Texas Sports Betting in 2023
As the saying goes — everything is bigger in Texas. But unfortunately, that adage does not apply to Texas sports betting as Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick shot down Texas sports betting hopes, with the prospect of a two-year wait looming.
The addition of legal Texas sportsbooks and the best sports betting sites could turn the state into one of the more profitable sports betting markets in the United States.
Top-rated Texas DFS sites
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- Thrive Fantasy Benefits
- Great sign up offers
- Slick user-friendly interface
- Engaging new DFS games
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- Boom Fantasy Benefits
- Fast and Easy
- Great mobile app
- Huge game library
- Population: 29.2 million
- Legal age for sports betting: TBD
- Online sports betting: No
- Retail sportsbooks: No
Texas sports betting updates
Several bills are under consideration by the Texas state legislature. However, positive momentum is not necessarily the springboard to legal Texas sports betting.
Take a closer look at the Lone Star State's sports betting progress and notable events:
Nov. 29, 2023: Mark Cuban to sell majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks to the family that runs the Las Vegas Sands casino company.
Nov. 7, 2023: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban calls for casino gaming at resorts in Texas.
Oct. 25, 2023: Texas furniture salesman ‘Mattress Mack’ was hit with a $6.9 million loss from backing the Astros.
May 25, 2023: With the 2023 legislative session wrapping up on May 29, there will be no last-ditch effort to legalize Texas sports betting.
May 13, 2023: Texas Gov. Dan Patrick shuts down any optimism for legal sports betting in 2023, stating he will not call HB 1942 to the Senate floor.
May 10, 2023: HJR 102 — a referendum to amend the state constitution to allow online sports betting — passed 97-44 but needs 100 yeas on its third reading to move to the Senate.
April 18, 2023: House Bill 1942, the Texas sports betting bill that would authorize legal online sports betting sites, inches forward in the Texas Legislature.
April 13, 2023: Representatives from 11 Texas professional teams make a push as the deadline looms for Texas sports betting legislation.
April 3, 2023: Two sets of sports betting bills — for retail and online sports betting, collectively — pass the Texas House State Affairs Committee.
March 22, 2023: The Texas House of Representatives' state affairs committee holds a Texas sports betting legislation hearing. Supporters of retail and online sports betting sites make their case to bring event wagering to the Lone Star state.
Feb. 21, 2023: Texas Sports Betting Alliance spokesperson Cara Gustafson says that the organization believes it has the support of state voters and the legislature to approve a bill that would legalize online Texas sports betting.
Feb. 6, 2023: Bills are filed by Senator Lois Kolkhorst (SB 715 and SJR 39) and Rep. Jeff Leach (HB 1942 and HJR 102) to commence the legalization and regulation of Texas online sports betting. The Texas Sports Betting Alliance is in full support of the bills.
Jan. 30, 2023: Fanatics Sportsbook confirms it is a founding member of the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, joining the lobbying group with pro teams in the state and operators, including Barstool, BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel.
Jan. 27, 2023: New poll reveals strong support for Senate bill to legalize Texas sports betting.
Jan. 15, 2023: Jerry Jones, co-owner of the Dallas Cowboys, offers his support for legalizing sports betting in Texas.
Jan. 12, 2023: House Speak Dade Phelan states that he is open to the idea of bringing resort-style casinos to Texas.
Dec. 6, 2022: In an email to Covers, Texas Sports Betting Alliance spokesperson Cara Gustafson says the coalition is "fully focused on legalizing mobile sports betting in Texas during the upcoming legislative session beginning Jan. 10, 2023.”
Nov. 8, 2022: Rep. Greg Abbott is reelected Texas governor. Regarding the legalization of Texas sports betting, Abbot has hinted he would be open to creating a "professional entertainment option for Texans."
Nov. 5, 2022: The Houston Astros claim their second World Series title in six years, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. The 'Stros (+600 at DraftKings) will be among the betting favorites yet again in 2023.
July 21, 2022: Mattress Mack places a massive $2 million wager at Barstool Sportsbook on his hometown Houston Astros to win the 2022 World Series.
July 13, 2022: Speaking on a panel during the SBC North America summit, Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale predicts that sports betting will come to Texas within five years.
June 13, 2022: In a memo, Amy Cook, the executive director of the Texas Racing Commission, reasserts that the import and export of pari-mutuel simulcast signals will not be conducted at Texas racetracks should the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) take control over regulatory supervision. The decision is certain to deliver a significant economic blow to the industry.
