Texas’s retail casino scene is pretty limited at the time of this writing. When it comes to Texas casinos, there are only two land-based casinos in operation, both of them run by Native American tribes. There’s also a local casino cruise you can check out in Galveston.
However, Texans have additional options in the form of border casinos in nearby states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. This page will break down all of your retail casino options so you’ll know the best place to check out when you’re in the mood for some great food and games.
Is Online Gambling And Sports Betting Legal In Texas?
Not yet, although not for lack of trying. At this time, online gambling in any form is strictly prohibited, with the sole exceptions of daily fantasy sports (which occupies a legal gray area) and horse race betting, which can be enjoyed through apps like TVG. Online casino games, poker games, and sports wagering are still illegal.
However, there have been many recent bills proposed over the last couple of years that seek to legalize sports wagering in both retail and online formats. The most recent of these bills, HB 2070, is currently being debated in the Texas legislature. It would theoretically legalize sports wagering at the pair of Native American casinos currently in operation in Texas, as well as allow the launch of online mobile sportsbook apps.
But despite this bill being only the most recent in a long line of legalization attempts, there is still significant push back among Texas lawmakers that is currently delaying proceedings. For now, sports betting is still off the table and will not likely launch as an industry until 2022 at the earliest.
Furthermore, online casino wagering is even more unlikely than sports betting. Therefore, Texans are likely to be limited to the pair of Native American casinos currently running, as well as nearby casinos in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and other states.
Texas And Nearby States’ Casino List
Texas once had a handful of Native American-run casinos scattered throughout its territory. These days, the only two casinos that remain are the Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel and Naskila Gaming. There’s an additional casino cruise that launches out of Galveston.
Let’s break down both of these local casino options and a few nearby casino resorts you can visit just across the Texas border.
Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel
The Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel is run by the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, after having been granted sovereign authority and licensure to create a casino outside state jurisdiction in 1987. It’s arguably the most popular casino local to Texas, featuring over 15,000 ft.² of gaming space and 24-hour operation.
In total, you can find over 3300 electronic gaming machines, a live poker room with daily Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments, and even bingo sessions through most days of the week. Casino enthusiasts will also be pleased to find a bustling marketplace and plenty of excellent restaurants and bars, along with a hotel resort featuring 249 rooms and 100,000 ft.² in total.
All in all, Lucky Eagle has everything a Texas casino fan might want.
Naskila Gaming is the other major casino still operating in Texas. At the time of this writing, it’s the smaller of the two and has only a single café and no hotel. As a result, it’s a better day-trip gaming experience than a full-on resort, although it is open 24 hours a day.
Still, you can find a lot of variety at this Texas casino. It offers over 800 gaming machines in total, without any dedicated poker rooms are entertainment spaces. Naskila Gaming is a much better short-term casino experience and a great place to stop by for a few hours while on the road.
Jacks Or Better Casino Cruise
The casino boat called Jacks or Better Casino is an entertainment location that’s only stuck around due to a technicality – when a cruise ship goes into international waters, it’s technically not violating any Texas anti-gambling laws by offering casino activities.
Therefore, this casino cruise sails multiple times per week and sails about 9 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico to offer a variety of gaming activities. On this cruise, you can find games like blackjack, roulette, three card poker, video poker, and more. It even offers a dedicated sportsbook, making it a unique spot among other Texas gambling locations.
Note that you have to have a photo ID to board this cruise.
WinStar World Casino & Resort
WinStar World Casino & Resort in Oklahoma is one of the best gambling spots across the border, particularly for Austin, TX residents. It’s a mere 262 miles away from that city’s downtown hub and should only take a few hours.
It’s the largest casino in the United States overall, featuring over 600,000 ft.² of gaming space in total. The gaming space is put to good use with over 8000 slot machines, 100 table games that range from craps to blackjack to baccarat and more, as well as other amenities like a 55 table poker room and an off-track betting parlor for horserace wagers.
The resort is also excellent, including 1400 hotel rooms, a spa, several pools, and 17 restaurants.
The aptly named border Casino is also located in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and is very close to the Texas border. But keep in mind that it’s also one of the smaller casinos available to you if you live in Texas.
It’s open 24 hours a day and includes 920 electronic games in total, though it doesn’t have a hotel, spa, or other resort amenities.
Therefore, it’s better used as a stopover gaming location or for daily gambling instead of a longer location. You can reach this casino, owned by the Chickasaw Nation, by using Exit 1 off I-35.
