Texas Sports Betting in 2021

Everything is bigger in Texas, so they say, but that adage does not apply to sports betting. 

Lawmakers in the Lone Star State once again put sports betting on the docket during the 2021 legislative session, but the May 31 deadline passed with no resolution.

The untapped Texas sports betting market is poised to become one of the more profitable across the United States, should it legalize operations. 

Keep reading our Texas sports betting guide to learn about its history and potential.

Texas, United States
Texas Flag
Texas, United States
Online betting in the Lone Star State
Texas Map
  • User Icon

    Population: 29.2 million

  • 21+ Icon

    Legal age for sports betting: 21

  • Dice Icon

    Online sports betting: No

  • Book Icon

    Retail sportsbooks: No

  • Percent Icon

    Sports betting revenue: N/A

Texas Map

Licensed U.S. online sportsbooks

Covers Seal #1 Top-rated sportsbook
#1
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#4
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#5
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  • Modern online betting platform
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Payout Speed: 1-5 days

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Payout speed 1-14 days

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  • Weekly promotions and a dedicated rewards program
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#10
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  • Licensed sports betting in 11 states
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#11
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  • One week of risk-free betting
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Payout speed 1-7 days

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#12
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.3/5
  • Immersive and holistic mobile sports betting experience
  • Weekly cashback and free bets
  • Very sharp odds for big games
Payout speed 3-6 days

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#13
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.3/5
  • Reputable US betting operator online
  • Online sportsbook powered by SBTech
  • New mobile apps for iOS and Android
Payout Speed: 1-5 Days

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#14
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  • Licensed in nearly a dozen states
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Payout Speed: 1-5 days

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#15
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  • Premium mobile app
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Payout Speed: 1-5 days

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#16
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.2/5
  • Awesome welcome bonus
  • Consistently good pricing
  • Known sports betting brand
Payout speed 3-10 days

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#17
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  • Bet risk-free for one week, up to $1,000
  • 24/7 live chat customer support
  • Fast real-money withdrawals
Payout \speed 1-5 days

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#18
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  • Renowned sportsbook and sterling reputation
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Payout Speed: 2-6 days

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#19
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  • Great interface for in-play betting
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Payout Speed: 1-6 days

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#20
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.2/5
  • Licensed and regulated in New Jersey
  • User-friendly interface with live betting and live streaming
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Payout Speed: 2-7 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#21
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.2/5
  • Great mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Licensed and regulated in multiple states
  • Renowned and established betting brand
Payout Speed 2-7 days

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#22
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.1/5
  • Very experienced and trusted bookmaker
  • Great betting odds across the board
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#23
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.1/5
  • Awesome sportsbook interface
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Payout Speed: 4-8 days

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#24
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.1/5
  • The best odds for online betting in Colorado
  • Tremendous native mobile apps for iOS and Android
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Payout Speed 1-5 days

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#25
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  • Famed and licensed operator
  • Premium SBTech-powered platform
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Payout Speed: 2-7 days

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#26
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  • Cutting-edge proprietary platform
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Payout Speed: 2-6 days

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#27
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  • Detailed live betting display
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Payout Speed: 0-5 days

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#28
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  • Offers sharp odds on popular events
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  • Licensed in New Jersey
Payout Speed: 3-8 days

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#29
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  • Trusted and licensed U.S. betting brand
  • Good odds for the major leagues
  • User-friendly mobile apps
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

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#30
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.0/5
  • 100% welcome bonus and weekly promotions
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  • Fully licensed in Colorado and New Jersey
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

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#31
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.0/5
  • Licensed in Colorado and in Iowa
  • High-end customer support service
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Payout Speed: 3-7 days

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#32
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.0/5
  • Frequent special offers and promotions
  • Licensed and regulated in Colorado and New Jersey
  • Proprietary online sportsbook software
Payout speed 1-7 days

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#33
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.9/5
  • Large welcome bonus for new players
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Licensed and regulated in Colorado
Payout Speed: 3-6 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#34
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.8/5
  • Special promotions and odds boosts
  • User-friendly mobile apps for iPhone and Android
  • Licensed by the Colorado Department of Revenue
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

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#35
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.6/5
  • Fully licensed in Colorado
  • Dedicated loyalty program
  • In-house sportsbook manager is helpful
Payout Speed: 3-6 days

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#36
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.5/5
  • Great odds for big games
  • Known for high limits for all players
  • Licensed by the Colorado Division of Gaming
Payout Speed: Instant

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#37
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.4/5
  • Secure website and mobile app
  • 100% risk-free bet up to $100
  • Licensed by the West Virginia Lottery
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

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#38
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.4/5
  • Reputable brand in Colorado
  • Polished mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Generous in-house odds with low margins
Payout Speed: 3-6 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#39
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.4/5
  • Fully licensed for online betting in Iowa
  • User-friendly mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Covers all of the major sports in the U.S.
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

Is sports betting legal in Texas?

