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Casinos in Austin

On this page, you will learn everything you need to know about casinos in Austin, including if there are any today, if any are opening soon, which casino games to expect if/when they do open, and much more.

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Unlike the progressive legislation we have seen in other states throughout the country over the past decade, Texas continues to take a rather conservative approach to all things gambling. As such, as of January 2024, the Lone Star state prohibits full-scale casinos, instead allowing a few Class II Indian reservation casinos throughout the state.

According to Class II legislation, only bingo-style slot machines and non-banked card games (poker) are permitted. Even the three Indian casinos that operate throughout the state of Texas have faced legal challenges since their inception, leaning on federal law to override state legislators.

One of Texas’ fastest-growing cities hopes to change all of that, however, as we take a closer look at the current state of casinos in Austin. 

Are there any casinos in Austin?

No, there are no casinos in Austin as of early 2024, with the closest one being Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel in Eagle Pass, TX. Nearly 230 miles away, Austinites must make the four-hour drive if they want to play the bingo-style slot machines.

There is a form of gambling, however, that Austin residents can partake in, which is poker. Currently, poker operates in a gray area in Texas law, as it is not explicitly legal, but law enforcement has not taken a stance on shutting down operations.

The state of Texas has a long history in the poker industry, inventing the game of Texas Hold’em in the early 20th century and being the home of some of the game’s most legendary players such as Doyle Brunson.

Are any land-based casinos opening in Austin soon?

No, there are currently no plans for land-based casinos to open in Austin anytime soon, as state lawmakers have up to this point taken an ultra-conservative approach when it comes to legalizing gambling of any kind. In early 2023, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan campaigned for “destination-style” casinos to open in the state, but the legislation still has a long way to go.

For gamblers in the state looking to get involved in any form of gambling, they have to visit one of the state's four horse race tracks or three casinos throughout the state.

In terms of proximity to the state’s capital of Austin, residents of the city have to travel nearly 230 miles to Eagle Pass, TX to visit Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel. Even there, the only thing Austinites can get that they don’t have locally is bingo-style slot machines.

Casino games you could play at casinos in Austin if they open

For the optimists in the state, it’s just a matter of time before gambling legislation passes in the Lone Star State. Let’s take a closer look at the casino games you could play at casinos in Austin if they open in the future.

  • Slot Machines: Typically the most popular type of casino game, all of the most popular gaming operators will have their slot machines in casinos in Austin. While winning spins are randomized, some slot machines have higher Return to Player (RTP) percentages than others, and there is no doubt a strategy for playing casino slot machines.
  • Table Games: Games such as blackjack, baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, and many more varieties of table games will no doubt be available on day one of the casinos in Austin opening. While slot machines are often the biggest revenue generator for casinos, table games are amongst the most popular.
  • Roulette: Often considered a table game as well, roulette wheels should be available on day one at casinos in Austin as well. Not all roulette tables are made the same, however, as some have one zero (green) and others two. The roulette wheels with one zero give the players the bigger advantage.
  • Sports betting: Texas sports betting legislation was actually in talks in early 2023 in Texas, before being shot down by legislators and making its way to a vote to the public. With major public figures in Texas such as former Dallas Mavericks behind the effort, sportsbooks could be making their way to the Lone Star State in the not-too-distant future.

FAQ

Are land-based casinos in Austin legal?

No, land-based full-scale casinos in Austin are not legal. Across the state of Texas, there are three Class II Indian Casinos, that while operational today, have faced legal opposition from the state since their inception.

Why are there no casinos in Austin?

There are no casinos in Austin because up until this point (early 2024), Texas legislators have taken an extremely conservative approach to all things gambling; especially casinos.

Can I find legal gambling options in Austin?

Yes, you can find legal gambling options in Austin in the form of legally operating poker rooms. While they operate in a somewhat gray area according to Texas legislation, there are more than a half dozen poker rooms open and thriving today in the Austin area.

What are the nearest casinos to Austin?

The nearest casino to Austin is the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel in Eagle Pass, TX located 229 miles away from Austin’s city center.

Are there any popular casino destinations within a reasonable driving distance from Austin?

The closest popular casino destination within a reasonable driving distance from Austin is the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel in Eagle Pass, TX. Without traffic, Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino is three and a half hours from downtown Austin.