Texas Sports Betting 2021

When it comes to sports betting, Texas is prepared to make the wait for online sportsbooks longer than just about everywhere else in the USA.

The Texas State Legislature killed the latest bill attempting to legalize sports betting passed. In terms of Texas sports betting bills, it was the third to meet such a fate. The killing of the latest online betting bill guarantees to Texas sports bettors that sports betting in Texas won't be a reality until at least the year 2023.

For the users that are looking to find the latest news on TX sports betting and best sports betting site in TX if and when they launch, we are here to help. Bookmark Bookies to stay abreast of all the developments relating to Texas online sportsbooks.

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Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Texas?

When it comes to sports betting markets, all signs indicate that Texas legislators aren't listening to the majority of Texans. According to a Dallas Morning News/University of Texas-Tyler poll, 57% of residents want access to casino games and 43% support legalized sports betting. Estimates offered from experts in the gaming industry suggest that the people of the Lone Star State are already spending as much as $2.5 billion a year in neighboring states such as Oklahoma and Louisiana that offer casino games, legal sports wagering and online gambling.

Yet, currently, no form of sports gambling is legal in Texas. If people in the Lone Star State want to get a bet on sports down on Texas teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Astros or Houston Texans, Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers, San Antonio Spurs, or top college sports teams such as the Texas Longhorns and Texas Tech Red Raiders, they'll need to cross state boundaries into Louisiana, where they recently made the decision to legalize sports betting and sportsbook operators should provide a robust sports betting market.

With no Texas sports betting bill on the go to be considered by Texas legislators, the absolute earliest it would appear that legalized sports betting in Texas will be offered is 2023.

What are the Benefits of Legalizing Online Sports Betting in TX?

Naturally, one of the key incentives for sports betting legalization and the advent of Texas online sports betting would be the revenue that legal sports betting could generate for the coffers of the Lone Star State.

For example, among the rejected Texas sports betting bills was HB1121. It would've provided for a 6.25% tax being applied to every bet on sports through Texas sportsbooks. That money could've been utilized to help fund education and social programs within the state. The bill also was calling for the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to oversee sports betting legalization, so people could be certain that all Texas sportsbooks would be operating under the rule of law.

TX Sports Betting Legislation Updates 2021

Timeline of updates surrounding sports betting in Texas in 2021:

  • November 15, 2021: Louisiana continues to see East Texans flock to Lake Charles and other venues with Texas years away from legalizing sports betting. The numbers are expected to grow when Louisiana online betting launches.
  • May 31, 2021: The session of the Texas legislature concludes without any of the Texas sports betting bills being put to a vote. All bills pertaining to legalizing sports betting for Texas sports bettors die in committee.
  • May 25, 2021: Bill HB393 is introduced. This bill is designed to provide the definition of a bet for purposes of gambling criminal offenses relating to sports betting legalization.
  • April 14, 2021 - The owners of the Las Vegas Sands launch a multimillion-dollar lobbying campaign supporting House Joint Resolution 133. This bill would legalize casino games at four casinos in the state’s four biggest cities: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.
  • March 4, 2021: Bill HB1121 is introduced. It would allow for sportsbook operators to provide statewide mobile sports betting with a cap of five licenses. Gross gaming revenue would be taxed at 6.25%, and the legal age to wager would be 18.
  • February 8, 2021: Many of the most prominent people in ownership of Texas professional sports teams join together to form the Sports Betting Alliance. The group's objective is to lobby government officials and rally public support to legalize sports betting. Among this group are Jerry Jones, owner of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, and billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. Other professional sports teams involved in the Sports Betting Alliance include the NHL's Dallas Stars, MLB's Texas Rangers and FC Dallas of the MLS.
  • February 27, 2019: Democratic Representative Eddie Lucio III introduced bill HB1275, which would make it legal to bet on sports in Texas. The bill would allow sports gambling on both pro and college sports and offer both mobile and online gambling. Lucio also introduces House Joint Resolution 61. This would enable a referendum for amending the state constitution to allow legal sports betting in Texas.

Texas Sports Betting History

In the days of the Wild West, when men like Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson ruled, gambling in Texas was as prevalent as cowboys and cattle ranchers. Every saloon offered card playing and other games of chance. However, as Texas reformed from its frontier foundations, the state also grew to be conservative with a capital C when it came to all forms of gambling.

