Houston is one of the largest cities in the U.S., and as such carries loads of entertainment options. However, you won’t find any casinos in Houston, as Texas law prohibits casino gambling unless the gaming facility is on tribal lands.
In this piece, we’ll take a look at what would need to change to allow casinos to operate in Houston as well as how to safely and legally gamble in the state until casino laws change statewide.
Are there any physical casinos in Houston?
No, there are no physical casinos in Houston. The only way to play casino games is to play at a sweepstakes/social casino where you aren’t playing for money. Otherwise, you will need to travel to one of Texas’ three tribal casinos to scratch your gambling itch.
Texas outlawed all forms of gambling in 1903. While there have been some rollbacks since to include lottery gaming and bingo (in most counties, though there are a few holdouts), casinos are still prohibited.
Recent efforts to legalize casino gaming have mostly stalled, particularly because the Texas legislature only meets every other year. This tends to mean gambling gets pushed to the side for other more pressing issues. House Bill 2843 was introduced during the 2023 session with the aim of legalizing casinos statewide but the bill did not advance before the end of the last session.
Are any casinos opening in Houston soon?
No, there aren’t any casinos opening in Houston any time soon. Texas state law prohibits casino gambling that isn’t held on tribal lands, and none of the state’s three federally recognized tribes has land in Houston.
The closest casino in the area is Naskila Casino in Livingston, roughly an hour and a half by car from central Houston. Naskila is owned and operated by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe and is a Class II gambling facility. This means you won’t find games like roulette, craps, blackjack, or slot machines, but you’ll still find plenty of entertainment at Naskila.
Different games you could play at Houston casinos if they open
Since the only casinos in Texas are operating on tribal lands under the guidelines of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, it’s likely that if Houston was allowed to open casinos the permissible games would be similar to those already in operation. In other words, the jump to expand everything to a Class III facility would probably be too big a leap to make, so slot machines, blackjack dealers, roulette wheels, and craps tables would still have to wait for some time before arriving in the Lone Star State.
Instead, these games are likely to be the more realistic options.