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 safe to bet on the sport of your choice through online offshore sportsbooks.
With the current sports betting laws in Texas, these online offshore sports wagering sites are the only way to legally bet on your favorite team. There have been bills introduced in the past to bring state regulated mobile betting sites. Texas House Bill TX H 1275 (* https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/pdf/HB01275I.pdf#navpanes=0 *) would have put voters in charge of deciding the fate of sports gambling and required a referendum in order to amend the state constitution. However, even this bill didn’t have any rules that prevented residents from legally accessing online offshore sportsbooks in Texas.
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Texas Internet Sports Betting Laws
When it comes to Texas Internet Sports Betting Laws, the state has not passed anything against online sports betting in Texas. When it comes to federal laws the only one that may affect sports bettors is the Wire Act of 1961. However, this law only makes it so that you can’t use online sports betting sites that are housed in another state. For example, West Virginia unveiled a mobile sports betting app but that can only be used by bettors physically located in that state and not by someone located in Texas. Online offshore sportsbooks are free from US jurisdiction because they are regulated and operated in countries located overseas.
It’s important to keep in mind that not one single arrest has been made of an individual bettor dropping $50 on a Cowboys-Redskins game when using these sites. State officials are much more interested in taking down illegal sportsbook operators such as local bookies than they are pursuing casual bettors. There are some Texas lawyers who believe it would be a breach of privacy for the state to track your Internet activity in order to prosecute you for sports betting over 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 online offshore sportsbooks are not subject to any sports betting laws in the Lone Star State and have been accepting players for decades.
The long and short of it is that federal laws exist making sports bets across states prohibited, 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 $1,000 Each
BetOnline - All Texas Pro Teams & Major Colleges Can Be Bet at BetOnline
Land-Based Sports Betting in Texas
The State of Texas, like most places in America, has no options for sports betting at traditional land-based casinos. Sports betting in America is limited to a few states at the moment, but since the repeal of PASPA in May of 2018, many states have introduced potential legislation to expand their gaming laws to include gambling on sports. Although, factors such as politics, legislative session lengths, tribal compacts, and voter referendums have slowed down the process for many states.
This is why there are no land-based sportsbooks 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 a prohibited 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 or drive to a state where land-based sports betting is legal. For Texans, that usually means traveling to either New Mexico or Mississippi 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. Fortunately, federal laws will allow for TX state officials to create their own laws regarding the practice. It will be up to them to decide how the gaming expansion would work and when to unveil it. There are no casinos in Texas so if they ever do create sports betting laws it will mostly be geared towards mobile sports wagering.
But, as of now, there are no current laws prohibiting online sports gambling with offshore sportsbooks so Texans should turn to them in order to have a chance to win big on their favorite teams. 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 state officials can envision that as well, Texans will have to wager on sports via the internet.