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Texas Sports Betting: Legal Sportsbook Outlook for 2024

While there has been some positive momentum recently, legal Texas sports betting is still a considerable ways off. When and if it does arrive, however, Lone Star State bettors will gain access to some of the nation’s best sportsbooks.

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Is Texas sports betting legal?

No, sports betting in Texas is not legal. You can wager on horse and greyhound racing legitimately, but you can’t use a traditional sportsbook — online or in person — just yet. 

However, hopes for legal sports wagering in Texas are higher than ever. Recently, two pairs of bills — HB 2843 and HJR 155, and HB 1942 and HJR 102 — passed through the House’s state affairs committee. No other sports betting legislation has come as far since PASPA was struck down in 2018.

Positive momentum aside, the bills still have a long road ahead. Were they to pass the House, they would face the Senate and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who has not been a strong proponent of legalizing sports betting in the Lone Star State.

According to the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, nearly 75,000 Texans tried to wager on college basketball from their phones during March Madness alone. These attempts were blocked, of course, but they illustrate the Lone Star State’s overwhelming interest in legalized sports betting.

Texas sports betting key developments and updates

May 11, 2023: The House passes HJR 102, a companion bill to HB 1942 that would forward the decision of whether or not to legalize sports betting to state voters. The legislation now moves on to the Senate for further evaluation.

April 18, 2023: House Bill 1942, which would legalize online sports betting in Texas, is sent to the House Committee on Calendars.  

March 28, 2023: Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick states there are not enough votes in the Senate to pass a legalized sports betting bill.

Jan. 15, 2023: Jerry Jones, co-owner of the Dallas Cowboys, voices his support for legalizing sports betting in the state.    

Nov. 8, 2022: Governor Greg Abbott is reelected and notes that he would not oppose the legalization of sports betting in Texas.  

July 13, 2022: Famed bettor Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale predicts legal Texas sports betting will arrive by 2027.  

July 1, 2021: Texas lawmakers announce they won’t take up another sports betting bill discussion until 2023.  

February 2021: The Sports Betting Alliance, which includes professional sports teams, betting operators, and fans, mobilizes to back the prospect of legal Texas sports betting.  

May 2018: The United States Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and allows individual states to determine whether or not to legalize sports betting inside their borders.  

Texas sports betting quick facts

🚀 TX apps launch dateTBD
➡️ Projected legal betting age21+
🖥️ Online sports bettingNo
🎰 Retail sports bettingNo
🐎 Horse racing bettingYes
🐕 Greyhound racing bettingYes
👥 Pari-mutuel bettingYes
🖥️ Online casinosNo
🃏 Online pokerNo
📱 Sports betting apps0
🌎 State population29.5 million
💵 Projected annual tax revenue$1.5 - $2.5 billion

Likely Texas sports betting sites

While we don’t yet know which online sportsbook operators will be granted licenses in Texas, legal sports betting launches in other states can provide a rough idea. Here are the sports betting sites and apps most likely to launch early in the Lone Star State:

Texas sportsbookBest known for
BarstoolPersonality-driven promos
BetMGMKing of Parlays
CaesarsLucrative welcome bonus
DraftKingsIndustry leader
FanDuelHighly-rated mobile app
PointsBetPointsBetting™ bet type

DraftKings Texas 👑

DraftKings became a household name due to its best-in-class daily fantasy sports contests. Now, it boasts one of the top-rated sports betting apps in the country and has morphed into an industry behemoth. A premier user experience, some of the best sportsbook promos — no DraftKings promo code required — secure banking methods, loyalty rewards, and a responsive customer service team prop it up as arguably the nation’s preeminent sports betting site.

  • App store ratings: 4.8 (iOS), 4.6 (Android)
  • Sign-up bonus: TBD
  • Payout speed: 1-7 business days

To learn more about DraftKings’ sports betting platform, consult our DraftKings review.

FanDuel Texas 🔵

FanDuel has become a go-to destination for sports bettors across the United States with its sterling reputation and commitment to providing a user-friendly platform. While it’s sure to offer new users attractive bonuses claimable without a FanDuel promo code, what sets it apart is its exclusive deals with professional sports leagues, live in-game video streaming of major events — it’s one of the top live betting sites — same-game parlays, and loyalty rewards. 

