Texas Legislative Committee Takes No Action on Sports Betting Bill
Douglas Pils - Mar 22, 2023
Supporters of the drive to legalize Texas sports betting hope 2023 will be the year when their efforts pay off. If that happens, Texas sportsbooks should open for business in 2024.
If Texas online sports betting is legalized, the stage will be set for one of the most lucrative markets of its kind in the USA. As a result, you can expect leading operators to clamor for a license to join the ranks of Texas sports betting sites.
Companies such as FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Caesars, which have a presence in many of the states where online sports betting is legal already, would be keen to launch TX sportsbooks.
A host of other brands will be keen to join them in if the story of attempts to legalize sports betting in Texas has a happy ending.
Below, you'll find all of the breaking developments within the Texas sports betting timeline:
Our staff of veteran gambling reporters also keep you up-to-date with the latest news impacting Texas sports betting. We pride ourselves on bringing you breaking news and analysis of all developments in the world of online sports betting.
Competition between sports betting apps in Texas is guaranteed to be intense, given the size of the potential audience.
Among the elite brands expected to be offering online sports betting, Texas customers will be able to access the BetMGM sportsbook, which offers an outstanding all-round user experience.
With a wide range of sports to bet on, frequent bonuses, and a popular rewards program, this operator has strong claims to be the best option for Texas sports bettors.
As things stand, there is no such thing as legal Texas online sports betting. If the efforts currently under way to legalize it are successful, Texas bettors can look forward to the launch of more than a dozen TX sports betting sites. The leading brands we can expect to join the Texas sports betting market are BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel, and DraftKings.
However, there are several other operators who will undoubtedly be keen to launch online betting sites in Texas. They may include big-name operators like PointsBet, bet365, Barstool Sportsbook, WynnBET, BetRivers, and Betway. Of course, this list won't be finalized until everything has been legalized.
It is not possible to say precisely when the market for legal sports betting in Texas might launch. There are so many hurdles for its proponents to clear – state lawmakers need to pass a bill, and a proposal would then need to be put to the voters of the state in November 2023.
If a majority are in favor, the way would be clear for Texas betting sites to begin operations. However, it would take several months for the regulatory framework to be put in place.
In neighboring Louisiana, sports betting became legal in June 2021 and the market launched in January 2022. In Kansas, the process was even quicker, with legalization in May 2022 followed by a launch four months later.
That suggests that, if all the pieces fall into place, Texas sports betting sites might be open for action in the spring of 2024.
The number of TX online sports betting sites that might open for business in 2024 has yet to be finalized. However, under the legislation currently being debated by the state’s lawmakers, there could be up to 15 licenses issued for Texas sportsbooks.
The Texas sports betting bill under debate would allow one license each for “sports entities” in the state. Those entities would be up to a dozen sports teams, two horse racing tracks and one venue for pro golf tournaments.
The size of the market that sports betting TX might generate is indicated by the fact that several local teams have already struck deals with leading sportsbooks – even though sports betting in Texas has yet to be legalized.
Fans of the Houston Astros, winners of baseball’s 2022 World Series, will be happy to place wagers with BetMGM, which is already the team’s official sports betting partner.
Bet365 has signed a partnership with San Antonio Spurs of the NBA, while Betway has entered into a similar agreement with the Dallas Mavericks, as has DraftKings with the Houston Rockets. In the NFL, the Houston Texans have made Caesars their official casino partner.
No, sports betting in Texas is not legal – but strenuous efforts are under way to change that in the coming months. If that push is successful, and the voters of the state approve a proposal in November 2023, Texas online sports betting could begin in spring 2024.
As things stand, the only sport on which you can legally bet in the Lone Star State is horse racing. And you must be at the track – there are no betting sites Texas racing fans can use.
We do not yet know when sports betting will be legal in Texas. Many of the state’s lawmakers and big sports teams are in favor of legalizing betting in Texas, and two bills were launched in February 2023.
However, this is a historically conservative state, where there is significant entrenched opposition to the whole idea of gambling. And, given that it holds a legislative session only every other year, if time runs out for the 2023 efforts to legalize online sports betting, Texas will have to wait until 2025 to try again.
