Texas sports betting could be on the horizon for sports fans. Texas is a state whose culture is at odds with its gambling laws. Texans as a rule prioritize personal freedom and individual responsibility, but most forms of gambling are flatly illegal right now. Many of Texas’s legislators and lawmakers are additionally opposed to expanding the legal gambling industry.
Still, there’s lots of talk about legalizing sports betting sometime in the near future. While it’s unlikely that sports betting will launch in 2021, there is hope that a pair of sports betting bills – titled HB 1275 and House Joint Resolution 61 – will be discussed this year, paving the way for legalized sports betting sometime in 2022 at the earliest.
When that occurs, the Lone Star State will likely receive a ton of applications for sports betting licensure from established operators in the country. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the current online sports betting situation in Texas so you’re prepared when the industry eventually launches.
Guide To Betting Online In Texas
At the time of this writing, the online betting industry in Texas is pretty bare-bones. You won’t be able to place any online sports bets, play any online casino games aside from those on sweepstakes sites, or play online poker except for sweepstakes platforms like Global Poker.
However, the online betting industry in Texas may change over the next year or so. There’s a solid push from many professional Texas sports leagues and teams to legalize sports betting and other online gambling types through a variety of gambling bills.
Due to this, it’s a good idea to understand how online betting will work in Texas if and when it finally launches.
Sports Betting Bonuses
If some of the best sportsbook apps come to Texas in the near future, one of the best ways to determine which sports betting app you should use is to look at the opening bonuses they provide.
Opening bonuses or special offers are provided only for new accounts. They incentivize people to try out a given app or sportsbook and usually offer some amount of free site credit, provided you adhere to a few terms and conditions.
For instance, DraftKings, one of the largest sportsbook operators in the country, provides a 20% deposit match bonus worth up to $1000. In other words, if you deposit a certain amount immediately after registering your account, you’ll get 20% of that value back in site credit all the way up to a $1000 bonus.
Say that you decide to deposit $1000 into your DraftKings account. The site would then grant you another $200 of site credit to be used on certain wagers with varying odds. However, terms and conditions do apply; for this particular bonus, you’ll need to play through any winnings from the opening bonus several times before you can make a withdrawal.
FanDuel has a similarly valuable opening bonus. It’s a risk-free bet offer worth up to $1000. Place an initial wager and you’ll be covered up to $1000 if it goes south. Note, however, that you also have to play through this site credit a few times before you can withdraw it.
Many other opening bonuses require you to use any site credit on particular wagers, such as those with odds of -125 or greater. Be sure to read the fine print carefully before using an opening bonus to avoid being surprised.
Ultimately, checking out the different sportsbook bonuses is a great way to figure out which app you might want to try when they launch in Texas. Of course, you can also eventually try them all if you like!
Main Local Teams And Sports To Bet On In Texas
Texas is a state with a sports industry that’s already ripe for betting action. The state is home to many of the most beloved and popular professional sports teams in the country. These include the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, Houston Rockets, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, and more.
All told, Texans get to support in-state teams for hockey, baseball, football, and basketball. It’s highly likely that any big sportsbooks in this state will include a plethora of player-friendly wagers for all of these sports industries and leagues.
Furthermore, many of the above-mentioned professional sports teams may decide to partner with particular sportsbooks. If this occurs, certain betting apps may include special promotions for placing wagers on given teams or big matches between teams and their rivals.
Aside from pro teams, Texas has a lot of popular college-level teams, such as the Texas A&M Aggies and the University of Texas Longhorns.
Status Of eSports Betting In Texas
eSports betting, just like any other type of sports betting, is strictly illegal in Texas at the time of this writing. Furthermore, many major sportsbooks don’t include eSports betting lines or markets by default.
But that is rapidly changing. eSports are becoming more and more popular throughout the industry and are drawing serious attention from professional oddsmakers. Big sportsbooks like DraftKings already offer eSports betting lines and markets on their mobile app in states where sports betting is legal.
Therefore, it’s likely that, once sports betting is fully legalized in Texas, you’ll be able to participate in eSports betting on certain sportsbook apps.
Sportsbooks Coming Soon To Texas
Currently, there’s no way to accurately tell which sportsbooks will pursue licensure in Texas. The two Native American-owned casinos in the state do not have any official partnerships with sportsbook operators at this time.
However, DraftKings and FanDuel – two of the biggest sportsbook operators in the industry – do offer DFS or daily fantasy sports to Texas residents. That’s because DFS lies in a legally gray area and is neither fully legal nor technically illegal.
Because both of these operators already have a presence in Texas, and because they already operate in all other legal sports betting states, it’s likely they will pursue licensure ASAP once sports betting is legalized.
Other big sportsbooks likely to try for Texas licensure include BetMGM, Caesars, BetRivers, William Hill, FOX Bet, and more. Time will tell what sportsbooks try for licensure in Texas over the next few months or years.