  • App store ratings: 4.8 (iOS), 4.7 (Android)
  • Sign-up bonus: TBD
  • Payout speed: 1-7 business days

Dive into our complete FanDuel review for more expert insight.

Caesars Texas 🏛

Caesars’ online sportsbook and betting app are among the highest-rated in the nation. Offering an exceptional user experience, easy-to-reach customer support, and a hassle-free banking system, its chief highlight is its highly lucrative standard welcome bonus — sure to be one of the top Texas sportsbook promos — which delivers new users up to $1,000 on Caesars. Should this iconic operator land in Texas, you may need a Caesars Sportsbook promo code to begin.

  • App store ratings: 4.6 (iOS), 4.5 (Android)
  • Sign-up bonus: TBD
  • Payout speed: 1-5 business days

Interested in finding out more about the sportsbook? Take a look at our detailed Caesars review.

BetMGM Texas 🦁

One of the industry’s more historic brands, what sets BetMGM apart from its competition is its impressive array of parlay options. The self-proclaimed “King of Parlays” insists it offers more selections for that bet type than any other sports betting site, not only when it comes to the major leagues, such as the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB, but for niche markets, like the WNBA and MLS, as well. BetMGM's welcome bonus is typically a $1,500 first-bet insurance offer, which you can unlock with a BetMGM promo code.

  • App store ratings: 4.8 (iOS), 4.6 (Android)
  • Sign-up bonus: TBD
  • Payout speed: 2-8 business days

For more actionable intel, read our thorough BetMGM review.

PointsBet Texas 🔴

PointsBet is poised to become a major player in the Lone Star State if and when legal sports betting arrives. While its cutting-edge mobile app, user-friendly interface, and wide range of betting markets are more than enough to help it stand out, its plethora of unique features — like PointsBetting, a high-risk, high-reward bet type — are the cherry on top. You won’t need a PointsBet promo code to unlock any offers, either.

  • App store ratings: 4.8 (iOS), 4.6 (Android)
  • Sign-up bonus: TBD
  • Payout speed: 1-5 business days

Sift through our detailed PointsBet review to uncover more about the platform.

Texas sports betting neighbors

Some casual bettors may not know that three of the four states — Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico — sharing a border with Texas offer some form of legalized sports betting. Here are some key details about each market if you’re looking to bet before legal Texas sports betting arrives:

Arkansas

  • Arkansas sports betting launch date: March 5, 2022
  • Number of online sportsbooks: 3
  • Remote registration: Yes
  • Tax rate: 13%

Louisiana

New Mexico

  • New Mexico sports betting launch date: Oct. 16, 2018
  • Number of online sportsbooks: 0 (4 retail options)
  • Remote registration: No
  • Tax rate: 6%

In recent years, famous Texas sports bettor Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale has made several trips to Louisiana’s Caesars Sportsbook in Lake Charles, where he’s wagered millions of dollars. He represents a potentially massive number of sports bettors crossing the Texas border to do their wagering, providing other regions with revenue that could have remained in the Lone Star State.

How to start betting in Texas

Although sports betting is not yet legal in Texas, the process to sign-up with an online sportsbook has proven consistent in states with regulated markets. So, in advance of the Lone Star State finally welcoming legal sports wagering, and before you’re clambering to put down money on a Super Bowl futures bet or a particularly juicy Houston Astros matchup, we’ve put together a simple step-by-step guide to prepare you for your betting future.

1. Select a licensed Texas sportsbook

Once sports betting in Texas is legal and the state regulator approves licenses for the first batch of online betting sites, you will want to review each option to see which best suits your needs. Texas sportsbooks providing lucrative welcome bonuses, high-level security, a top-notch user experience, and quality customer service should lead your list.

When choosing a betting site, be sure to assess its associated mobile app as well. After making your decision, download the app to your Apple or Android device for the best betting experience.

