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Texas Online Casinos


Texas online casino regulation

Online gambling is not legal in Texas. It’s also not illegal at the same time.

Yes, you read that right. Texas is one of those states that don’t have any sort of language devoted to online casinos specifically. When you cast a glance at the Texas State Penal Code §47.02, it’s not easy to understand what is specifically defined as gambling.

Texas law is straightforward when it comes to wagering on land. In the case of online betting, this type of practice isn’t specifically mentioned and licensed online gaming sites do not exist in Texas. No Texas law makes it a crime to place a bet over the internet, but the market remains unregulated. In these conditions, Texans are free to visit and place real money bets at sites which are hosted offshore.

The language is so broad and convoluted that it’s clear the laws haven’t been amended for a long period of time. Most state legislators across the US consider online activities a specific category that has to be outlined explicitly. Since this isn’t the case, there are no grounds on which you can be arrested or prosecuted for playing at online casinos.

Just to be extra sure, we’ve done some digging to see if the uncertain legal status of online casinos had led to some arrests in the past. We found that no person in the state of Texas has ever been bothered by law enforcement when it came to this matter.

There are many reasons for the existence of this convenient legal loophole. Monitoring each and every adult citizen to catch them in the act is logistically impossible. It can also be possible that many legislators have such a dislike for gambling that they don’t even bother to be up to date with the latest technological developments.

As a result, you can freely play online. It’s 100% safe and you won’t get in trouble. But how can you play casino games online if there are no sites in Texas? Well, there are no sites based in Texas. That doesn’t mean offshore sites can’t be accessed. All you have to do is find a site that’s based and licensed in a country that strictly regulates gambling.

You’ll see that many blogs actively discourage playing at offshore casinos, labeling them as unsafe or ‘scams’. This can’t be farther from the truth, as many countries around the world have built strong regulatory protocols that are enforced on a day-to-day basis. Just to be extra safe, make sure you play at sites that have one or more strong licenses, coming from regulatory bodies that are renowned for their fairness and strictness. SSL encryption is a must, too.

As for potential developments that could lead to legal online casinos in Texas, there’s no telling what could happen. While it’s disappointing that Texas authorities only regulate two tribal casinos. They don’t even bother to inspect smaller game rooms existing in a grey area. Since online players aren’t bothered, this can be understood as a good sign. Maybe lawmakers will take an interest in the lucrativeness of gambling sometime soon.



Gambling history in Texas

It’s safe to say that gambling began in the Texas territories even before Texas became a state. There are records of horse races being held with early bookmakers taking bets without oversight. When Texas was settled with people without any cultural tradition and moral code; with Europeans, other United States settlers and Mexicans mixing along the borders in the pre-Civil-War era, Texas became fruitful soil for vice. Saloons and gambling halls were built before churches. The interesting thing is that, even though Texas was so tolerant of gambling, alcohol and drugs in the 19th century, the state lottery was forbidden in the state constitution.

Following the American Civil War, the Mexican border became a place of lawlessness. There were more and more gambling houses, now frequented by cowboys and buffalo hunters, as well as professional gamblers such as the legendary "Doc" Holliday and Charlotte "Lottie Deno" Thompkins. Vice districts were normal occurrences. Dallas had “Frogtown”, Galveston had "Postoffice Street" and Houston had "Happy Hollow". In face of the WWI the districts were officially closed, but continued to run as hidden enterprises.

After WWII, national sentiments against gambling were strict, and only loosened in the later decades. Pari-mutuel wagering within the state was allowed in 1987, and the state lottery began running in 1992. The right of Native American tribes to establish gambling parlors was also recognized in 1987, which lead to the Tigua tribe and the Kickapoo tribe opening their casinos in the following years. Until now, these are the only forms of legal gambling in the Lone Star State.


Land based casinos

Land-based gambling operations in the state of Texas are allowed exclusively to Indian tribes thanks to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) from the 1980s. There are three federally recognized tribes in Texas, and all three were diligent to run a casino.

