the sports that Texans most likely will place their wagers on once legal:

Football

Football continues to reign supreme regarding the attention it receives from the population in Texas. By looking at the Dallas Cowboys alone, the football team has one of the largest fanbases in the U.S. When betting on the NFL, the most common wagering types include totals, prop bets, and futures.

Baseball

Texas currently has two Major League Baseball teams: the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros. With both teams having rather big fanbases, it is safe to say that MLB betting will be common once Texas allows it. Popular bet types include in-play betting, prop bets, and futures.

Basketball

With three professional NBA teams, basketball will be a popular sport to bet on in Texas. As it is a fast-paced sport, many players enjoy placing live bets on basketball as the game unfolds. This could be wagering on which player will score next or which team will win the game.

Hockey

While the Dallas Stars are the only Texas team in the NHL, hockey is still a popular sport in the Lone Star State. Even if it is not as big as football or basketball, the NHL betting market is expected to be big in Texas. Ice hockey has some unique wagering types including grand salami, puck line, and 60-minute line.

Bonuses & promotions on TX betting sites

Like other states in the US, TX betting sites will offer various bonuses and promotions for bettors to enjoy. These are common Texas sportsbook promos players will likely find once sports betting goes live:

  • Sign-up bonus: By signing up on the betting site as a new member, you will receive a reward that will likely be a bonus bet or a deposit match bonus. Bettors can use the bet credit to place bets in addition to funds they will deposit in their accounts.
  • No deposit bonus: A no deposit bonus is self-explanatory, and they are very rare.
  • Second chance bets: With a second chance or insured bet promo, you get the stake amount back in bonus betting credit if you lose.

Professional sports teams to wager on using TX sportsbooks

Sports fans and bettors alike are curious about the best professional sports teams in Texas to wager on using Texas sportsbooks. Here are some of the most promising teams:

  • Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys are one of the most popular and valuable franchises in the NFL, and they consistently attract a large following and high betting volume. They have won five Super Bowl championships and have a strong roster, making them a reliable choice for bettors.
  • Houston Texans: While the Texans have had some recent struggles, they have also had moments of success, and they have a talented roster that could surprise fans and bettors. As a result, they are a team to keep an eye on.
  • Houston Rockets: The Rockets have a rich history of success in the NBA, with two championships and a number of star players over the years. They have struggled in recent seasons, but with a young, talented core, they could be poised for a resurgence.
  • San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs are one of the most consistently successful teams in the NBA, with five championships and a reputation for strong team play and coaching. While they may not be as flashy or star-studded as some other teams, they are a quality franchise.
  • Texas Rangers: The Rangers have had a mixed history, with moments of success and struggles, but they have a passionate fanbase and a solid roster that could surprise opponents. They are a team that could offer good value for bettors who are willing to take a risk.
  • Dallas Mavericks: Led by superstar Luka Doncic, the Mavericks have a bright future and a dynamic playing style that can be exciting to watch and bet on. They have not won a championship since 2011, but they have the potential to be a top team in the NBA in the coming years.

Creating an account on Texas betting apps

The process will be straightforward when creating an account on a Texas betting site. All you need to is choose your preferred operator and make sure you have a valid email adress. Here are the steps you will need to follow:

  1. Visit a Texas sports betting app and click ‘Register’ or ‘Join Now’. Here, you will have to input your personal information together with a valid email address and a phone number. In most cases, you will just have to verify your email. Sometimes the betting site will also send you an SMS with a code you have to input in order to verify your phone number.
  2. Make a real money deposit. The betting operator will present you with a list of payment methods on the deposit page. You can use these to initiate the deposit. Choose a payment option that best suits you. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the rest of the process.
  3. Start betting. Once your deposit is confirmed, you will see an update on your account balance. To start placing your bets, navigate to the library of available sports and start placing your first wagers.

The push toward the legalization of sports betting in Texas will continue between now and the commencement of the next legislative session in January 2025.

In spite of the setback, this is not a gloom and doom outcome because powerful forces are still hard at work.

Patrick’s statement on sports betting

In his tweet that put the kibosh on sports betting, Lt. Gov. Patrick emphasized the fact that there was insufficient GOP support in the Senate.

But in the House, 46 Republicans voted for House Joint Resolution 102, with 36 caucus members voting against it. Clearly, there is significant support within the party despite Patrick’s sweepingly dismissive remarks.

Texas online casinos gain momentum

The late Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson had been described as a “GOP kingmaker” because of his outsized political influence. His widow, Miriam Adelson, has assumed that mantle with her $36 billion fortune in tow.

In addition to the sports betting bills that were considered in 2023, there was a full-blown commercial casino legalization bill that ultimately stalled in the House.

Adelson was a major advocate, and she has funneled over $2 million into Texas political campaigns through the Las Vegas Sands Corporation political action committee in 2023 according to Bloomberg.

Adelson has thrown her support behind Governor Greg Abbott. She reportedly made a seven-figure donation to his campaign, and she viewed his inauguration from a front-row seat.

