Texas is a fun state. There is little to dispute that. It has wonderful history, people, culture, and as far as gambling is concerned, great poker – Texas Hold Em. Although the state has the distinction of having a card game named after it, it is not a major gambling destination in the same way New York is, for example.
Regulated Legal Gambling?
While Texas has regulated forms of gambling, making certain gambling legal, such offerings are limited to the following activities: the lottery, pari-mutuel betting (on races), and raffles and bingo (for charitable purposes). Social gambling is permitted so long as there is no operator making profit off the hosting of such gambling activities. The state defines gambling as being synonymous with betting. This definition stems from Section 47.01(1). The section further stipulates that gambling is any activity in which a person knowingly agrees to engage in a situation in which he or she stands “to win or lose something of value” based on luck (chance). Illegal gambling is a misdemeanor offense per Section 47.02, and per Section 47.03, which discusses the promotion of gambling, individuals or entities found to be promoting gambling can be charged with misdemeanors as well.
A conservative state with traditional values and a love for animals, especially dogs, the state takes gambling involving dog fights particularly seriously. Prosecutors have gone to great lengths to prosecute those involved in dog fighting by going after both operators and spectators. Per Texas Penal Code Section 42.10, attending a dogfight or owning a dog or training one for the purpose of fighting it can be prosecuted as anywhere from Class C to A Misdemeanors. Escalated instances of these offenses, including profiting, can lead to felonies. The Texas state legislature construes dog fighting facilitators the same way it would a “house” (casino) – that is, as entities in existence to profit from fighting dogs rather than fighting them for some other purpose.
Online gambling is not currently regulated by the state of Texas. Additionally, while the state may seek to put forth legislation on the issue in the coming years, there appear to be no plans in the immediate future for that to happen. Therefore, those who want to play online gambling games do so at their own risk.
Ongoing debate continues as to whether or not to expand gambling offerings in the state by allowing casinos.
Casinos in Texas
There is only one casino in the state and that is Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino.
- Kypreos, M. (2008). The State of Gambling Law in Texas. Retrieved from Texas District Attorney & County Attorneys Association
- Loewy, A. B. (2014, February 9). It’s Debatable: Should Texas Roll Dice on Casinos? Retrieved from Lubbockonline.com
- USLPS. (n.d.). Texas Poker Laws. Retrieved from LegalUSPokerSites.com