The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas runs the Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass which offers Class II gaming. It was established in 1996, including bingo, poker, blackjack (a bespoke Kickapoo variant) and slot-like electronic pull-tab dispensers. In 2004, the original Lucky Eagle Casino facilities which were of modular construction were replaced with a new 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) casino and arena space. The Lucky Eagle houses over 3,300 gaming machines.

The Tigua tribe of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo operated the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center in El Paso. The Tiguas were the first to open a land-based gambling establishment after the IGRA in 1993. The venue included high-stakes bingo, poker and a special variant of blackjack "Tigua 21", as well as slot machines. After years of lawsuits with the state, the venue closed in 2002.

Ultimately, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe opened their Entertainment Center in 2001 and stacked it with slots, poker and blackjack tables, but the venue lasted barely several months before it was closed in 2002. The newly established Naskila Entertainment Center now stands on the Alabama-Coushatta tribal lands, east of Livingston. It is a 30,000 sq. ft. gaming facility with 800 electronic gambling games (more than 350 slots).

Casino cruise ships are the alternative “land-based” entertainment option in Texas, if we don’t count eight-liner game rooms, horse and greyhound racetracks, charitable bingo halls and raffles. These gaming boats take advantage of international waters where no gambling laws apply; they pick up passengers out of Texas ports and take them on one-day gaming cruises. One of the more well-known casino boats is the Aransas Queen Casino (renamed to the Jacks or Better Casino in 2017) which hosts more than 200 slot machines and over a dozen live dealer tables.

Neighbouring States: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma



What’s the age limit for playing at Texas online casinos?

21. To determine the exact age, we used the same method we always do. The only way to be absolutely sure you won’t get in trouble with the authorities is to follow the highest threshold for any legal form of gambling in that same state.

Since tribal casinos only allow adults to play, we suggest that you restrain from online casinos if you’re younger than 21. Better safe than sorry, right?

Which games can be played?

Believe it or not, you can play literally everything. Offshore sites know that Texans love their online casinos, so they make sure to fill their rosters up with the best games, both old and new. A simple Google search, along with our list, will lead you to sites that truly and completely fit you.

Do Texan casino sites offer live casino titles, too?

Three casinos in a state as gargantuan as Texas is a travesty. For this reason, Texans are absolutely crazy about live dealer games. Many people have this as their only opportunity to experience a true casino atmosphere without driving hundreds of miles.

Roulette and blackjack take the cake when it comes to popularity, but you can also find other variations and adaptations on every reputable site. Do a little digging and all your needs will be met.

What about deposits? Which payment methods can you use to fund your account?

Everything is pretty much the same as in the rest of the country. Bank-issued cards still dominate the industry, as they’re very easy to set up for deposits. Despite the numerous security issues that serve as a trade-off, everyone loves the fact that you just have to type in a few numbers.

eWallets, despite being relatively new compared to cards, have emerged as the payment option for the future. PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller are some of the most popular brands, and can also be used for online shopping purposes.

eChecks and wire transfers are also in use, but sparingly nowadays. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, are growing in popularity due to the cornucopia of security features one can make use of. Using Bitcoin or another currency, you’re effectively masking your identity and making a transaction that’s impossible to tamper with.

Do Texas online casinos pay withdrawals fast?

Yes, unless the casino has a policy of verifying people’s identities. In that case, you will have to wait a day or two. Everything else depends on the payment method you’re using. Here’s what to expect:

● Cryptocurrencies: up to one hour

● eWallets: instant

● eChecks: 4-6 days

● Cards: 3-5 days

● Wire transfers: 5-7 days

Fun Facts about the State

  • Texas was the only state to be added to the United States Union by treaty. The treaty was signed in 1845. All other states were admitted by territorial annexation.
  • Texas produces its own electricity. It has its proprietary power grid, called ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) which remains beyond the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Basically, the Texas grid has independence and doesn’t need to deal with the feds.
  • Weird illegal actions in Texas include taking more than three sips of beer at a time while standing, milking another person’s cow and selling one’s eye, among other things.

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