- Sports betting remains illegal onshore.
- Strong political opposition to current proposed sports betting laws.
- Unknown when differences will be resolved, or even if sports betting will become legal on shore.
- Sports betting remains not illegal offshore.
Update March 2021
Legislation was introduced to the House and Senate to legalize casinos and sportsbetting in the state.
The legislation, HJR133 and SJR49, must be approved by a majority of two-thirds in the legislature
before being put on the 2021 November statewide ballot where it would require a simple majority to
pass into law. The bill must pass the legislature by 31 May 2021 if it is to be added to the 2021 ballot.
Sport Betting Legality
The future of sports betting reform in Texas is grim. There are too many strong organizations against it. First and foremost are the two native American casinos who generate $1.2 billion in revenue per year. Their “donations” to fund Republican Senators lend them a strong voice in dictating Sports Betting laws. And their voice is unfortunately in opposition unless they have exclusive rights to offering sports betting.
If the sports betting laws are not strongly in their favor to enforce a duopoly, it is highly unlikely the sports betting laws will change.
The organizations that want sports betting legalized and open to entrants beside native American tribes are many, but as a collective are weak. They cannot compete against the clout of the two native American casinos.
Top 3 Texas Sportsbook Sites
Is Sports Betting illegal in Texas?
The only form of sports betting that is not illegal is offshore sports betting via the internet. In the year 2018, Texans wagered $79.8 million at offshore sports betting sites (per H2 Gambling Capital).
Though you physically may be located within the borders of Texas, the actual sports book is licensed and operating offshore thereby not breaking the onshore laws of sports betting.
Therefore as a Texan, it is legal and safe to bet at an offshore licensed sports book.
All other forms of sports betting in Texas is illegal -This includes operating and running a sports book
How can I find an online Sports Book?
The most popular offshore sports book is Bovada. It is the largest and has a long standing history of operating a sports book for US citizens.
Do NOT place a bet at an unlicensed sports book operating offshore. Unlicensed sportsbooks may not be reliable. Although they may offer great Welcome bonuses, their promise to pay any winnings may be empty. Keep with the which are trusted and the big brand names.
How can I place a Sports Bet onshore?
It is illegal to run a sports book or place a sports bet within the borders of Texas. Other than placing a sports bet at an offshore online sports book the only other option is to travel interstate where sports betting has been legalized.
Daily Fantasy Sport in Texas
Daily Fantasy Sport in Texas is very much a show down between big players! There are many that deem DFS to be illegal and yet, DraftKings, FanDuel and other DFS providers continue to accept Texan players. Are they flouting the law? No one knows – yet.
DraftKings is disputing the ruling that DFS is illegal in Texas. DFS can be regarded as a game of skill and therefore should not be governed by gambling laws. Gambling is often defined as a game of luck.
To this day DraftKings and FanDuel continue to operate and accept many players from Texas.
Rest assured, if you play at a DFS provider in Texas it is safe and secure. The question of legality resides with the DFS providers and not with the players.
Is DraftKings legal in Texas?
Daily Fantasy Sports maybe deemed as illegal after Attorney General Ken Patterson voiced that DDS operators were breaching the law in Texas. DraftKings is currently disputing the declaration. But till this day has not withdrawn from Texas despite the ambiguity of the state constitution gambling laws.
Professional Sport Bets
NBA – Texas has three NBA basketball teams, the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs and all three are awesome! The most popular bets in Texas for the NBA is currently on the Dallas Mavericks. With their young superstar leader Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks have been the surprise team at the start of this decade. Of course, the Houston Rockets led by James Harden is no slouch team either and sports bets are often placed on points spread for their games. The San Antonio Spurs are always rocket solid. It’s hard to bet against them because Popovich is such a good coach.
NFL – Texas has two NFL football teams, the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.
MLB – Texas has two Major League Baseball teams, the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers.
NHL -Texas has one NHL ice hockey teams, the Dallas Stars.
