Texas is nestled in the heart of the southern United States, and its conservative leanings feed into the state’s view of the gambling industry at large. Texas online gambling is, therefore, limited. Casino fans, though, have access to Texas online casinos where players can win cash prizes.
Thanks to strict anti-gambling laws, Texas offers only a few gaming options to residents or visitors to the Lone Star State. Texas is home to two land-based casinos and a number of horse racing tracks.
Online, Texas gamblers will find the offering very slim. Texas law prohibits any form of online gambling, including sports betting, online casinos for real money, and horse race betting. There has been some movement, in early 2021, with Texas State Representatives introducing bills to legalize online sports betting.
In the mean time, the primary online gaming options include Texas online casinos for cash prizes.
Texas Online Casinos And Poker – Sweepstakes Sites
In the absence of any regulated online gambling sites, Texas players may encounter a variety of sweepstakes casino or poker sites. Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Casino are some of the most well-known brands in the space.
Sweepstakes casinos look and feel like true real-money online casinos. They offer huge selections of games like blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and slots.
Players purchase in-game currency, usually called “coins’ or something similar, which they use to play the games. Coins have no real value and can’t be redeemed or cashed out. In this way, sweepstakes casinos are a lot like social casino apps that only let you enjoy the games for fun using the in-game coins that you purchase.
However, there’s an added layer to sweepstakes casinos that sets them apart and allows them to operate. Players receive a small amount of “Sweeps Cash” or “Sweeps Coins” with each purchase. These are separate from the in-game currency and can be redeemed for cash prizes. They’re awarded via a sweepstakes model.
Additionally, players can get free sweeps cash or coins by mailing in a request. The ability to get sweeps cash for free and with each purchase allows sweepstakes casinos to operate legally, even in states with strict gambling laws like Texas.
Sweepstakes casinos can be an excellent alternative to real-money online casinos in states like Texas where the latter is prohibited.
What Sweepstakes Products Can I Play In Texas?
Within the state of Texas, your options for sweepstakes are poker, casino games, and sportsbook.
Texas Online Poker
Much like a traditional online poker site, you play against other players in tournaments, sit & go games, and ring games that you can leave anytime.
The main types of poker you can play are Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Crazy Pineapple (a variation of Hold’em).
You can play Global Poker via desktop or through an app, which is available for both iOS and Android. However, the reviews for the app suggest playing through the web browser on your mobile device may be the better route.
You can play games using Gold Coins, which do not have monetary value whatsoever. Or you can play using Sweeps Coins, which can be redeemed for cash prizes.
Texas Online Casinos
While both Chumba and LuckyLand offer slots and scratch games, Chumba also offers three table games: blackjack, American roulette, and Jacks or Better video poker.
You can play games using Gold Coins. You’re given millions to start, and you can purchase more anytime. Gold Coins cannot be redeemed or exchanged.
You can also play with Sweeps Coins. At Chumba, you’re given two to start. At LuckyLand, you’re given ten. Sweeps Coins can be redeemed for cash prizes.
To receive more Sweeps Coins, you can buy Gold Coins, enter a no-cost giveaway through Chumba’s Facebook page, or mail in a request.
Texas’s main social sports site (sweepstakes sportsbook) is FendOff. It lists individual and team sports as well as racing.
Like a traditional sportsbook, FendOff presents certain odds for both pre-game and in-game picks. All pari-mutuel horse and dog racing picks are also available.
You can make your picks using Gold Coins (GS) or Sweeps (SW).
GC can earn you achievements and leaderboard positions. The benefit is that they’re completely free. You earn hundreds every two hours, and you get bragging rights.
The benefit of betting with SW is that you can redeem them for cash prizes when you have at least 5,000.
Picks include moneyline and points spread, futures, Over/Under, player performance, and in-game events such as field goals, corner kicks, and so on.
How Are Sweepstakes Sites Different Than Online Gambling Sites?
Online gambling sites take real-money deposits that are then reflected in your account accordingly.
You can use those funds to place bets on casino games or sporting events. Or, in the case of poker sites, buy tournament entry tickets, risk money at the tables, and pay rake fees.
You can then withdraw whatever winnings you may have accrued.