2021: The state legislature concludes its 2021 session without considering any of the ongoing bills designed to legalize betting on sports in Texas. Earlier in the year, sports betting bills HB393 and HB1121, both designed to help legalize betting in Texas through Texas sportsbooks, are introduced in the state house.

2019: Sports betting bill HB1275, the first of several attempts by Texas legislators to make it legal to bet on sports, is introduced in the state house.

2018: In landmark ruling, U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, paving the way for all states to legalize single-game sports wagering.

2015: Contradicting the Texas government, the National Indian Gaming Commission issued an opinion that the Tigua and Alabama-Coushatta tribes could legally conduct gaming. That led to both tribes reopening their casinos.

2001: The Alabama-Coushatta tribe opened an entertainment center. The facility provided slots, blackjack and poker. The Texas government took legal action and shut the casino down in 2002.

1996: The Kickapoo tribe opened a casino offering bingo, poker, a variant of blackjack and electronic pull-tab dispensers that operated similar to slot machines. The Texas government took the Kickapoo to court, claiming slot machines violated state law. The government won the case and the casino was shut down in 2002.

1993: Through the state's Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the Tigua tribe of Texas opened up Speaking Rock high-stakes bingo hall. Slot machines were added in 1996.

1992: The Texas Lottery is legalized and launched across the state. The state lottery offers scratch-off and drawing games, including the multi-jurisdiction Mega Millions and Powerball games.

1989: Casino cruises, which offer casino games once the ship reaches international waters, begin docking in Texas ports. Raffles are legalized as charitable fundraisers. However, cash prizes are not permitted.

1981: Bingo is legalized in Texas. All funds from these bingos must be earmarked for charitable organization.

1933: Pari-Mutuel wagering is legalized in Texas, designed to help generate revenue during the Great Depression. Currently, there are three class-one racetracks operating in the state - Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Retama Park in Selma, and Sam Houston Race Park in Houston. Gillespie County Fair in Fredericksburg operates as a class-three facility. There are also three greyhound tracks offering pari-mutuel, although only one, Gulf Greyhound Park, offers live racing. There is simulcast wagering available at Gulf Coast Racing and Valley Race Park.

1903: All forms of gambling, including pari-mutuel wagering, are outlawed in Texas. The Texas State Fair and Rodeo, which built its product around horse racing, ceases to operate.

Why Lawmakers Won’t Legalize Texas Sports Betting

Despite apparent evidence that the public is in favor of betting on sports in Texas at Texas sportsbooks, the Republican-led state government, led by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, has vowed that legalized sports betting will never happen in the Lone Star State on their watch.

Unlike most states, making sports gambling legal in Texas isn't merely a matter of altering or changing the law. Such a move to make online betting legal in Texas will require a referendum that would amend the state constitution. In the state of Texas, sports gambling is outlawed by a constitutional provision.

In order to change this and make it possible for Texas sports bettors to place wagers that are legal in Texas, several elements will be required. Passing any of the state's sports betting bills must receive support of a two-thirds majority in both the state House of Representatives and Senate. After that, the measure must then bet put in the ballot during state elections and be given approval by a majority of voters.

Texas 'Likely' Online Sportsbooks

When the time does come that Texas opts to offer legalized sports betting, we expect all of the leading U.S.-based online and mobile sports betting operators lining up to grab a piece of the massive Texas sports betting markets by becoming Texas sports betting sites. As the second-most populous state in the union, industry insiders are estimating that the Texas sports betting markets could generate more than $230 million in revenue annually for the state coffers.

DraftKings Sport

DraftKings Sportsbook

If there's legal sports betting in the state, then it's a virtual certainty that the DraftKings Sportsbook will be showing up there. One of the biggest powerhouses in online sports betting in the USA, DraftKings utilizes the capital they've already gained via their daily fantasy sports platform to convert those customers over to legal sports betting.

FanDuel

FanDuel Sportsbook

Like DraftKings , the FanDuel Sportsbook has also been able to parlay the company's Daily Fantasy sports empire to also become a major USA player in online sports betting. Being among the Texas sports betting sites will be a natural transition for FanDuel. Typically, FanDuel and DraftKings are the first online sportsbooks on the scene when a state opts to legalize sports betting. FanDuel is owned by Flutter Entertainment, a British betting superpower whose list of online sports betting sites also includes Betfair and Paddy Power.