May 25, 2022: The Texas Racing Commission threatens to shut down all horse racing and pari-mutuel betting by July 1, 2022. If the federally-run Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) asserts control, there will be no pari-mutuel or simulcast wagering in Texas.
May 9, 2022: The Houston Astros announce they are entering a sports betting partnership with BetMGM.
April 21, 2022: Gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke (Democrat) voices his support for legal Texas sports betting and casino gambling but faces stiff opposition from Republican incumbent Greg Abbott.
March 2, 2022: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who opposes sports betting legalization, won the Republican primary in a landslide and stands as the favorite for re-election this fall.
Feb. 9, 2022: PlayUp becomes the sports gaming partner of Panther City Lacrosse Club, marking the largest team sponsorship in National Lacrosse League history. The agreement includes market access covenants, earning PlayUp a seat at the table should Texas legalize sports betting.
July 1, 2021: Despite the efforts of gaming companies, sports franchises, and bipartisan support, lawmakers won't reconvene the Texas sports betting debate until 2023.
May 31, 2021: The 2021 legislative session came to a close with no resolution to legalize sports betting in Texas.
April 2021: Las Vegas Sands launches a multimillion-dollar ad campaign to push Texas to add casinos.
February 2021: The Sports Betting Alliance, comprised of Texas' professional sports teams, betting platforms, and fans, mobilizes to legalize and regulate sports betting.
January 2021: The Texas state legislature assembles to discuss and review HB 1275.
February 2019: Representative Eddie Lucio III details proposed Texas sports betting regulations via HB 1275.
May 14, 2018: The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), enabling each U.S. state to formally legalize and regulate sports betting.
Is sports betting legal in Texas?
No. Texas does not rank among the states with legal sports betting. Further, no legal sports betting channels or outlets exist in gambling-shy Texas. The Lone Star State purports to support personal freedoms, but conservative values and the Republican-held Senate and House of Representatives have stalled momentum for legalized sports betting.
Texas Governor Greg Abbot is allegedly warming to the idea, and his support would provide enough political cover for fellow Republicans to formally back the initiative. Sen. Juan Hinojosa, a Democrat, has led the state's most recent legalization efforts, filing Texas sports betting bills SB 736 and SJR 39 in early 2021.
The Sports Betting Alliance, a consortium of Texas-based professional sports teams, pledges support for HB 2070, SB 736, and SJR 39 to bring legal online and retail sports betting to the Lone Star state.
Democratic Rep. Eddie Lucio III introduced HB 1275 in the Texas House back in 2019. The sports betting bill sought to regulate retail and online sports betting, but the bill failed. Despite appeals from gaming companies and the major professional sports franchises, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and fellow Republican lawmakers nixed the efforts.
Efforts to legalize sports betting in Texas necessitate a constitutional referendum. As a result, sports betting enthusiasts in Texas face a standstill.
Latest Texas betting news
Crossing state lines: Nearby betting sites in 2023
Each of those markets offers retail or in-person wagering only, but Louisiana is on the cusp of rolling out online sports betting. Retail betting is limited in the states above, highlighting Texas' need to push for online betting.
Who can bet on sports in Texas?
Currently, no form of legal Texas sports betting exists. Should a sports betting industry arrive in the Lone Star State, individuals 21 years of age or older would be permitted to wager.
Texas sportsbooks will almost certainly be reserved for adults 21 and older.
All betting is illegal in Texas, thus no legal Texas betting sites or mobile sports betting apps are available. Provisions to authorize and regulate online and mobile wagering in Texas are included in HB 1275.
It's unclear whether Texans will have the ability to complete the sportsbook registration process in person versus remotely online. Most states with legal sports betting allow bettors to complete the entire sign-up process from anywhere within state lines.
Within state borders
When Texas regulates and authorizes legal sports betting, any wager made must be done so within Texas' expansive borders. Naturally, those conditions apply to in-person betting, but all online wagers must be verified in-state, too.
Despite how the federal ban on sports betting has been lifted, no legal retail sportsbooks operate in Texas. The state lacks a dedicated or centralized retail gaming network, largely because there are no legal casinos in operation. Texas is better suited for online betting.
Texas is one of a handful of U.S. states with no state income tax. However, stipulations of HB 1275 include how a 6.25% tax rate would be imposed for any sports bet. That figure is in addition to the 24% federal tax applied to all gambling winnings.