2. Register online

Next, you will need to sign up for a new account via desktop or mobile device. The operator will require you to provide basic personal information such as your full name, home address, phone number, email address, and social security number. The latter helps verify your identity and prevent bonus abuse.

You’ll then be asked to create a unique username and password. A safe sportsbook password includes upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters and is usually about eight characters long.

3. Deposit and claim a bonus

After completing the registration process and logging into your account for the first time, you’ll want to head to the cashier to make an initial deposit. Most online sportsbooks in the United States accept major credit and debit cards, bank wire transfers, and third-party services like Paypal.

At this step, some operators will also require you to punch in a promo code to redeem a welcome bonus. Ensure you have it handy so you don’t forget to type it in before you transfer money to your account.

4. Select and finalize your bet

With funds in your new sportsbook account, it’s time to scour through the available betting markets. Most Texas online sports betting sites will likely offer odds on the big four leagues — the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL — and the most common bet types — moneylines, point spreads, and totals — but the best Texas sportsbooks will also provide live in-game betting, parlays, same-game parlays, teasers, and player prop bets. 

Since there’s time to spare before it’s legal to make your first wager in TX, be sure to check out our detailed guide on how to bet on sports.

5. Withdraw your winnings

You’ll want to cash out after you win your first bet and finish celebrating. Return to the cashier, where you made your initial deposit, and request a withdrawal. These requests usually take less than two business days to be approved, though even the best online sportsbook for payouts will need about five business days to deliver the funds to your primary banking account. Accepted banking methods include bank wire transfers, third-party e-wallets, and physical checks by mail.

What’s missing from Texas sports betting?

When online sports betting in Texas becomes a reality, bettors will have much to be excited about. However, there will still be some events and categories that are off-limits. 

Politics ❌

Betting on political events in the United States is illegal at the federal level. So, even if a bill legalizing Texas sports betting passes, you will not be permitted to wager on U.S. presidential election odds, for example.

Entertainment award ceremonies ❌

Whether or not legal Texas online sports betting will allow for wagers on entertainment award ceremonies — such as the Oscars, Grammys, and Emmys — is to be determined.

Esports ❌

As with award ceremonies, an official position on betting on esports has yet to be taken. Video game tournament markets continue to grow rapidly, so it would make sense to include esports in a final Texas sports betting bill.

What about daily fantasy sports? ✅

Daily fantasy sports have been legal in Texas since 2019. Because it’s been ruled a game of skill and not chance, you can enter DFS contests at outlets like DraftKings, FanDuel, and Monkey Knife Fight.

Texas college sports betting 🎓

Though some states have implemented restrictions on in-state collegiate sports betting or a complete ban on the overall market, it would be disadvantageous for Texas to prohibit bettors from wagering on the likes of the Texas Longhorns, Texas A&M Aggies, Houston Cougars, Baylor Bears, Texas Christian Horned Frogs, and Texas Tech Red Raiders. Those passionate fan bases would generate a large chunk of sports betting revenue, especially during major events like March Madness.

Texas sports betting taxes

The two active TX sports betting bills — HB 1942 and HB 2843 — that just passed the House’s state affairs committee contain details for taxing operators and bettors.

Mobile sportsbook operators would be charged a $500,000 application fee, renewable every three years at a $100,000 price tag. Retail operators would be forced to pay a $50,000 license fee. In both cases — online and retail — sports betting gross revenue would be taxed at 10%

As for individual bettors, their winnings would be taxed at 6.75% by the state in addition to the standard 24% federal tax rate on gambling profits. However, players can write off betting losses to reduce their tax burden. The key to minimizing the tax gash from sports betting profits is to keep a clean and accurate record of your betting history so that when it’s time to file, you are organized and ready to report your profits only.

Texas sports betting revenue is projected to be between $1.5 billion and $2.5 billion in the first year. Of course, these estimations depend on the number of mobile and retail operators that launch within that timeframe.

Texas sports leagues and teams to bet on

When online sports betting in Texas officially opens for business, the temptation to back hometown favorites like the Houston Astros and Dallas Cowboys will be powerful. And while putting down a few dollars on your preferred club can be fun, it’s important to remember that betting with your heart instead of your brain can quickly drain your bankroll.