No, you cannot bet on sports in Texas under the current laws of the Lone Star State. All eyes are on the state’s legislators in 2023 as they debate bills designed to legalize sports betting in Texas.
But there are several hurdles that proponents of TX sports betting must clear – and no guarantee that efforts to make the activity legal will receive the green light so that Texas sportsbooks can start trading in 2024.
You must be aged at least 18 to bet on horse racing in Texas – but there is no guarantee that this will be the minimum age for online betting TX. In most other states where sports betting is legal, you need to be 21 or over to place bets – and it would be a major surprise if the same did not apply to Texas sportsbooks.
No, you cannot bet on sports online in Texas. Existing laws in the Lone Star State forbid the existence of legal Texas sportsbooks. However, bills aimed at legalizing sports betting in TX were submitted in February 2023 and they have significant support from leading sports teams in the state.
Two bills, SB715 and HB1942, were filed by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and Rep. Jeff Leach respectively in February 2023. These bills are currently due for debate by state lawmakers, who have until the end of the legislative session on May 29 to pass them.
The next step would be the signature of state governor Greg Abbott, who has in the past expressed opposition to online betting. Texas voters would need to approve any proposal that makes it to the ballot in November 2023 before TX sports betting sites can start preparing for launch.
The legislation introduced in February 2023 would allow online-only Texas sports betting. It has the support of major pro teams in the state and, not surprisingly, leading sportsbook operators.
If it is passed, a constitutional amendment will be put to the state’s voters on November 7. The bill envisages up to 15 online sports betting TX licenses to be shared between “sports entities” – pro teams, racetracks and pro golf venues.
Each online license would cost $500,000 for the first three years, and the bill includes a 10% tax rate on Texas sports betting sites.
Yes, legislation that would permit Texas online sports betting was introduced in the state house and senate in February 2023.
It now needs to be approved by both houses, and the state governor, before an amendment that would allow online betting sites in Texas is put to the voters of the state in November 2023. The legislative session ends on May 29 2023, which imposes quite a short deadline for the lawmakers trying to push the bill through.
You cannot currently wager on sports in Texas, either in person or online. The only exception to this rule is horse racing; you can place bets if you attend a meeting at one of the state’s many racetracks.
Legislation currently being considered by the state’s lawmakers would permit the launch of Texas sports betting sites. The bill submitted in February 2023 would, however, not include retail premises – it provides only for TX online sports betting.
The only places where you can currently enjoy any form of legal Texas sports betting is at horse racing tracks. No other form of sports betting in TX is permitted.
This may change in the coming months; legislation has been submitted that would allow for the launch of Texas sports betting sites. Lawmakers have to approve this measure, and so do the voters of the state.
There are several tracks in Texas where you can enjoy pari-mutuel sports betting. Texas law also allows you to wager on races at other courses via simulcasts - but you have to be at the track to place such a bet.
The tracks where you can place bets include:
If and when Texas online sports betting is legalized, you will not have to be a resident of the Lone Star State to place bets. However, to open accounts with TX sports betting sites, you will need to be physically located within state lines. It is also virtually certain that you will need to be at least 21 years old.
You will be asked to submit documentation to prove your ID during the registration process, while online TX sportsbooks will use geo-location technology to check you are in the state.
Since Texas has not yet legalized sports betting, it is not possible to compare it with other states that have embraced the concept of online wagering on sports.
However, Texas is the second largest state in the USA in terms of area and population. It is home to a huge number of popular sports teams. It would not be surprising if a legal sports betting industry in a location like Texas were to be worth $2 billion in revenue in its first year.
Given the state’s historic opposition to gambling, it comes as no surprise that there is no sports betting regulator in the state. Interestingly, though, a state senate resolution was filed in November 2022, ahead of the 2023 legislative session, that would establish a Texas Gaming Commission.
This would be the body charged with drawing up the regulatory framework under which Texas sportsbooks would operate.
The precise number of licenses for online sports betting Texas might issue has yet to be established. But legislation currently being considered by the state envisages up to 15 licenses to be issued to “sports entities” such as pro teams and racetracks.