The pros and cons of Texas sports betting
Conservative politicians continue to oppose Texas sports betting, citing infighting and competition among stakeholders. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who carries significant influence in the Republican-held Senate, had this to say about sports betting: "...it's not even an issue that's going to see the light of day this session."
Realistically, Texas bettors are looking at 2025 before any movement is made. Despite the political red tape, sports betting interest groups have made headway and are seeking to capitalize on what could be a highly lucrative market.
How to start betting in Texas
The struggle to establish state-regulated Texas sportsbooks is real. Limited retail outlets should set the stage for Texas to adopt mobile-friendly wagering, but details are scant at this time.
We've outlined the required steps to sign-up if the proverbial sports betting levee breaks.
Select a sportsbook
Choosing a Texas sports betting site involves reading sportsbook reviews from reputable sources. Those recommendations apply to the best bonuses, betting lines, and available bet types. We also advise new players, in particular, to read the fine print once sports betting becomes available in Texas.
Register in person or online
Registration in Texas may carry an in-person requirement. If that is the case, you will be required to visit a retail casino or venue associated with a professional sports team.
If Texas adopts online betting, you will have to share contact information and personal details, including your phone number and address, to register with an online sportsbook.
Claim a bonus
Today's mobile sports betting platforms serve up generous bonuses, specifically welcome or sign-up promotions. Some of the most common sportsbook sign-up bonuses include risk-free bets, deposit match bonuses, and no-deposit bonuses. Be sure to read the terms associated with each Texas sportsbook offer before moving forward.
Funding your sportsbook account is required before placing a wager. While the legal framework has yet to be determined, we can safely assume that Texas sportsbooks will allow players to use the best sportsbook deposit and withdrawal methods, including credit cards, ACH transfers, and digital payment types like PayPal. Typically, the withdrawal options are similar or match those used for deposits.
Choose your bet types
Assuming legal sports betting touches down in the Lone Star State, sports bettors should have access to all common bet types. You're likely to have these types: moneylines, Over/Unders (totals), point spreads, parlays, teasers, futures, live bets, and more.
Not all Texas sports betting sites will be created equal, particularly concerning available betting lines. Some are less favorable than others; thus, shopping for the best price is critical. Conducting research allows you to nab the best lines and claim better bonuses.
Wins are tremendous and only matched by the speed at which you can secure the associated winnings. On a related note, you may incur fees on transactions with the sportsbook or based on your preferred withdrawal method. Review the applicable terms and conditions to guide your decision-making.
Reading the odds
American betting odds are the default selection found at U.S. sportsbooks, and Texas sports betting sites would adopt that format, too.
Spot the favorite in any matchup by identifying the minus sign (-); the number immediately following the value displays the sum of money you need to bet to win $100. For example, if the over for Luka Doncic's point total for a game is -170, you would need to risk $170 to win $100.
The underdogs are identified by the plus sign (+) and highlight the monetary amount you would win if you wagered $100. Let's imagine a scenario where the Dallas Mavericks enter a game with +110 odds, meaning that a $100 bet would return $110 in profit.
Input your selections to our odds converter to see potential payouts. Plus, you can toggle between American, fractional, and decimal odds.
What you can't bet on in Texas
Lone Star State bettors do not have access to locally regulated Texas sportsbooks. Should legal sports betting come to Texas, wagering on all professional, college, and Olympic sports will be in play.
Wagering on political outcomes, like presidential elections, will not be permitted at the state or federal level. Texas betting sites will not post betting lines on politics.
Entertainment award ceremonies
Betting lines for celebrity-laden events and awards shows may be available from Texas sportsbooks. It's too early to tell.
HB 1275 includes provisions for regulated online and mobile wagering, but it's unclear where esports falls with regulators. Of note, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban also owns an esports betting platform called Unikrn.
What about Texas college sports?
Texans have a healthy appetite for college sports. While some states have imposed significant limitations on collegiate sports betting, including limiting all wagering to out-of-state teams and games, we are skeptical that Texas would place such restrictions on Lone Star State bettors.
Home team advantage: Texas sports
Eliminate any hometown bias by conducting relevant research on prospective bets at Texas sportsbooks. This is a great way to smartly manage your bankroll and will help you to avoid blindly backing your favorite teams or players.
Review our how to bet guides for actionable intel aimed at new and intermediate bettors.
Although no scheduled Formula One races are coming to the Lone State anytime soon, the best F1 betting sites easily allow you to back drivers you can cheer on as passionately as your hometown teams.