Online sweepstakes sites offer two site-specific currencies that can’t be exchanged or withdrawn. In the case of Gold Coins, they’re simply played for fun and bragging rights.
But Sweeps Coins can be redeemed for prizes that include cash.
You also do not need to purchase the currencies to play, but you do have the option to purchase Gold Coins. Buy enough Gold Coins, and Sweeps Coins will be included in the purchase.
Online gambling sites are illegal inTexas. While some offshore sites will accept players from within the state, they’re operating in violation of Texas law. Proceed at your own risk.
On the other hand, online sweepstakes sites are legal in Texas. You can purchase Gold Coins and redeem Sweeps Coins for cash, and it’s all completely within the law.
Can You Win Real Money At Sweepstakes Casinos And Poker Sites In Texas?
Technically, no. You can’t play with real money at a sweepstakes casino, so you can’t win any real money. You can only play using Gold Coins or Sweeps Coins, so you can only win one of those two in-site currencies.
However, you can win Sweeps Coins that can be redeemed for cash prizes.
For example, at Chumba, you can receive a cash prize once you’ve earned at least 100 Sweeps Coins. At LuckyLand, it’s only 50 Sweeps Coins.
Another example is the “Prizeout a Gift Card” option at Global Poker. This allows you to receive a prize for fewer than 100 Sweeps Coins. Simply select one of the retailers, which include Amazon, Walmart, AMC Theatres, and a long list of others.
To redeem Sweeps Coins for any prize, you need to verify your account. This usually involves uploading an image of your identification, such as a driver’s license or a passport.
To redeem your Sweeps Coins for cash, you’ll need a way to accept it. The preferred choice for both Chumba and Global Poker is Skrill, which is an e-wallet similar to PayPal.
They can also accommodate other methods, but setting up a Skrill account is fast and easy. It will also likely get you the prize sooner than an alternative option.
What Kinds Of Bonuses Do Sweepstakes Casinos And Poker Sites Offer To Players In Texas?
Bonuses at sweepstakes casinos and poker sites begin with the signup bonus. Just for creating an account, you’ll receive millions of gold coins and some Sweeps Coins. However, you won’t receive enough Sweeps Coins to redeem for a prize.
You can also receive bonuses by logging in. At LuckyLand, you receive 0.7 Sweeps Coins for logging in after signing up. The bonus Sweeps Coins increase every consecutive day that you login.
Players also receive bonus coins for verifying their email and phone number.
Sweeps Coins are included in the purchase of Gold Coins as a bonus. Chumba invites new members to receive discounts on Gold Coin packages that include Sweeps Coins.
To receive no-purchase Sweeps Coins, mail in a request to the operator, enter social media promotions, or hope for an email offer.
At the FendOff sweepstakes sportsbook, they’ll match your first purchase of Gold Coins by 100%, essentially doubling the amount of both Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins.
What Kinds Of Games Are Available At Texas Sweepstakes Poker Sites
Types Of Poker Variations At Global Poker
Global Poker offers Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Crazy Pineapple.
Tournaments, Sit & Go, And Ring Games
(Stakes for each game are presented in Sweeps Coins.)
To compete in a tournament at Global Poker, you’ll need to pay the entry fee, which can be either Gold Coins or Sweeps. They also have regular freeroll tournaments that don’t require a buy-in. You can also compete against other players for rotating jackpots and prize pool tournaments.
Buy-In Range: SC 0.11 – SC 33
Sit & Go
Sit & Go at Global Poker means you sit at a table and play until you’re eliminated or all other players are eliminated. This differs from a tournament because you don’t advance to a new table automatically if you win. Instead, the game just ends and you can join a new one.
Buy-In Range: SC 0.5+SC 0.05 – SC 200+SC 18
Ring games at Global Poker mean you can sit down and play for as long as you want and leave the table whenever you want.
Small Blind/Big Blind: SC 0.02/SC 0.04 – SC 10/SC 20
Playing For Gold Coin Vs. Sweeps
The stakes for all the types of poker games are organized by Gold Coins or Sweeps. Playing for Gold Coins means getting practice. Playing for Sweeps means players score cash prizes.