These entities would then most likely partner with established sports betting brands to launch online TX sportsbooks.
Until we know precisely how many licenses will be issued, and how many Texas sports betting sites will be launched as a result, it is impossible to predict how big the market here might be. But we can safely say that, given the likely uptake by sports fans, the Texas market is going to be enormous.
Some estimates reckon that in the first year alone, up to $30 billion might be wagered with TX sports betting sites, which – depending on the Texas gambling winnings tax - could generate revenue of about $2 billion.
When the opportunity arises to enjoy online betting, Texas customers will have a range of great sportsbooks to choose from. So how do you make sure you are using the best operator for you and the way you like to play? Here are some factors you can apply to help you to sift through the top sites offering sports betting TX has to offer.
It’s a safe bet that all the operators granted a license to offer sports betting in Texas will have plenty of experience in other states. As a result, you will be able to track down reviews and ratings from customers who have used their sites and apps elsewhere.
Check to see if there are particular positives mentioned in reviews – and complaints that recur regularly too.
Most Texas betting sites will offer the same range of bets to ensure you have plenty of choice when wagering on your favorite teams or sports.
But there will always be variations between operators. Some will have a strong focus on live betting, others may specialize in prop bets. And you should always check the range of sports on offer to see that your favorite is included in the list.
One of the most important considerations, particularly for more experienced bettors, is to know you are getting the best value when you wager on sports. By comparing the prices available on certain markets, you can see if an operator has more competitive odds on particular sports.
If the Dallas Cowboys are +120 on the moneyline at most sites for their next NFL game, but you find a book offering +135, you know where to get the best payout on that bet.
Promotions will always be a key battleground as TX sports betting firms vie for your custom and loyalty. That starts with the welcome bonus, which should give you a serious boost as you begin life with a particular book.
You may prefer a boost to your deposit, or the chance to play your initial stake again if your first wager loses – and there should be plenty more offers to keep you interested and entertained on an ongoing basis.
One of the most important elements of online betting TX customers will discover is the experience of using a website or app.
This will always be a matter of personal taste but, as well as a design and layout you like, you should look for a platform that enables you to find quickly the bets you want to place – and makes it slick and simple to do so.
All the great user experience, offers and great odds mean nothing if you can’t put money in your Texas sports betting account.
Leading sportsbooks have several banking options when it comes to making a deposit, and they should also have many methods to withdraw funds too. Always check carefully that there is a way of moving your money that you are comfortable with.
If you need to raise an issue with a TX online sports betting site, you want to have it resolved quickly and expertly.
The best sports betting sites in Texas should offer various ways of getting in touch. There may be a toll-free phone line, a 24/7 live chat facility, an email address, a comprehensive FAQ section – or all of the above!
Novice bettors often fear that they are not allowed to patronize more than one online sportsbook. There is nothing to stop you from opening two, three or more accounts – and several reasons why this is a smart play to make.
By having access to several Texas sportsbooks, you’ll be able to find the best odds for your bets. You can also take advantage of a few juicy welcome bonuses. And, by trying out various sites, you’ll be sure to find the best experience in sports betting TX has to offer for you.
When you begin sports betting in TX, you’ll be on the receiving end of persistent messages telling you about the great promotions you can enjoy. There is real value to be had here, starting with a welcome bonus that could come in the form of a healthy boost to your betting bankroll, or the chance to play your initial stake for a second time.
You should also be able to take advantage of more Texas sportsbook promos once you are a regular customer, such as odds boosts, same-game parlay enhancements, special contests, and many more.
The bills launched in the state house and senate in February 2023 would create a specifically online-only Texas sports betting market. This could change during the discussion process; it is conceivable that the sports organizations that are awarded licenses will be able to host retail sports betting facilities at their venues as well as online sports betting TX fans can enjoy.
Many people enjoy the experience of using a retail sportsbook. You are surrounded by like-minded players, there will probably be a big screen to watch top action, and there are staff on hand to help with any queries.