Other types of gambling
Texas lacks a dedicated or centralized retail gaming network, largely because no legal casinos are in operation. However, the state does operate a state lottery, and there's likely no appetite for upending the current system.
Texas is home to two casinos operated by Native American tribes that both offer electronic games. Still, you can’t wager on sports at these Texas tribal casinos.
Poker players can find several poker rooms in Texas' major cities like Dallas and San Antonio. It is not illegal to play poker in Texas, but state laws dictate that it is illegal to profit from the game itself. Poker room operators have skirted the law by charging access fees to play, but they do not turn a profit from the games themselves.
On the legal side of things, pari-mutuel betting is legal in Texas, but online horse racing betting is prohibited. Locals can wager on horse races at one of the state’s three racetracks: Retama Park, Sam Houston Race Park, and Lone Star Park. Those venues also simulcast races, allowing you to bet on races held across the U.S. and around the globe.
Daily fantasy sports
In 2019, the Texas House voted to fully legalize daily fantasy sports (DFS), deeming it a game of skill and not chance. Texas sports fans can get their fill of DFS via industry heavyweights DraftKings, FanDuel, ThriveFantasy, or the Monkey Knife Fight app.
Quick facts: Texas sports betting
No legal Texas sports betting options exist, including online sportsbooks or retail locations. Major sports betting operators have set their sights on Texas, but we do not expect any movement before 2025.
Consult our quick facts table for relevant and timely Texas sports betting updates.
|Legal age for betting||21|
|Online sports betting||No ❌|
|Number of betting licenses||TBD|
|Number of betting sites||TBD|
|Retail sportsbooks||No ❌|
|Online casino sites||No ❌|
|Online poker||No ❌|
|Retail casinos||No ❌|
|Betting on college sports||TBD|
|Betting on esports||TBD|
|State population||29.5 million|
|Total handle (2021)||N/A|
|Last Verified||Dec. 6, 2023 ✅|
Responsible gaming in Texas
Texas has historically shied away from all forms of gambling. Still, there are many Texans who succumb to gambling addiction. The Texas Lottery provides educational opportunities and support to raise awareness of problem gambling.
Legal U.S. sports betting markets
If Texas eventually follows through with legalized sports betting, it would join the ranks of these already legalized jurisdictions:
Upcoming legal U.S. sports betting launches
Maine sports bettors will soon have legal wagering options online and in person. Maine sports betting should arrive sometime in November 2023.
Kentucky sports betting entered the legal landscape on Sept. 7, 2023, with the arrival of retail operations. Legal online and mobile sports betting launched on Sept. 28.
In January 2023, Massachusetts sports betting came into the spotlight when retail sports betting commenced — online wagering followed in March.
Ohio sports betting sites came online on New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 2023. Retail sportsbooks were also covered under the state's universal go-live date.
Potential legal U.S. sports betting markets
Since Texas is still a far cry from joining the number of states moving toward legal sports betting, we haven't added it to our list below. The regions that are listed may potentially offer legal sports gambling to those within their borders soon:
Sports betting sites in Texas to avoid
While numerous hurdles remain, Texas gamblers should exercise caution and patience concerning legal sports betting. Texans should refrain from registering with unregulated offshore sportsbooks due to their unlawful business practices.
Funding an illegal offshore sports betting site is playing with fire, as your funds and personal information are at risk. Please avoid these offshore sites at all costs and keep your bankroll safe with legal and regulated Texas sports betting sites.
Texas sports betting FAQs
Several plans have been floated, with one calling for a dozen or more licenses available for the state’s professional sports teams and horse racing tracks in Texas. The teams would become the equivalent of casinos, where they could sell access to sports betting operators.
Yes, the Texas House voted to fully legalize daily fantasy sports (DFS) in 2019.
Yes. The Sports Betting Alliance includes a coalition of Texas-based professional franchises advocating legalizing and regulating sports betting.
You cannot legally wager on sports anywhere in Texas. The state is among the most conservative in the USA when it comes to gambling.
No legal online gambling options exist in Texas.
Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico are legitimate legal sports betting markets.
Yes, DraftKings Sportsbook is legal in Texas but only for daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests.
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Mike has been researching and reviewing products for more than a decade. The former travel and entertainment publisher is all in on sports betting and iGaming. When he's not sweating picks or supporting Covers' betting experts in making smarter sports bettors, you can find him by the BBQ, perfecting his cross-hatch marks.