The Gambling Laws in Texas

The Gambling Laws in Texas

Texas is one of the wealthiest States in the United States and is home to many people who have made their fortunes from oil, agriculture and other businesses, they all have been attracted into some of the most opulent cities in the world.

Slot machines in operation at Eagle Pass

Yet with all of the entertainments that are associated with huge urban areas supporting such wealth, there seems to be a shortage of casinos to feed the desires of those people who like to gamble. In fact, this is a gross understatement as there are no casinos to be found in Texas other than the three that are located on Indian Reservations. It is actually illegal to open a casino in Texas. When people see the images emanating out of Las Vegas being beamed around the world, it is assumed that casinos are widely spread around the country so that the rich Americans can enjoy gambling. This is not the case, and the reason that Las Vegas grew so rapidly into a casino city in the 1930’s was that the State of Nevada did not implement the laws on gambling that the other US States did, and so the casino companies were attracted into the region. Gambling is frowned upon by certain States while others choose to allow it so that their local economy can benefit from the riches that it brings in.

Slot machines in operation at Eagle Pass

Slot machines in operation at Eagle Pass

Texas is one State that has chosen not to have casinos, but the 28 million population have not been pressuring the State Government to have the law changed or otherwise opposed the system. Yet there are many Texans who do like to visit casinos and it was estimated that in 2011 Texans spent 2.5 billion dollars in casinos in the neighboring States of New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma. The law states that cash prizes from slot machines are also illegal. Venues can operate the machines but the prizes must be non-cash and of no higher value than 5 dollars. Slot machines are found at a variety of locations, including the racing tracks. The State is not uniform in its legal stance on casinos and slot machines. There are three Indian reservations at Eagle Pass, El Paso and Livingstone, which have one casino each. These are able to survive as the reservations are seen as being outside the jurisdiction of Texas law in regards to gambling.

Gambling is legal off shore

Gambling is legal off shore

Gambling is legal off shore

There are also Gamblers Cruisers that operate from Texas ports, taking customers into international waters so they can gamble outside the restriction of Texas State law. Currently the Aransas Queen Casino operates out of Galverston Port and takes its parties of gamblers out on the Ocean for an evening of gambling. The State of Texas has also attempted to deal with online gambling, but it is not clear whether it is legal or not. It’s apparent that while it is illegal for Texans to operate an online website, it is ok for them to visit gambling websites that have been created outside of the State. In reality it is perfectly legal that any Texan, of the correct age, can go and play casino games online at sites such as fulltilt.com.

Horse racing at Lone Star Park

Horse racing at Lone Star Park

Horse racing at Lone Star Park

Texas is home to a number of high quality horseracing tracks that hold top meetings throughout the calendar year. With Texas having such a strong agricultural tradition it is home to many top breeding stables that have produced some great horses. Each season, there are a number of rich prizes available for the owners and trainers to compete for. The richest race in the State is the Texas Classic Futurity which is run each November at Lone Star Park in Houston for a prize of one million dollars. The race tracks around the state are regularly attended by large crowds. It is legal for the spectators to bet on the races at the tracks by laying a bet on horses by using the tote system. All the bets go into a central fund and then the winnings are shared out from the pool of money that has been collected. The tote system gives the public constant updates on television screens on how much they will win if their horse comes in first place.

The Texas Lottery Draw

The Texas Lottery Draw

The Texas Lottery Draw

One of the most popular way for Texans to gamble is through the Texas Lottery. It is held by the Texas Lottery Commission and has been in operation since 1992 and Texans are given a number of different games they can play. They are also given a choice of whether they wish to receive one off payments as a prize or annual payments. Some of the winnings have been huge, with the winners regularly taking home over a million dollars, with one resident from San Antonio walking away with 27 million dollars from the draw in March 2017. Texans love to gamble but currently seem happy with the laws that control the industry within the State