Sports Betting Laws In Texas
The state of Texas has one of the largest populations in the United States, second only to California. Within the state borders of Texas are dozens of sporting teams with a rabid fan base. The fact that multi-million dollar high school football stadiums exist in Texas should give you some idea of this state’s love affair with sports. But what does the state’s penal code have to say about sports betting? Whether you’re a Cowboys fan, a die-hard San Antonio Spurs supporter, or an alumni and follower of any of Texas’ many major-sports universities, it’s important to know if it is legal to bet on the sport of your choice.
Texas Internet Sports Betting Laws
The state has not passed a law against online sports betting in Texas. Unfortunately, Federal law supersedes state law in Texas when it comes to placing these types of wagers. The Federal government recently clarified the 1961 Federal Wire Act, the law most often used to declare Internet sports betting illegal, to make the focus of the government’s efforts to shut down sports betting on illegal sportsbook hosts within US borders.
Though it is technically a federal crime to place a sports wager “over wire” (and yes, that includes an Internet connection), not one single arrest has been made of an individual bettor dropping $50 on this weekend’s Cowboys-Redskins game. The Federal government, and the state of Texas, are more interested in taking down illegal sportsbook operators, and there are some Texas lawyers who believe it would be illegal for the state to track your Internet activity in order to prosecute you for illegal sports betting on the Internet. If you live in Texas and want to bet on football teams like the Texans or Cowboys, basketball teams like the Rockets, Mavs, or Spurs, or any other sport that has a home in Texas, you should feel safe knowing that the government is not looking to arrest individual bettors.
The long and short of it is that Federal laws exist making sports bets illegal, but these laws are not enforced. Since no state law exists banning such wagers, you are in no danger of prosecution for betting at your favorite Internet sportsbook. Just don’t try to operate your own book within Texas borders, unless you want a visit from representatives of several law enforcement agencies wearing lots of shiny guns and badges.
Sports Betting Sites Accepting Texas Residents
Bovada – Best For Betting On Football In Texas: New Players Get Up To $250
SportsBetting.Ag – Texas Bettors Get Lifetime Bonuses Worth $900 Each
BetOnline – All Texas Pro Teams & Major Colleges Can Be Bet At BetOnline
5Dimes – Quick Sportsbook Payouts And Big Bonuses For All Texas Players
Land-Based Sports Betting in Texas
The state of Texas, like most American states, has no options for sports betting at traditional land-based casinos. Sports betting in America is limited to a few spots, namely Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and in some areas of the country where local legislation allows for parlay bets and “charity” sports betting pools. America just doesn’t have the sports betting tradition found in the UK or Asia, and Texas is no different.
There are no land-based sportsbook anywhere in Texas. If you wander into a bar and find an oddsmaker taking bets, your safest option is to walk the other way, as his game is certainly illegal, and participating in an illegal sportsbook could land you in some serious hot water. Want to sit in a real sportsbook and place bets while watching games on the big screen and drinking pitchers of Shiner Bock? You’ll need to book a flight to a part of the world where land-based sports betting is legal. For Texans, that usually means flying to Vegas for a weekend of sportsbook action and general debauchery followed up, on Sunday, with a visit to the local church. After all, this is Texas.
Synopsis Of Laws About Sports Betting In Texas
Texans take their sports very seriously. Unfortunately, state and Federal law does not yet allow for brick and mortar sportsbook betting in the Lone Star State. However, thanks to a recent ruling on the Federal Wire Act, it doesn’t look like either the US or Texas government is interested in arresting, fining, or otherwise punishing a guy who wants to bet $20 that the Rockets can beat the Lakers via an online sportsbook.
Since no traditional sportsbooks exist within state lines, Texans should turn to US-facing Internet-based sportsbooks. Will Texans one day have a sports betting Mecca of their own? One can easily imagine Austin voting to host a brick and mortar sportsbook-and-casino property. But until Federal and state laws change, Texans will have to wager on sports via the Internet.