Only players located in the United States and Canada can redeem Sweeps Coins at Global Poker. So the player pools for Sweeps games are limited to those two jurisdictions.
Still, that’s a massive potential playing pool. And taking the State of Washington and Quebec out of the equation is negligible.
This makes Global Poker’s active monthly users on par or better than all legal US online poker sites, which are limited to only a few states anyway. Texas is not one of them.
What Kinds Of Slots Can I Play At Sweepstakes Casinos?
Sweepstakes casinos feature a range of slots. Both Chumba and LuckyLand offer a nice variety. But Chumba’s slots catalog boasts almost 70 options versus LuckyLand with just around 40.
Despite being categorized as social gaming, the variety of slots are comparable to a regular online casino. You can find classic three-reel options, five-reel all-ways-pays slots, and everything between.
Where both Texas sweepstakes casinos fall short is the navigation. There’s no way to see what the slot is like unless you click on it. There’s no search bar. At LuckyLand, you have to side scroll through three options at a time. At Chumba, it’s a large grid of games.
Based on that, here are some tips on choosing a sweepstakes slot in Texas:
- Choose based on themes, such as fantasy, Vegas, animals, and action and adventure.
- Play with Gold Coins to try out games until you find one you like.
- Stick to the progressive jackpots for the biggest potential payout.
- Search for top slots lists from the Chumba community.
Progressive Sweepstakes Slots
If you’re in Chumba via Gold Coin (GC) play, the listed progressive jackpots will be in GC. At the time of writing this article, the largest progressive was over 36 billion GC on the slot Long Zhi Bao Zang.
If you’re viewing the progressives in Sweeps Coins (SC) mode, you can see million-dollar jackpots. On April 4, 2019, Chumba member Donnalyn K. won enough SC on a progressive jackpot to become a millionaire.
Other Games At LuckyLand And Chumba
- Scratch games (LuckyLand)
- Blackjack (Chumba)
- American roulette (Chumba)
- Jacks or Better video poker (Chumba)
FendOff Social Sports Casino Games In Texas
FendOff added a couple of casino games on top of their sports and racebooks. These include:
- Casino Stud Poker
- Casino Texas Hold’em
How Do Purchases Work At Sweepstakes Casinos And Poker Rooms?
Purchases at Texas online sweepstakes are more straightforward than they initially appear.
You can’t outright purchase Sweeps Coins (SC). Instead, you have to buy Gold Coins (GC). The SC are part of the purchase if you buy a certain amount.
When a site says that a purchase of GC “may” result in receiving SC, they simply mean that it depends on if you buy the minimum.
The best example of how this works is Chumba. When you buy at least GC 1,000,000 for $5 USD, you receive SC 5.05.
You can buy up to GC 120,000,000, which comes with SC 315.
Every game is available for both GC and SC play. This includes the progressive jackpot slots and all table games.
For as little as $1 USD, you can buy GC 500,000, which does not include any SC.
You also have to purchase based on preset amounts. That means you can’t purchase $15 worth of GC, you have to choose from the different packages.
The maximum purchase is $300 USD. There is no maximum redemption.
What Do I Have To Do Before I Can Redeem My Sweeps Coins?
If you receive SC 315 after purchasing GC 120,000,000 for $300, you can’t simply redeem your SC for a cash prize. Instead, all sweepstakes sites categorize SC versus Cleared SC.
To have Cleared SC, you simply need to play the games with your SC. For example, if you use SC 1.00 to play a slot and win your SC back, you’d have SC 1.00 cleared.
We reached out to Chumba customer support to be sure, so we can say with confidence that this SC to Cleared SC policy applies to both the slots and table games in Texas.
Other Online Gambling In Texas
Outside of sweepstakes casino sites, the Texas online gambling landscape is relatively barren. Players don’t have many ways to play online outside of a few limited options. Here’s a rundown of where each form of online gambling stands in the Lone Star State.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Texas has a fairly complex legal landscape with regard to Daily Fantasy Sports. State legislators, the attorney general, and Daily Fantasy Sports operators have been in tight contention over whether DFS should be legal in the state.