However, increasing numbers of bettors will prefer to use Texas online sports betting facilities. You can access Texas sports betting apps and websites wherever you are, and should be able to enjoy all the features of your preferred operator through your desktop computer or mobile device.
The main argument in favor of mobile betting is its sheer convenience. If you’re at home, at work, out with friends, or on the move, you can find your bet and place it with the minimum of fuss – and without having to travel to a retail sportsbook.
Here are some of the most common wager types that may be found at legal Texas online sportsbooks.
The most straightforward bet on the coupon. Simply pick which side you believe will win the game and place your stake.
You can cover several selections with a single stake. But they all have to win to generate a payout.
Do you think there will be more or fewer points scored in a game than the number the sportsbook suggests? Simply pick over or under - and there are many markets this type of bet can be applied to.
One of the most popular types of bets. The book gives one side a start to even up the odds - will the favorite win by more than that margin and "cover the spread" or not?
If you have a strong opinion over how a team will perform across a season, a futures bet is for you. You can wager on a team to win the Super Bowl or World Series before the first game of the regular season begins.
These wagers apply to outcomes within a game and the list of props can be daunting. There are many, many ways to place wagers that do not involve the final score.
Many bets can be placed even after a game has got under way. The odds change to reflect the action, and you can get involved if you think you see an edge.
There are certain events you simply cannot bet on - elections are one example. There may also be restrictions on awards events and, in some states, on college sports wagers.
The Lone Star State has plenty of professional teams to bet on, allowing giving Texas bettors plenty of options to bet on local teams if sports betting legislation passes.
Football is the most popular sport across the nation and the NFL is the richest sports league in the world. Two Texas-based teams play in the NFL, so fans in the Lone Star State have plenty to get excited about.
You can expect an enormous range of football bets at Texas sports betting sites. This is a sport that lends itself to a vast array of wagers, including point spreads, props and totals.
Basketball is a sport that generates a significant volume of wagering throughout the season and up to the NBA Finals. When the time comes to enjoy legal sports betting in Texas, the state is home to no fewer than three NBA teams.
As a result, you can expect a strong focus on hoops action at TX sportsbooks. Totals and point spreads are particular favorites for basketball fans.
Even before the Houston Astros won their second World Series in six years in 2022, baseball was a hugely popular sport in Texas. The Astros’ triumph will merely add to the appetite for enjoying the old game in the Lone Star State.
Major league baseball generates a solid level of betting interest through the regular season and during the Fall Classic. So expect to see plenty of MLB markets if and when TX sports betting gets under way.
The length of the hockey season, and the profile of the Stanley Cup, ensures there is always a high level of interest in the sport. As a result, you should find plenty of NHL markets to study at Texas sportsbooks.
The fact that the state is home to an NHL franchise will help to keep the sport’s profile high – and the best TX sports betting sites will carry markets from top leagues around the world too.
It will be a pity if, after the hoped-for legalization of online sports betting, Texas decides not to allow wagering on college sports.
The number of college programs with notable teams in the Lone Star State is incredibly impressive. Teams like the TCU Horned Frogs, Baylor Bears and Texas Longhorns enjoy substantial support – and many fans will hope to have the opportunity to wager on their favorites too.
As the number one sport across the world, soccer will always have a decent profile at Texas betting sites, as it does across the USA. However, there is plenty of local interest here because the Lone Star State is home to no fewer than three Major League Soccer teams.
That means you should always find extensive soccer markets at online betting TX sites and apps, both from the MLS and the big leagues across the world.
Texas is home to more than 800 golf courses – and it hosts several events each year on the PGA Tour. That ensures a high level of interest in the game among fans across the state.
Golf is a sport that has embraced the potential of betting in recent years, particularly live betting. You should find plenty of ways to wager on your favorite tournaments.
Formula One’s US Grand Prix takes place each year in Austin, an event that ensures a high profile for motorsport in Texas. There is also plenty of other action taking place across the calendar here.
The state also hosts NASCAR, IndyCar and MotoGP events, so expect to find numerous wagering opportunities with companies offering sports betting in Texas.