If you are planning to wager on your favorite Texas pro or collegiate team, learn how to manage your bankroll and do your homework first: Check the weather, injury updates, depth chart changes, and matchup data.

NFL 🏈NBA 🏀MLB NHL 🏒
Dallas CowboysDallas MavericksHouston AstrosDallas Stars
Houston TexansSan Antonio SpursTexas Rangers
Houston Rockets

In addition to the four major leagues, Texas online sports betting sites will likely provide markets for more niche sports such as Major League Soccer and the WNBA.

Ensure you take the time to comb the top sportsbooks for specific sports, leagues, and events while you wait for Texas' launch:

Responsible Texas sports betting

Because sports betting is not currently legal in Texas, the state has yet to determine a regulatory entity. The role could go to the Texas Lottery, the Texas Racing Commission (TXRC), or an entirely new commission. Regardless of which body ultimately serves as the regulator, it will handle application reviews, granting licenses to operators, regular audits, enforcing gaming laws and statutes, and issuing fines. 

Should sports gambling in Texas become legal, the state regulator will also be required to lead responsible gaming initiatives, including prevention, treatment, and counseling resources. The regulator will likely partner with licensed sportsbook operators on additional responsible gaming options, such as limiting sessions or setting bankroll budgets.

National U.S. gambling helpline: 1-800-GAMBLER

List of Texas sports betting resources

Texas Legislature Online - Website for the state legislature. 

Texas Gambling Law Library - Website containing everything you need to know about Texas gambling laws. 

Nation Council on Problem Gambling - Top resource for responsible gambling in the state.

Sportsbooks to avoid in Texas

With no legal Texas sportsbooks, local bettors may find themselves tempted by offshore options. These illegal sites aren’t licensed or regulated and are likely to commit fraudulent activity, such as failing to pay out winnings. Rather than register with one of these scams, you’re better off visiting a neighboring state where sports betting is legal. 

Below are just a few examples of offshore operators to avoid:

❌ BetOnSports❌ TopBet❌ 131Sport
Blacklisted since 2006Over a dozen reported confiscated winningsBlacklisted since 2007
Grand jury indictmentHistory of scams
Over $16 million owedAbout $45,000 owed

Texas sports betting FAQs

Is sports betting legal in Texas?

No, sports betting is not legal in Texas — yet.

Does Texas have sports betting?

No, Texas does not currently offer legal sports betting within its borders. It does, however, offer horse racing betting and simulcast betting at specific retail tracks.

Is Texas horse racing legal?

Yes, horse racing betting and pari-mutuel wagers are legal in Texas. You can bet at one of four retail tracks: Gillespie County Fair and Festivals in Fredericksburg, Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Retama Park in Selma, and Sam Houston Race Park in Houston.

Is online sports betting legal in Texas?

No, Texas online sports betting is not legal. You must visit neighboring states or fly to Las Vegas if you want to wager on sporting events.

When will Texas online sports betting go live?

With more support than ever in both the House and Senate, there is a chance that Texas will eventually pass a sports betting bill. That’s not likely to occur before 2024, however.

Where can I bet on sports in Texas?

Sports betting in Texas is not legal. So, the state has no retail or online locations to engage in the practice.

What sportsbooks are legal in Texas?

There are zero legal Texas sportsbooks. Should the state legislature pass a sports betting bill, however, that could change quickly.

Do you have to live in Texas to bet online?

It is not legal to bet online in Texas. If you are a full-time state resident and travel to Colorado, New Mexico, or any other region where mobile sports betting is legal, you can wager online.

How do you place a sports bet in Texas?

Because sports betting isn’t currently legal in Texas, you must hop on a plane to Las Vegas or visit neighboring states, like New Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas, to place a wager.

Are sports betting apps legal in Texas?

No, sports betting apps are not legal in Texas. In fact, no form of sports betting is currently legal in the Lone Star State.

What is the minimum age to bet in Texas?

Sports betting is not currently legal in Texas, but when and if it goes live, you will likely need to be at least 21 years old based on the regulations in active markets.