Kiowa Casino & Hotel
Kiowa Casino & Hotel is another good Oklahoma casino offering. Just 15 minutes north of Wichita Falls, Texas, this casino offers a lot to like, including 24-hour access, 60,000 ft.² of gaming space, and smoking and non-smoking sections.
The casino includes 800 slot machines and 10 table games, including blackjack and more. It hosts weekly Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments and you can also find three card poker at this location. A handful of restaurants and a 63-room hotel (that includes meeting rooms and a business center) make this a middle-of-the-road location perfect for shorter stays.
L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles
If you’re interested in hopping over to Louisiana, check out L’Auberge Casino Resort, located in Lake Charles. This casino opened in 2005 and has one of the most comprehensive resorts near Texas’ border, including a spa, shops, a golf course, and several swimming pools. Several top-tier and highly rated food outlets and restaurants are included as well.
The casino is technically built on a floating structure so it counts as a “riverboat” casino. It offers nearly 1000 hotel rooms, hundreds of slot and electronic games, and cardrooms for playing poker and all of its many varieties.
Paragon Casino Resort
Paragon Casino Resort is another top-tier Louisiana casino owned by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe. Located in Marksville, it’s open 24 hours a day and offers over 650,000 ft.² of space in total, with around 75,000 ft.² of space being dedicated to gaming.
The casino includes 2100 slot machines, including several progressive jackpot games with potential winnings of up to $100,000. 46 gaming tables are spread throughout the floor, allowing you to play craps, blackjack, three card poker, fortune pai gow poker, and more. The dedicated poker room offers high-stakes gaming tournaments.
In addition to all these offerings, Paragon provides a great entertainment space for regular shows like concerts and live entertainment. A series of restaurants and a 500-room hotel round out its excellent value.
Margaritaville Resort Casino
Check out Margaritaville’s Resort Casino, located in Bossier City, Louisiana. This recently repurchased casino overlooks the Red River and includes a casino space, a spa, a hotel, six restaurants, and a dedicated events venue, ideal for concerts, comedians, and other big draws for vacationers throughout the year. All amenities are included within 500,000 ft.² in total.
The gaming space includes 1000 slot machines and 50 table games, and it’s open 24 hours a day. The hotel includes 395 guest rooms plus an included spa and fitness center.
Choctaw Casino & Resort-Hotel
Back in Oklahoma, you can check out Choctaw Casino & Resort-Hotel, a casino hotel combination that includes 24 seven valet parking and 100,000 ft.² of gaming and hotel space. The casino has undergone several renovations in recent years, such as the construction of a grand theater and a new hotel tower.
Today, the casino provides 4300 slot machines, slot tournaments, a 30-table private poker lounge with monthly and special tournaments, a dedicated blackjack terrace, and much more. Several other lounges for entertainment events or private celebrations are available for rental, and you can take advantage of several high-class restaurants like a steakhouse and grill.
The hotel includes 330 rooms in total, plus several swimming pools and a spa.
Live Sports Betting In Texas
Live sports betting is currently illegal in Texas, as is any form of sports wagering. However, many lawmakers in Texas on both sides of the political spectrum are pushing for sports betting legalization, as are many of the professional sports leagues and franchises that make their homes in Texas.
HB 2070 is the current bill to watch, as it’s the most recently proposed sports betting legislation that has a chance of passing some time in the near future. The bill is currently being debated in the Texas legislature. If it receives a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate, Texas residents will need to vote on a ballot measure this upcoming November.
Should the measure pass, a constitutional amendment will be added, legalizing sports wagering. Once sports wagering is legalized, live or in-play betting is likely to follow through both retail sportsbooks at Naskila and Lucky Eagle and through mobile sportsbook apps such as DraftKings and FanDuel.
Texas Gambling FAQs
You need to be 21 years of age or older to place any kind of wager or play the lottery in Texas. This age will likely be maintained for sports betting, if and when it is ever legalized.
Currently, gambling activities like the lottery and Native American casino games are regulated by the Texas Lottery Commission. This Commission will also likely regulate future sports betting and casino activities should they ever be expanded and legalized.
Both of the currently operating casinos in Texas are owned by Native American tribes. Lucky Eagle is owned by Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas and Nasikla is owned by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.
Yes, but only to provide daily fantasy sports or DFS. DraftKings cannot provide sports wagering to Texas residents at this time.
Just like DraftKings, FanDuel can provide DFS to Texas residents but not sports betting.