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Texas was the 28th state to join the United States and has earned a reputation for being one of the most business-friendly states in the country.
Yet, to this day, Texas remains the state least likely to legalize online gambling in the US.
Currently, online gambling is illegal in The Lone Star state. Brick and mortar casinos built in the state are also deemed to be illegal.
However, there are still a few ways you can gamble legally in the state:
- Indian Casinos
- Boat Cruise Casinos
- Horse and Dog Tracks
Online Casinos in Texas
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like online casinos will ever be legalized in Texas. The government is very opposed to the idea and dismisses any attempts at trying to regulate it.
That being said, there are still options for those who want to play casino games for real money! Texas allows sweepstakes which means you can play slots online and potentially win cash.
You can also participate in legal online poker games through sweepstakes sites or Daily Fantasy Sports leagues. The state tends to move quite slow when it comes to gambling laws, land andonline, so we don't expect much out of Texas.
Land-Based Casinos in Texas
There are two Indian casinos and one casino boat in Texas.
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Both Indian casinos offer class II gaming machines based on bingo. Class II video gaming devices in Texas casinos look like slot machines but are actually bingo games and the spinning reels arefor “entertainment purposes only.”
No public information is available concerning the payback percentages on any gaming machines in Texas casinos. Unlike the casinos in Texas, in many states, the slot machine payback statisticsfor that particular state’s casinos are released as a matter of public record. Just click here to seea list of slot machine payback statistics for all U.S. casinos.
If you are looking for Texas casinos near Houston this is your best bet. While Houston has no casinos, Jacks or Better Casino is only about an hour away.
Types of Casinos in Texas
Currently, there are only 2 land-based casinos in operation in the state of Texas. Both of these are owned, operated, and built on Native American territories. There is also one casino cruiseship, and horse tracks which accept parimutuel betting.
Under federal law, all Native American territories are considered to be independent and operate under their own jurisdiction.
However, ever since the 'Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act' came into play in 1988, the government of Texas has been trying to change this. A campaign was launched within the court system toshut down all forms of gambling, specific to those on Native American soil within the state.
The state of Texas argues that the 'Federal Restoration Act' of 1987, which officially recognized the Tigua and Alabama - Coushatta tribes, should take legal priority. Why? Because this billexplicitly prohibits gambling.
One of the Indian casinos in Texas, Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino, offers pull-tab machines, bingo, and poker. That casino is the larger of the two casinos in Texas. It has a hotel, fiverestaurants, and a casino with 3,300 gaming machines.
The other casino, Naskila Gaming, does not have a hotel. It has one cafe and more than 800 gaming machines.
Both of these casinos are open 24 hours daily.
Casino Cruise Ship
The casino boat, Jacks or Better Casino, is based in Galveston. The boat sails nine miles out into the Gulf of Mexico where casino gambling is permitted.
The casino boat offers blackjack, craps, roulette, three card poker, a sportsbook, slots, and video poker. You must provide a photo ID or you won’t be allowed to board.
Surprisingly, Texas does allow residents to wager at horse and dog tracks in the state.
The horse tracks are broken down into Classes:
Class 1 horse tracks:
- Lone Star Park - Grand Prairie
- Retama Park - Selma
- Sam Houston Race Park - Houston
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These tracks are allowed to host races as many times as they would like.
Class 2 horse tracks have yet to be built in Texas. Multiple tracks are in the works, and once open, will be permitted to host up to 60 race days a year.
Class 3 horse tracks:
- Gillespie County Fair - Fredericksburg
Currently, this is the only Class 3 horse track that operates in Texas. The Texas Racing Commission allows Class 3 tracks to host up to 16 race days a year.
There are no Class 4 horse tracks in Texas.
Texas has three greyhound tracks, as permitted by the Texas Racing Commission. Dog racing isn't nearly as popular as horse racing in the state, but still offers residents the chance to watchraces live or virtually. The most popular greyhound track is the Gulf Greyhound Park, located in La Marque.
Texas residents can also visit the following greyhound tracks:
- Valley Race Park - Harlingen
- Gulf Coast Racing - Corpus Christi
List of Land-Based Casinos In Texas
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Shown below is a list of all casinos in Texas. Click on a casino name below to see a page of detailed information about all Texas casinos.
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Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel
- 794 Lucky Eagle Dr, Eagle Pass, TX 78852
- 1 830-773-2255
- Games: 3,000 slots and 1 poker room
- 540 State Park Rd 56, Livingston, TX 77351
- 1 936-563-2946
- Games: 800 slots