There are plenty of local teams in Texas that gamblers are sure to bet on when the state decides to legalize sports betting. Here are the most popular ones that are sure to attract the eyes of gamblers.
This is the most valuable sports team in the world, valued by Forbes magazine at an eye-watering $8billion. Still known by their old nickname America’s Team, the Cowboys are the epitome of NFL glamor and heritage. Despite failing since 1995 to add to their five Super Bowl triumphs, the Cowboys retain the lifelong loyalty of an enormous fan base. It is a given that a huge number of wagers at Texas sportsbooks will be on the Cowboys.
The Texans carry the NFL flag for the city of Houston, the fourth most populous city in the USA. They attract huge support to the NRG Stadium and enjoy a fierce rivalry with the Cowboys, with whom they dispute the annual Governor’s Cup match. With regular divisional championships and playoff appearances under their belt over the last decade, hopes of a first Super Bowl spring eternal in Houston. You can guarantee a high level of interest in wagering on their games if the chance arises.
The Mavs are owned by Mark Cuban, one of the most outspoken voices in favor of legal Texas online sports betting. Under Cuban’s ownership, the Mavs enjoyed their finest moment when winning the 2011 NBA Finals for the only time in their history so far. Two division titles in recent years offer hope that fresh glory may not be far away. The popularity of basketball betting ensures there will always be a high level of interest in wagering on the Mavs.
The Rockets have won their division several times in recent years without ever suggesting they could aim for the stars again like they did in the mid-1990s. That was when, inspired by Hakeem Olajuwon, they won back-to-back NBA championships. Nevertheless, fans in their home city hope that one day the Rockets will achieve lift-off again. They will undoubtedly welcome the opportunity to wager on their heroes if Texas sports betting is legalized.
The Spurs bring a glittering history to the task of entertaining NBA fans in San Antonio and beyond. In their 50-year history, they have won 22 division titles and five NBA championships. Success has been a little thinner on the ground in recent seasons. But the Spurs, the only pro franchise in their home city, still attract strong support to their AT&T Center arena.
The Astros’ history dates back to 1962 – but it’s in the last ten years that they have brought a stellar level of success to Houston. In beating the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 in the 2022 World Series, they brought baseball’s biggest prize to Texas for the second time. That success makes them the state’s most recent champions at the very highest level in pro sports. The Astros are already favorites to repeat in 2023, which would send their fans at Minute Maid Park into utter raptures.
The Rangers threatened to shed their tag as baseball’s perennial also-rans when they won the West Division four times in seven years up to 2016. Since then, though, their form has reverted to under-achieving type. But they still pull a total attendance of more than two million to the Globe Life Field in Arlington each season, and their fans will appreciate the opportunity to wager on the Rangers if TX sports betting gets the green light.
The Stars have shone brightly in the affections of their fans since bringing hockey to Dallas in 1993. They got a terrific boost just six years later when winning the 1998-99 Stanley Cup, and made the final again the following year and in 2019-20. As the only NHL franchise in their city and state, the Stars are guaranteed staunch support. Hockey is a sport that sees a solid level of interest among bettors wherever it is legal to place wagers.
Austin FC joined the Major League Soccer ranks as recently as 2021. But they gave their fans plenty to cheer when they reached the Western Conference final in only their second season. They have sold out every home match at the Q2 Stadium and clearly command a great deal of affection in their home city.
One of the original Major League Soccer sides when the competition began in 1996, Dallas have challenged regularly for honors in the seasons since. They won the US Open Cup in 1997 and 2016, and also took the Supporters’ Shield in 2016. The Hoops reached the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League the following season, and have been playoff regulars in recent years.
Houston Dynamo made a stunning start to life in Major League Soccer when they won the MLS Cup in both their first two seasons in 2006 and 2007. They have been runners-up twice since, and also won the US Open Cup in 2018. The enormous worldwide popularity of soccer ensures there will always be significant interest in wagering on their matches.
Texas has historically been less than liberal in its view of gambling, and as a result there are very few options for people looking to place bets in the state. While there is widespread support for legalization, it has to be said there is also a significant degree of opposition.
