Casino Gambling in Texas

Texas Casino Guide

Facts About Gambling & Online Casinos in Texas

There are not many ways you can legally gamble in Texas. The state lottery is one of the most popular, having been legalized in 1992. Charitable organizations are allowed to offer Bingo games, providing they have a license from the Texas Lottery Commission, and the same is true of raffles. Horse and dog betting are also legal, established in 1987, and simulcast betting was added four years later.

One thing players will find in Texas are eight-liner slot-style machines. In order for them to be legal, the saloon or establishment offering these slot machines must ensure that non-cash prizes are given out and the prize value must be under $5. Casino cruises are also popular. The ships leave ports in Texas and travel to international waters where the casinos can then open their doors and operate legally.

History of Gambling in Texas

Only one tribe has gotten permission to open any legal casinos in Texas. Texas is home to three tribes, but only one was recognized early enough to avoid restrictions when it came to opening casinos. With the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988, tribes had the power to open casinos, but there were restrictions and requirements of forming compacts with the tribes. As the Kickapoo were recognized in 1983, they got to bypass one essential rule that two other Texan tribe were bound by, as these other two tribes were not recognized until 1987. Tribes recognized in 1987 could only offer games that were legal under the state law. These other two tribes opened casinos, but as they did so illegally, the casinos were shut down.

Age Restrictions for Gambling in Texas

You can purchase lottery, raffle, and Bingo tickets as long as you are 18 years of age or older. To enter the only casino in Texas, you must be 21.

Texas’s Casino Gambling Outlook

Don’t plan on having legal online casinos in Texas any time soon. Per the Prohibition of Illegal Gambling Businesses, the biggest hurdle to online gambling is that it is illegal per U.S.C. 1084 to transmit wagering information. Texas very closely follows that law.

In 2011, there was talk of expanding gambling in Texas, but it was defeated. The problem remains that Texas is losing money to out-of-state casinos and online casinos. Most recently, there was a move to ban instant racing (betting on past races on gambling machines), and despite objections by politicians, the ban failed.

There still is hope for new casinos in Texas, however. In March 2015, Representative Joe Deshotel introduced legislation to allow nine tribal casinos to open. It’s not clear if this will ever come to light as majority approval is needed and a number of lawmakers state they will oppose gambling expansion, even if the state desperately needs the revenue.

Local Casinos

With just one casino in Texas, you don’t have many options. You’re probably better off heading to online casinos that allow players from Texas. You could also pay for one of the cruises that travel to international waters and enjoy your favorite casino games while at sea.

Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino is located in Eagle Pass, approximately 150 miles west of San Antonio. The class II Texas casino is home to more than 2,800 slot machines, a non-smoking poker room, and a bingo hall. You will not find table games as Texas has yet to offer the tribe a class III permit.