BetMGM Sport

BetMGM Sportsbook

A major player in the hotel and casino industry for decades, MGM Resorts have also made a smooth transition into the USA legal sports betting market. The BetMGM Sportsbook is the company's online sports betting arm. Already, BetMGM has a sports betting presence in 14 different states, and is usually along side DraftKings and FanDuel at the front of the line when new states launch.

PointsBet Sport

PointsBet Sportsbook

Built into one of the major online sportsbooks in Australia, the PointsBet Sportsbook has moved aggressively into the USA sports betting market. They've established a headquarters in the USA and are expanding across the country. As states make sports betting legal, PointsBet is often there to open up shop. It figures to be part of Texas online sports betting, offering its unique PointsBetting wagering feature.

TwinSpires

TwinSpires Sportsbook

Like FanDuel and DraftKings, TwinSpires has already made a mark in Texas sports betting. Long before it branched out into online sportsbooks, TwinSpires was already operating an online gambling site for horse racing. It entered into the Texas market, but ended up suspending wagering activity in the Lone Star State after losing a court challenge of the Texas ban on internet wagering. However, don't be surprised if the TwinSpires Sportsbook is among the legal Texas sportsbooks.

BetRivers Sportsbook

BetRivers Sportsbook

It might not be the first online sports betting site that comes to mind. However, the BetRivers Sportsbook is often among the first online sports betting sites that ends up coming into a new market. Whatever Texas teams sports bettors plan to wager on, whether it college teams like the Texas Longhorns or Texas Tech Red Raiders, or pro squads such as the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks or Houston Astros, BetRivers will deliver plenty of opportunity to bet on sports in Texas.

Barstool Sportsbook

They were a bit late to the party, but the one thing that's clear about Barstool Sportsbook is that once it arrived on the sports betting scene, it was their intention to be the life of the party. Its popular and often-controversial sports news website is built around guys having fun more so than sports bettors winning while wagering on a sports betting market. Via their partnership with Penn National Gaming, Barstool has tapped into the knowledge and knowhow of one the biggest players in the industry. Expect Barstool to be one of the Texas sports betting sites.

How We Pick the Best TX Sport Betting Sites

If and when the government of Texas eventually gets around to legalizing sports betting, there will be no shortage of options through which to place bets. But not all Texas online betting sites will be alike. The following elements are what we will look at to determine the best places to be betting in Texas.

Accessibility

Once sports betting is legal in Texas, the betting sites will be lining up to offer you their services. You'll want to find with a site that is easy to navigate and makes it simple to locate the wager you want to play. And the mobile site should be just as pain free to operate as the desktop site.

Reliability

The race may go the slow and steady, but when it's time to get a bet down, it should be quick like a bunny. The best Texas sports betting sites will be intuitive and responsive. You might be someone who likes listening to Three Dog Night perform "Spinning Wheel," but no one enjoys seeing a spinning wheel while awaiting their betting site to download as the time to get action is fast disappearing and the odds may be changing.

Site and Mobile Experience

When placing bets with Texas sports betting sites, smooth and easy is what you should seek out. No one is going to a betting site to be entertained. They want to locate the event they seek to bet and get that bet down. Also, if live betting is your thing, do they offer live streaming on both their desktop and mobile sites? How robust are those markets?

Generous and Ongoing Sports Bet Bonuses

Bettors can expect that all Texas sports betting sites will offer them a lucrative sign-up bonus. However, be sure to read the fine print to learn the terms and conditions attached to that bonus offer. As well, check into what they do for their players once they are signed up. Are the ongoing promotional opportunities, or is it one and done in terms of bonuses provided?

Payment Options

Can you use a credit or debit card to find your online sportsbook account? When it comes time to withdraw funds, is it a quick and easy system, or a long, complicated, drawn-out process that requires days to pass before you see your money? Banking should be simple and there should be plenty of options available. Those include PayPal, VISA, MasterCard, and American Express.

Variety of Games to Bet On

Variety is the spice of life, and it also spices up sports betting. The top Texas sports betting sites will be offering to players many sports upon which to wager. And with each sport, they will offer a generous supply of betting lines. There will also be a robust market for live, in-play wagering. NFL betting will certainly be the biggest in the Lone Star State, but don't sleep on sports like MLB and NBA bringing a ton of money to the table.