If Texas online sports betting is legalized in the near future, however, it would represent a huge step forward for people in the Lone Star State who enjoy a wager.
In a state of nearly 30 million people, there are only two venues where you can play casino games. The Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel is located in Eagle Pass, near the Mexican border, while the Naskila Gaming facility, in Livingston, is an electronic bingo parlor.
It is highly unlikely that either location will gain a license to offer retail or online sports betting services.
It is interesting to note that the Louisiana casinos closest to the Texas border see the highest revenue numbers of establishments in the Bayou State.
Horse racing is permitted in Texas, and you can place pari-mutuel bets on the action. You have to be present in person to bet – there is no online sports betting in Texas on racing – although you can place bets on simulcasts from other courses.
There are six active tracks across the state, with fewer than 200 days’ racing scheduled between them in 2023.
The Texas Lottery has been in operation since 1992, offering tickets to a host of state and national games. Interestingly, its rules were relaxed in January 2023 to allow residents to buy tickets online at a website and app funded in part by donations from major sports franchises in the state.
This is an indication of the momentum in favor of online sports betting in Texas. It is even possible that the lottery could be the body to oversee Texas sportsbooks, as is the case in some other states.
When using the different banking methods available at the different legal betting sites, you can expect an easy experience. The legal Texas sports betting landscape will mean that websites are held to a high standard in terms of security and safety. You should never be worried about the safety of your money with legal and regulated sports betting sites.
Some of the most common banking methods that you will find in legal markets include things like Visa, bank transfer, or online wallets. While it's yet to be fully confirmed which will be allowed in Texas, those staples will almost definitely be permitted.
Despite the lack of options for retail and online betting, TX does have an understanding of the importance of responsible gambling. That will stand the state in good stead if Texas sports betting sites become a reality in the near future. Because, while wagering on sports is a relaxing leisure activity for most people, for a minority it can lead to gambling problems. You can expect sites offering TX online sports betting to carry extensive details of ways in which you can keep your wagering under control – and the signs to watch for that might show you are sliding into addiction.
There should also be links to dedicated organizations that can offer expert help and support, such as the Council on Problem Gambling, which has a presence in every state. The Texas Lottery already offers help for people worried they may have issues with gambling. If and when TX sports betting is legalized, every licensed operator will have the same duty to encourage players to gamble responsibly at all times.
No, sports betting is not yet legal in Texas. However, there has been considerable progress made towards that goal and we could see it legalized in the next few years. The latest attempts are pushing to legalize Texas sports betting this year or next.
We cannot be certain. Efforts are under way, with bills introduced in the state house and senate in February 2023. Any bill passed needs to be ratified by the state governor before a public vote in November 2023. If all these hurdles are cleared, legal Texas sports betting could launch in spring 2024.
No, you cannot bet on Sports in Texas. The only sport on which you can gamble is horse racing, and even then you have to be at the track in person to do so. Sports betting may become legal in Texas in 2023, but there are several hurdles to cross before this comes about, not least a public vote.
No, it does not. Texas is a conservative state that has historically been strongly opposed to all forms of gambling. Proponents of Texas sports betting sites will face pockets of stern opposition before licensed and legal sports betting in TX can become a reality.
We do not know. There is considerable momentum behind the current push for legalization, which is supported by many state politicians and sports teams. However, there are also significant levels of opposition to sports betting in Texas, and no one should under estimate the size of the task in delivering legalization.
Yes, there has. The latest bills in favor of Texas online sports betting, SB 715 and HB 1942, were launched in the state senate and house in February 2023. If they are not passed by the time the legislative session ends on May 29, supporters will not be able to try again until 2025.
The expected age to bet on sports in Texas is expected to be 21 years old, the same age requirement as in other states. That is the same age requirement for Texas residents to participate in current gambling operations including casinos, pari-mutuel wagering and lottery.
Award-winning contributor covering sports betting and casino gaming around the world for decades, Martin Booth is one of the most trusted voices in online gambling. From legislative updates in Texas to breaking down the top betting apps in TX, Martin covers a gambit of topics for BetTexas.com.
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