No, sports betting remains illegal in gambling-shy Texas. The Lone Star State purports to support personal freedoms, but conservative values and Republican-held Senate and House of Representatives have stalled momentum.

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 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.

Attempts to formally legalize sports betting require a referendum to amend the Texas Constitution. Texans and sports betting enthusiasts find themselves sidelined until 2023 at the earliest.

Timeline of sports betting in Texas

Several bills were under consideration by the Texas state legislature in 2021. However, positive momentum is not necessarily the springboard to Texas legalizing sports betting.

Let's take a closer look at the Lone Star State's sports betting timeline:

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.

February 2019: Representative Eddie Lucio III details proposed sports betting regulations via HB 1275.

January 2021: The Texas state legislature assembles to discuss and review HB 1275.

February 2021: The Sports Betting Alliance, comprised of Texas' professional sports teams, betting platforms, and fans, mobilizes to legalize and regulate sports betting.

April 2021: Las Vegas Sands launches a multimillion-dollar ad campaign to push Texas to add casinos. 

May 31, 2021: The 2021 legislative session came to a close with no resolution to legalize sports betting in Texas.

July 1, 2021: Despite the efforts of gaming companies, sports franchises, and bipartisan support, Texas lawmakers won't reconvene the sports betting debate until 2023.

Who can bet on sports in Texas?

Currently, no form of legal sports wagering exists in the Lone Star State. Should sports betting land in Texas, individuals 21 years of age or older would be permitted to wager.

21plus Legal age

While a handful of states allow players 18 and up to wager on sports, Texas will likely not follow suit and stick with 21 and up.

bank Retail sportsbooks

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.

21plus Mobile betting

All betting is illegal in Texas, thus no legal mobile sports betting apps are available. Provisions to authorize and regulate online and mobile wagering in Texas are included within HB 1275.

21plus Remote registration

With limited to no established retail locations, it's unclear whether you would have the ability to complete the registration process in-person versus remotely online. Potential partnerships with state-based teams, or the building of new casino facilities, will factor into the registration.

globe 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.

percent Taxable winnings

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.

 

Crossing state lines: Nearby betting sites 2021

Texas missed a golden opportunity to implement legal sports betting. Now, neighboring states Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico have become legitimate sports betting markets.

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, underscoring Texas' need to push for online betting.

The pros and cons of Texas sports betting

Conservative politicians continue to oppose 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 2023 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.

Texas sports betting
Pros
  • Prominent local professional teams
  • Changing demographics influencing efforts
  • The Sports Betting Alliance carries clout
Cons
  • Legal sports betting is off the table until 2023
  • Republican party holds a majority in all chambers

How to start betting in Texas

The struggle to establish state-regulated sportsbooks is real. Limited retail outlets should set the stage for Texas to adopt mobile-friendly wagering, but details are scant.

We've outlined the required steps to sign-up if the proverbial sports betting levee breaks.

1

Select a sportsbook

Choosing a sportsbook involves reading 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.

2

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.

3

Claim a bonus

Today's mobile sports betting platforms serve up generous bonuses, specifically welcome or sign-up promotions. Be sure to read the terms associated with each offer before moving forward.

4

Deposit funds

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 credit cards, ACH transfers, and digital payment types like PayPal. Typically, the withdrawal options are similar or match those used for deposits.

5

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.

6

Start betting

Not all sportsbooks are 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 the better bonuses.

7

Withdraw funds

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.

odds icon Reading the odds 

American betting odds are the default selection found at U.S. sportsbooks, and Texas 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. Here in this example, -170 odds mean you 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. In this scenario, +110 odds means 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

Texans do not have access to a locally regulated sportsbook. Should legal sports betting come to Texas, wagering on all professional, college, and Olympic sports will be in play.

Money Icon Politics

Wagering on political outcomes, like presidential elections, will not be permitted at the state or federal level.

Money Icon Entertainment award ceremonies

Betting lines for celebrity-laden events and awards shows may be available from Texas sportsbooks. It's too early to tell.

Money Icon Esports

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. This is a great way to manage your bankroll and will help you to avoid blindly backing any team or player.

Review our how to bet guides for actionable intel aimed at new and intermediate bettors.

NHL
Dallas Stars
NBA
Dallas Mavericks
Houston Rockets
San Antonio Spurs
NFL
Dallas Cowboys
Houston Texans
MLB
Texas Rangers
Houston Astros

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. 

casino Casino

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 Poker

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.

Horse and jockey Horse racing

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.

Horse and jockey 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, or the Monkey Knife Fight app.

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, they would join the ranks of these already legalized states: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Sportsbooks to avoid in Texas

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 sportsbooks at all costs.

Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Allegations of withdrawal issues
  • No license information available on site
  • Poor customer service
Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Multiple reports of slow payments
  • Allegations of non-payments
  • Risk of account closure simply for winning bets
Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Reports of confiscated winnings
  • Slow customer support response times

Texas sports betting FAQs

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