Sports Betting – Dallas Cowboys (NFL)
Oh Dear! The Dallas Cowboys! What started as a season with great promise ended in great disappointment. Crash and burning as the season wore on, the bet to place now is “who will be the next coach?”
Sports Betting – Dallas Mavericks (NBA)
The Dallas Mavericks is one of the most popular local teams in Texas. The superstar Luka Doncic is powering the Mavericks up the ladder. His regular season MVP odds have shortened significantly with his surprise brilliant performance in the first half of the year. Placing a bet on him to win MVP is a good value bet.
The Dallas Mavericks have a solid supporting cast around Like Doncic. Though not considered as strong as other teams, Kristap Porzongas can shoot the three ball for a big, Dwight Powell is super athletic for a power forward, Tim Hardaway Jnr is a very solid shooting guard and Seth Curry is a brilliant sixth man off the bench.
Sports Betting – San Antonio Spurs (NBA)
The San Antonio Spurs had the highest winning percentage in the last decade. Led by the super coach Greg Popovich, the spurs often defy the odds. Playing the middle game goes against the trend at the moment. Most teams playing close to the ring or shoot the three, never the mid court shot. But the Spurs are deliberately playing mid court shots, which plays to their strengths. LaMarcus Aldridge is a brilliant turn and face shooter, DeMar DeRozan excellent of range jumper and Patty Mills can light up from downtown.
A great bet to place because they often fly under the radar.
Sports Betting – Houston Rockets (NBA)
Underachievers of the three Texan NBA teams? The James Harden led Houston Rockets, each year brings great promise but never quite getting there in the end. Hard to place a bet with Harden because your eggs are all in one basket for the offense. If Harden has a bad game? Will other players like Russell Westbrook step up? (Or rather not stuff up). Bet with caution with the Houston Rockets, they are extremely volatile, which the odds do not reflect.
Overview of Texas Sports Bars
Texas has plenty of sports bars that have quality sport viewing screens, cold ice beer and easy to eat comfort food. We cannot cover them all, but provide a review of the most popular ones for you.
Texas Sports Bars
555 S Lamar St, Dallas, Texas
This is like the VIP high class end of town of Sports Bars. Excellent service and excellent food. The sports viewing is superb with one massive middle screen surrounded by multiple viewing areas. Lots of local craft/draft beer available together with the national and overseas beverages. Come here if you love your sports, high end comfort and serious viewing. Attached to the Omni Hotel, both patrons and non patrons of the hotel are permitted.
2944 Chimney Rock Rd, Houston, Texas
This place is a great place to hang out for the boys. I wouldn’t bring family, because if it’s sports your after then sports it is, and it can become rowdy when the drinks start to flow. Lots of tv’s to view your favorite games, but if its something niche and you need to the channel changed, it may take a while (or even not accommodated for). A limited offering of local craft beers, but the ones that they do serve are really good.
420 E Houston St, San Antonio, Texas
A new management team installed about a year ago, and it has turned it around from the old classic traditional sports bar to the new funky contemporary craft brewer look and feel. It is very TRENDY! Was previously called the Tickets Sports Bar and now renamed to Maddy McMurphy’s. They’ve reduced the menu options, with possibly focusing on quality which makes sense. The usual sports bar food of pizzas, chips, chicken wings and nachos are available, though a little pricey for the portion size. Can get really busy, especially when several popular NFL games are on at the same time. Located conveniently near the riverwalks. An awesome place to visit if you want somewhere rockin during the big games.
The Texas sports betting reformation is stalling. Being the second most populated state in the US, you would think there would be a lot of drive to work together to legalize sports betting as soon as possible. Yes, there has been a lot of drive, but the collaboration has been sorely lacking.
Texas remains in the doldrums of sports betting limbo, as key stakeholders seek to play politics in 2020.
Only offshore sports betting remains an options for those who want to place a sports bet.