Guide to Texas Gambling & TX Online Roulette
When you think of Texas, the first thing that comes to mind may be Wild West saloons and card games, but today the situation is quite different. Texas is one of the states that is very conservative when it comes to legal gambling and, with a few exceptions, has banned all forms of gambling within the state. This includes TX online casinos: online casino sites are not allowed in Texas, and you can only play games like roulette at tribal casinos. However, this does not mean that you cannot play online roulette in Texas: The internet is full of hundreds of sites that offer you online casino games, and you can still have an enjoyable & profitable gambling experience by using them. That's why we'll start this guide with a list of the best casinos to play online roulette in Texas and continue with the state's gambling laws.
Are There Online Casinos in Texas?
This is a simple question, so it deserves a simple answer: No, there are no online casinos in Texas, and nobody expects this situation to change soon. However, as we mentioned above, most people think of gambling (especially poker) when someone says “Texas”, so what is the reason for that? To answer this question, let’s take a short trip to the past and find out what happened so far: This is the best way to explain why TX online casinos do not exist.
Texas was one of the centers of gambling in the United States in the 18th century. Gambling was a very common habit, especially in frontier towns, and no one was interested in controlling it. This situation continued until the 1920s. However, the Prohibition era and the Progressive Movement philosophy, which started at the end of the 20s, caused gambling to be seen as a "vice" (*). Even in the 1930s, there were big casinos in the Dallas area run by famous names like Benny Binion (**), but from the beginning of the 40s they were all closed, and all forms of gambling were declared illegal.
Texas was quite strict about prohibiting gambling: Even the lottery has been legalized in 1992. The only exception would be sports betting: Horse racing and greyhound racing have ancient roots in Texas, and therefore pari-mutual wagers have been allowed since the 1960s. However, it should be noted that this is not a full-featured sports betting service: You can only enter pool betting in horse races and greyhound races. Also, these bets can only be placed at racetracks. Apart from this, land-based or online sports betting services are not offered.
This also applies to land-based casinos: There are no casinos within the state of Texas, with the exception of tribal casinos, as we will point out below. This, of course, also applies to online casinos: state laws do not even acknowledge their existence. So, at first glance, it may seem impossible to play online roulette Texas, but don't worry: you can still play at internet casinos and the best of them allow you to play all variants of roulette with the most advantageous bonuses.
As of 2021, the legal gambling situation in Texas is as follows:
- Lottery and charity bingo/raffle games are legal
- Pari-mutuel wagering is legal (for horse racing and greyhound racing only)
- Land-based and online casinos are illegal
- Land-based and online sports betting are illegal
- Tribal casinos are allowed due to federal laws and there are three casinos that fit this description.
The fact that Texas has banned gambling before many other states means that the regulations on this subject are also quite old, and this is actually an advantage. We will explain the reason for this in more detail below, but for now, let's state that the old laws made it possible to play in internet casinos: Since they were regulated in the 1940s, there is no provision in the gambling laws that prohibits playing on the internet. This means that you can play all casino games online, including online roulette: Above, we have selected and listed the best casino sites for this job.
(*) Vice is a term used by law enforcement for alcohol and narcotics.
(**) Benny Binion is the guy who started WSOP (World Series of Poker). He moved to Las Vegas after Texas and became a legend.
Texas fully implements the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA): This Act expressly prohibits the transfer of funds to internet gambling sites. For the same reason, it is not possible to play online poker at sites within the US borders: This game is only allowed in tribal casinos. But Texas is a state almost synonymous with poker and one of the regions where the WSOP is most popular. Even UIGEA bans don't stop people from inventing new ways to play poker.
- Private card rooms are quite common throughout the state. This is a practice considered as “social gambling”: Anyone who wants can open a “gaming room” and accept players, provided that they do not receive a share of the revenue. Casinos have a house edge, meaning they get a share of every bet placed. Gaming rooms, on the other hand, do not violate the law as they do not receive this share and can serve without the need for a license. In other words, almost every neighborhood has private establishments that allow you to play real money poker and other card games, and these are not strictly regulated.
- It is possible to find poker rooms in almost all restaurants and bars. By law, a game is not seen as gambling unless it is played for real money. Restaurant and bar games use chips, and during the inspections, they claim that real money is not used at all. Of course, it is not known whether they are telling the truth.
- Playing poker and other casino games for real money is also allowed at charity events. Moreover, if you make a profit in these events, you are allowed to keep it. The only condition is that the profits from the games and other donations must be used for educational purposes.
And of course, since the law does not even recognize the existence of a game called “online poker”, you can play it in internet casinos outside the US. Moreover, in this case, it is possible to take advantage of various bonuses. As you can imagine, online poker has many advantages over the other methods listed above, so we recommend choosing it. The casinos we have listed in this guide are also very good options for playing poker online.
As you can guess from the descriptions above, slot machines are only found in tribal casinos. You can visit these casinos at any time as long as you are over 21 years old. But just like with poker, Texans have bent this rule a bit: There are slot machines called "eight liners" in almost every store, restaurant, and bar in the state. They are exactly the same as slot machines in their appearance, rules, and gameplay. The only difference is that they give discount coupons, plush animals, and coins of no value as rewards. As long as the monetary value of the prize does not exceed 5 dollars, these games are not included in the scope of gambling. However, many businesses have also been known to reprogram these machines to award cash prizes, and eight-liners games are hardly ever audited. In a way, we can say that Texas is full of slot machines.
However, we do not recommend playing these games because it is not possible to know if they are rigged - they are not supervised in any way. Instead, online slots will be a much better alternative: You can have fun and earn money by playing online slot machines at licensed and fair casinos.
Bingo and Lotteries
The Texas Lottery has been held since 1992 and was the second type of gambling legalized after pari-mutual wagering. “Lotto Extra” is the biggest variant of this lottery and the grand prize ranges from 5 to 10 million dollars. There are also different lottery variants such as Two Step, Pick 3, Daily 4, Cash Five, and All or Nothing. You can also buy Powerball and Mega Millions tickets in Texas.
The Lottery Commission is also authorized to organize bingo games: You can find many bingo halls throughout the state. In addition, as we mentioned above, charities can also organize bingo tournaments, provided that the income is transferred to education.
Sports betting is legal but limited in both type and scope. Only pari-mutuel wagering is allowed, and you can bet on horse races & greyhound races. Three major metropolitan areas have racetracks where you can place these bets. Online betting is illegal and mobile betting apps are not allowed either.
Land Based Casinos
Texas has three federally recognized Indian tribes: Kickapoo, Tigua, and Coushatta. All these tribes have casinos in the southern parts of the state. There are a total of three tribal casinos in Texas and they have been continuing their business since the 1990s.
A second option is casino cruises: there are cruise ships that dock regularly in ports in southern Texas. Each of these ships is designed like a casino: After picking up their passengers, they sail into the ocean and return a few days later. In this respect, we can compare them to riverboat casinos in Indiana. They are not covered by the law, as they are technically not on Texas territory.
No one expects online casinos to become legal in Texas any time soon: it seems the state will maintain its strict policies on gambling for a long time to come. However, it is not possible to compete with modern technology: nowadays, Texas players have other options for gambling, and they can play in any online casino that accepts them as members. You too can do that right now: we have selected and listed the best of these casinos for you. Whether you want to play roulette or other casino games, you can have the perfect online gambling experience in the comfort of your home. Choose one and start your favorite roulette game right now!