Better Odds

Top sports bettors love to shop odds. It's not different than when you're buying groceries. You check the ads to see where you can get the best price. Likewise, a bettor wants to find the best odds in order to garner the highest payout on their wager. Top sportsbooks in Texas will be ones that provide players with consistent, competitive odds.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Once a bettor has chosen which of the Texas sports betting sites they are going with, when the time comes to bet, the method by which they deposit funds to their account should be quick and painless. They money should be received into the player's account almost instantly. When the time comes to withdraw funds from that account, the process should operate with equal smoothness.

Payout Process

People betting on sports in Texas will want to go with the Texas online sportsbooks that offer fast and efficient payouts with minimal processing time. The best online gambling sites in Texas will also offer numerous withdrawal options and have customer service help available 24/7 in case you run into any issues.

Security at Online Sportsbooks in Texas

The real advantage to Texas online sportsbook is that they will all be legal and regulated. At Bookies.com, we only review and recommend legal sites that will be licensed and regulated by the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation. This will ensure all accounts and funds are secure. We never recommend offshore-based sports betting sites, because they are not legal and lack effective regulation and oversight.

TX Mobile Sports Betting Apps

All of the leading Texas online sportsbooks will offer a mobile app from which sports bets can also be made. These mobile apps will be compatible with both Android and iOS devices. They will offer download links directly from their own website. With most, it will be possible to download the app into a mobile device and then utilize the app to sign up with their site. The best mobile apps will work as seamlessly and offer the same sports gambling services as a desktop site.

Some of the top mobile apps that can be expected to arrive in Texas should it legalize sports betting:

  • BetMGM
  • BetRivers
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • PointsBet
  • TwinSpires
  • Barstool

Bonuses & Promotions at TX Sports Betting Sites.

If Texas opts to legalize sports betting, expect that Texas sportsbooks will offer three standard types of sign-up bonuses. There's a risk-free first bet, which refunds your first wager up to a certain amount should it lose, with the refund in the form of bet credits.

Another common sign-up bonus is a matching first deposit bonus. Many sites match at 100% while some match at a lower percentage. Again, a set amount is established by a Texas sports betting site. This total will be matched during a player's first deposit. So, if the set amount were $250, then a $250 deposit would turn into $500 if it is a 100% match.

Thirdly, there are no-deposit bonuses. This are usually small stipends - around $25-$50 - that are given to a new player to use for online sports betting.

Top sports betting sites will continue to offer promotions well after a player has joined their site. These could be deposit reload bonuses, parlay insurance and odds boosts, to name a few. In the latter case, a selected game of interest to Texas bettors - it could be a San Antonio-Houston NBA game, or perhaps a college sports event such as a Cotton Bowl game featuring the Texas Longhorns - will see the odds juiced to a higher than normal level.

Types of Sports Bets That Would be Offered in Texas

There are two styles of bets that will be offered by Texas sports betting sites. Straight bets include moneylines (including futures), point spreads and totals. Moneylines are based on $100 wagers. A favorite is assigned a negative number, which is how much a player must wager to win $100. Underdogs get a positive number which represents how much a bettor would win on a $100 wager. Point spreads assign a number to each team. If the spread is 3.5, the favorite must win by four points or more to cover. The underdog is a winner as long as they don't lose by more than three points. Totals are straightforward. A points total is assigned to the game. Bettors wager whether they will go over or under that total.

Futures are wagers on long-term outcomes. An example of an NFL future would be a wager on the Cowboys to become Super Bowl champion. In college sports, the winner of the Heisman Trophy

Then there are exotic bets. Parlay bets combine several wagers into one bet in which you risk less money for a bigger reward (though they are tougher to win, because if one leg fails, you lose the parlay). Prop bets are wagers on outcomes within the game, such as total passing yards or whether a player hits a home run.

Live Betting combines both wager types, but instead of before the game, these wagers take place in-game, with odds constantly updated by the online sportsbook.

What Sports Leagues Could I Bet On in Texas?

Few states can boast the depth of sports offering that Texas provides. There are professional sports teams in all of the major North American sports leagues. The NFL includes the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans. In MLB, there's the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros. The NBA features the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets. The NHL has the Dallas Stars, while MLS goes three deep in Texas franchises with FC Dallas, the Houston Dynamos and Austin FC.

