Whenever Texans feel the urge to actually gamble, they have no other choice but to head to Las Vegas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. And if you are wondering why, in most cases, gambling is illegal in the state of Texas. For the past decades, Texas legislators haven’t relaxed their gambling laws. The reason behind it is that it could impact morals and could potentially result in negative side effects.

Is Texas Gambling Law the Strictest?

However, if you really want to gamble, Texas isn’t a state with the strictest gambling rules. In fact, there are some forms of legal gambling that takes place within the state. For instance, Texas offers lottery tickets and allows you to bet on horse races as well as greyhound dog races. It is said that Texas has more lax rules when it comes to “social gambling”. Social gambling is gambling that takes place in private places.

This means that bingo games, as well as charity auctions, are allowed. But of course, there is a catch. Both bingo and charity auctions are allowed as long as its organizers aren’t taking any profits.

Are Casinos Illegal?

There are three federally recognized Native American tribes in Texas that can run their own casinos on their land. And so far, there are two casinos that are operating within the reservations near Livingston and Eagle Pass.

The Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino located near Eagle Pass is a fully functioning casino that has different attractions including poker room and gaming machines. It is the closest casino that Texans can go to if they don’t want to travel all the way to Las Vegas. In addition to this, you can also go to Naskila Gaming, which is a casino-like business that operates near Livingston. It is at the epicenter of the ongoing legal battle between the state and Alabama-Coushatta Tribe. According to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Naskila Gaming is subject to laws within the state. However, the tribe says that it has federal authority to allow certain kinds of gambling. The state is trying its best to shut the facility down.

New Forms of Gambling Oriented Businesses

Post Oak Poker Club that is located in Houston is one of those gambling oriented businesses that is now booming within the state. Since Texas law states that the organizer can’t make money from the pot in the game, the poker clubs instead earn by providing rental fees to hold the games. This is considered as a legal grey area in Texas gambling law. Greg Gladden who is a lawyer practicing gambling law in Houston said that gaming laws aren’t clearly written and enforced in a different way.

But of course, it is also possible that some gambling law changes occur within Texas. Texas legislators such as Carol Alvarado mentioned that gambling law should be left up to the voters. She has filed a bill in 2011 with this intention. According to Alvarado, “ I know some of my colleagues get heartburn about allowing Texans to decide”. She added that “But Texans like to gamble, and if we do it smart, we could create economic development in the state”.