Legal Betting Vs Illegal Betting In Texas
Although legal sports betting isn’t currently allowed in Texas, there are always plenty of illegal or offshore betting sites that advertise their services to sports betting enthusiasts.
However, it’s never a good idea to use an illegal betting site in Texas or any other state. Why? Illegal betting sites, simply put, don’t have your best interests at heart and are not well regulated.
For example, there’s nothing stopping an illegal betting site from taking any money you deposit into your account. Furthermore, illegal betting sites usually have subpar betting odds and lines, leading to an overall disappointing sports betting experience.
Even worse, illegal betting sites often have bad digital security. Digital identity theft is more common than ever, and putting your personal information on any legal sportsbook could lead to some big financial issues for you later down the road.
Here’s the bottom line: you should wait for legal sports betting to come to Texas even though it may take some months or years yet. If you really have a hankering for sports betting, try one of the nearby states that have already legalized the activity.
How Do I Know That Online Sportsbooks In Texas Are Fair?
Given Texas’s overall draconian view of gambling so far, it’s highly likely that, when sports betting finally launches, it will be incredibly well regulated to ensure there isn’t any unfair activity.
Let’s break down why you’ll be able to trust regulated online sportsbooks in Texas when they launch sometime in the future.
Who Regulates Legal Online Sportsbooks In Texas?
Right now, the biggest regulatory body in Texas for gambling activities is the Texas Lottery Commission. As its name suggests, the Commission oversees the Texas Lottery and is likely to be the major body in charge of the future sports betting industry.
However, Texan legislators may also decide to come up with a separate committee for sports betting administration. Either way, a strong regulatory body will investigate any sportsbook operator desiring licensure and regularly check on activities to make sure that every operator acts honorably and fairly to its players.
Why Should I Trust Legal Online Sportsbooks?
Legal online sportsbooks are more trustworthy than offshore betting sites for a number of reasons. For one, they use professional oddsmakers to create fair betting lines and wagers for their players. For another, each licensed sportsbook has to be investigated beforehand, so you know that any sportsbook app in Texas will be worth your time and money.
Even better, licensed and regulated Texas sportsbooks will need to have a certain amount of insurance to protect their players in case of a hack or digital theft. All in all, you’ll be able to trust legal online sportsbooks much more than illegal betting sites.
How Do I Get Paid If I Win?
Once sportsbooks launch in Texas, you’ll be able to withdraw your winnings in a few different ways. Different sportsbook operators have different deposit and withdrawal methods, but most of them allow you to make withdrawals through debit or credit accounts, bank transfers, and even electronic wallet transfers through platforms like PayPal and Skrill.
But other sportsbooks may allow you to make withdrawals using other methods, like PayNearMe terminals. It all depends on the sportsbook in question.
Regardless, you’ll be old to make a withdrawal to get your winnings immediately after a sports wager concludes (with the sole exception of winnings received because of site credit from an opening bonus. You may need to play through those winnings a few times, in that case). Depending on the withdrawal method you choose, it may take a few business days for any winnings to reach your bank account.
Texas Sports Betting FAQs
Currently, there are no sports bets legal in Texas at this time. However, you can participate in daily fantasy sports or DFS through popular sportsbook operators like DraftKings and FanDuel.
No, as you can’t bet on any sports in Texas at this time. Furthermore, there’s no indication as to whether Texas’s future legal sports betting industry will allow collegiate sports betting in any form. Many states that do allow legal sports betting simultaneously prevent sports bets on in-state college teams or games, or ban collegiate betting altogether.
Time will tell whether Texas allows collegiate betting, which would likely be quite a profitable industry given the plethora of Division I college sports teams that have their homes in this state.
Not yet. But it’s highly likely that the sportsbook operators who eventually receive licensure in the legal sports betting industry will include eSports betting lines and markets for you to enjoy.
There is no current tax rate for online sports betting in Texas. But lawmakers are already discussing potential tax rates for the future industry. The tax rate for online sports wagers will likely be anywhere between 10% and 20% based on tax rates in other states that have already legalized this industry.
Any sportsbook operator willing to pay a fee and get investigated by the sports betting regulatory body will be able to receive licensure. Licensure fees will likely be several hundred thousand dollars at minimum, and any long-term operators will need to pay an annual fee to retain their license.
Therefore, only established sportsbook operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel are likely to pursue licensure right out of the gate.
Not yet. But this operator does offer daily fantasy sports, so it’s likely that it will pursue licensure once sports betting launches. Players will be able to easily switch between both activities from the same mobile app interface.
No. FanDuel’s situation is almost identical to DraftKings’, in that it offers daily fantasy sports and will likely offer sports betting once the industry launches in the future.