College sports are also massive in the Lone Star State. The Texas Longhorns, Texas Tech Red Raiders, TCU Horned Frogs, Rice Owls, SMU Mustangs, Baylor Bears and Texas A&M Aggies are the biggest programs among many Texas schools.

When Can I Play Daily Fantasy Sports in Texas?

Like the challenge to legalize sports betting in Texas, daily fantasy sports also endured a long, drawn-out battle before it was permitted in the state. While it was available online in the state, the question remained whether DFS was in fact legal in Texas. This was settled in 2019 when a resolution in the Texas State House declared that DFS was not a game of chance (and therefore gambling) but was in fact a play-for-play game of skill. All of the leading DFS operators, including DraftKings and FanDuel, now do business in Texas without fear of being shut down.

How to Sign up and Place a Sports Bet in Texas

As soon as the state opts to legalize it, people will discover that sports betting is easy ... well, signing up for Texas sportsbooks will be easy. Based on how it works in other states, when betting on sports is legal in Texas, the process to join a site figures to be easy and painless. Let's look at what are the usual requirements involved in the sign-up process:

  1. Choose the Texas Online Sportsbook that fits your needs
  2. Get to know the new betting platform
  3. Go through the sign-up process, including submitting personal information to establish your identity and location
  4. Verify your account
  5. Fund your account through an approved deposit method; be sure to opt into the welcome bonus!
  6. Place your first bet

Top 5 Texas Sports Teams to Bet On

Whether you're talking about professional sports teams or college sports, there will be no shortage of betting opportunities once sports betting is legal in Texas.

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys

Win or lose, America's team will always be the biggest game in the state of Texas. The Cowboys are one of those teams that are known worldwide. The star logo on the side of the helmet is recognized everywhere. No one is indifferent when it comes to the Cowboys.

Houston Astros

Houston Astros

Like the Cowboys, the Astros are a team about which everyone has an opinion. Perhaps they've managed to win by the utilization of questionable means. The fact of the matter is that they just keep on winning and have been to six consecutive ALCS.

Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks appear to be a team on the cusp of making a breakthrough into the NBA elite. They're led by superstar and legitimate NBA MVP candidate Luka Doncic. Owner Mark Cuban is among the most recognizable faces in the world.

San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs

In a sport where individual brilliance is celebrated, the Spurs won five NBA titles and went to six finals between 1999-2014 by embracing the team concept. Coach Gregg Popovich is recognized as one of the great minds of basketball. At various times during their dynasty, David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli and Kawhi Leonard took turns filling starring roles.

NCAA

Texas Longhorns & Texas A&M Aggies

There are plenty of major colleges in Texas, but the two with the biggest followings are the state schools. Although they play in different conferences, the rivalry between the two remains as ferocious as ever.

Sports Betting Texas FAQs

Is Online Sports Betting legal in Texas?

No, online sports betting is not legal in Texas. Sports betting bills introduced in the Texas State Legislature have failed to gain the required support to be passed in order to legalize sports betting.

Will I need to be a TX resident to bet online?

Not necessarily. If Texas follows the pattern of other states when they make sports betting legal, the only requirement to place a bet will be that the bettor must be physically present within state lines.

What is the Legal Gambling Age in TX?

The sports betting bills put before the state house have all suggested that the legal age to gamble be set at 18.

How will an online sportsbook know my location?

Upon signing up for a sports betting site in Texas, players will need to include geolocation software allowing the betting site to be able to confirm their location at the time a wager is placed.

Can I Bet Online on my Phone in Texas?

Most likely. The vast majority of states allow mobile sports betting. Proposals to legalize sports betting in Texas have all included mobile sports betting as an option.

Are TX sports betting sites safe?

They will be. All sites will need to be licensed and regulated by the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation in order to operate legally in the state.

What do I need to create an online sports betting account in Texas?

Once legalized sports betting is approved in Texas, sites will require personal information in order to allow someone to sign up. This info will likely include full name, date of birth, home address, e-mail address, phone number and Social Security number.

Do Texas online casinos have sports betting?

There are no online casinos in Texas. Proposal to legalize sports betting thus far haven't mentioned the inclusion of online casino gambling.

About the Author

Bob Duff for Bookies.com
Bob Duff
A veteran journalist based in Windsor, Ontario, Bob Duff has covered the gambling and sports betting industry since 2016. He has written more than two dozen books.