According to reports, he has asserted that he is open-minded about Texas online casinos. And he has also suggested that he may be willing to sign a legal sports betting bill if one lands on this desk:

“It’s really just a form of entertainment,” Abbott said in a USA Today Network interview. “And so it depends on how it’s constructed. And we’ll see how far it can advance in the House and Senate.”

The Texas Sports Betting Alliance

Former Texas Governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry is one of the most prominent Republican political voices in the state.

He is the spokesman for the Texas Sports Betting Alliance (TSBA), and this is what he had to say after the House legalization bills were not considered by the Senate:

“We know that Texans want the freedom and liberty that our great state is known for, to participate in sports betting legally and safely. We listened to the people and put forth legislation that would combat the $6 billion illegal market with common sense regulation and protect Texans without growing the size and scope of government. Texans deserve the chance to vote on legalizing sports betting and we will continue working to put this initiative on the ballot in 2025.”

This Alliance is comprised of the most influential entities in the Texas sports community led by the Dallas Cowboys and the other professional sports franchises.

When you add in Texas Motor Speedway and the PGA Tour along with the major sports betting companies, you see a unified voice that will be making itself heard.

Potential economic impact

Most people in the state want to be able to bet on sports, and as we have pointed out, there is significant support among legislators.

Those who are holding out may want to take a longer look at the potential economic impact that sports gambling would have on the state of Texas.

Let’s look at the context. New York is the most populous state with legal sports betting with a population of about 20 million. There are approximately 30 million people in Texas. The total sports betting handle in New York in 2022, which was the first year of legalization, was $16.2 billion.

On January 13, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the state collected $709.2 million in sports betting tax revenue in 2022. In addition to the tax dollars, the state’s coffers swelled by another $200 million via licensing fees, so the impact has been profound.

When you consider the fact that New York is two-thirds the size of Texas in terms of population, the numbers would logically be much higher in the Lone Star State.

Plus, to quote the El Paso Times, “Football is like a religion in Texas.” In New York, not so much. Since football is the most popular sport for betting by a wide margin, the Texas football handle would be enormous.

Illegal sports betting in Texas

The ongoing prohibition on sports betting in Texas is not stopping people from placing wagers. According to the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, over $6 billion is being bet illegally in Texas each year. They cite research that has been done by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming (EKG).

In fairness, the report emphasized the high level of uncertainty that envelops this type of study because illegal sports betting is done in the shadows.

Still, even if the actual number is lower than $6 billion, the point is made – plenty of people are making illegal sports bets in Texas each and every day.

Texas misses out on revenue as residents head to Louisiana

Texas shares a rather large border with Louisiana, and there is legal sports betting in Louisiana. Gaming industry insiders in that state report significant money coming in from Texans that cross the border to place legal sports bets.

In fact, there was a very notable example of this phenomenon in February 2022. Jim McIngvale is a decent furniture store owner that is known in gambling circles as “Mattress Mack.” He traveled to Louisiana to place a $5 million bet on the Bengals to beat the Rams in Super Bowl LVI.

Countless Texans visit Las Vegas during football season for a reason, and there is legal sports betting in Kansas, Colorado, and Arizona. How long will Texas force its residents to place their wagers elsewhere?

Conclusion

To sum it up, a significant majority of Texans want to be able to bet on sports. The pursuit of personal liberty is traditionally intertwined into the fabric of Texas culture. Many believe that individuals should have the freedom to do what they want to do with their money.

There is support on that level, and as we have pointed out, some heavy lobbying is underway. A great deal of give-and-take was necessary to broker terms that would gain majority support in the House.

Lawmakers on all sides of the issue have considered arguments that have been made by lobbyists, and they understand one another’s concerns. At this point, they probably know what it will take to reach a compromise that will result in majority support in both chambers.

We will continue to closely monitor the pursuit of sports betting legalization in Texas, and we will share updates on this page as they become available.

FAQ

FAQ

When will online sports betting become legal in Texas?

Legalizing sports betting won't happen in Texas any time before 2025. This is because the legislature only comes together during odd-numbered years. Therefore, the failed attempt to legalize sports betting in 2023 means that residents will have to wait another two years.

Is it safe to use offshore betting sites in Texas?

Using offshore betting sites targeting users from Texas is not recommended. These websites are operating in a grey zone of US gambling laws and are not overseen by any authority in Texas.

Who will oversee Texas sports betting?

It is most likely that the Texas Lottery will oversee sports betting in the state. However, it is not impossible that a new regulatory entity will be formed if wagering becomes legal.

What taxes will I have to pay on sports betting winnings after it’s live in TX?

After sports betting goes live in TX, you will be required to reports winnings when you file your federal income tax return.

Can I use bet365 in Texas?

No. At the moment, you can’t use bet365 in Texas because sports betting is not legal yet. When it is legalized, you can expect bet365 to be one of the betting sites to launch.

What is the penalty for betting on sports in Texas?

The penalty for betting on sports in Texas is a fine of up to $500.

Fact checked by: Gary Garry