For now, DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo! and other operators still offer Daily Fantasy Sports contests to Texans. It seems the state is more concerned with determining whether DFS is lawful rather than prosecuting anyone who participates. So for now, Daily Fantasy Sports is a safe betting alternative for Texans while sports betting remains illegal in the state.
Texas expressly prohibits online horse race betting anywhere in the state. Off-track betting is also prohibited. Instead, bettors must visit one of the state’s licensed race tracks to gamble on horse racing.
Even compared to other states with conservative stances on gambling, Texas law is fairly strict. Many states offer OTB facilities or allow online horse race wagering sites to operate freely even with other forms of online gambling barred.
For now, it seems Texas will hold steady in its stance, with no signs of legal online horse race betting on the horizon.
Generally, horse racing is similar to sports betting, and many states that embrace one also embrace the other. If Texas eventually lightens its restrictions on sports betting, look for horse race betting laws at the same time or shortly thereafter.
The Lone Star State does not allow the purchase of lottery tickets by mail, phone, or internet. Anyone wishing to purchase a lottery ticket in Texas has to visit a licensed retailer.
The Texas Lottery does offer an app for iOS and Android. Ticket sales are prohibited on the app as well, but it allows players to scan draw games and tickets to check if they’re winners, save lottery numbers, check jackpot amounts, view winning numbers, and locate licensed retail lottery sellers.
State legislators have shown no intent to legalize online lottery in the near- or mid-term future in Texas.
Online Casinos For Real Money
Online casinos are prohibited by Texas state law.
This looks incredibly unlikely to change any time soon. No bills to legalize online casinos have even been suggested among state legislators. The state’s historic opposition to gaming expansion of any kind looks like it will hold firm here. The same goes for online poker.
Online Sports Betting
In 2019, Texas lawmaker Eddie Lucio III introduced a sports betting bill that would regulate sportsbooks in the state. The bill did not move forward. There’s hope, though, in 2021. Two Texas States Representatives introduced bills early in the year to legalize online sports betting in Texas. It is unclear when, or even if, they will pass.
Of all online gambling forms, sports betting has received the most recent traction in the United States. Despite the current stark outlook for sports betting in Texas, it may likely be the first form of online gaming to become truly legal in The Lone Star State.
When that will be (if it will happen at all) is uncertain. But as states embrace the possibilities of revenue and job generation that sports betting provides, there’s a glimmer of hope that Texas may eventually join the fray and offer legal sportsbooks.
For now, Daily Fantasy Sports are the closest alternative available to Texas bettors.
The Lone Star State’s Online Gaming History
There’s very little history of which to tell when it comes to Texas’ online gaming past. The state has always held firm in its opposition to games of chance, even going so far as to prohibit all but two casinos from operating in the state.
The online arena is no different, with Texas law strictly prohibiting digital gaming in nearly all forms.
Federal Online Gaming Laws
The US government prohibited all forms of online gambling under the Federal Wire Act of 1961. Since then, different legal and government entities have argued over what, exactly, that law covers. The Justice Department declared in 2011 that the law only applied to sports betting.
Texas is still completely opposed to online gambling. Even a landmark Federal resolution allowing online gaming wouldn’t spark an immediate upheaval of the Lone Star State’s gaming laws.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), struck down by the United States Supreme Court in 2018, is the perfect example.
PASPA And Sports Betting
The SCOTUS decision to declare PASPA unconstitutional allowed states to enact their own sports betting laws. Many opted to allow the practice and have already regulated and launched full-fledged sports betting options for retail and digital. Texas, meanwhile, has made no such move despite the great success sports betting has been for states like New Jersey or Pennsylvania. As it stands, generally conservative states have been less likely to allow online sports betting, and Texas is among them.
Texas hasn’t shown any intent to legalize sports betting even with federal restrictions lifted, so there’s very little to latch onto in terms of hope for Texas’ online betting future.
Live Gambling In Texas
Texas law prohibits gambling, even in land-based properties, with only a few key exceptions. The state grants the right for Native American Tribes to open casinos on tribal land as part of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. The federal law allowed the National Indian Gaming Commission to regulate gaming for tribal properties.
Instead of moving to expand gaming in any meaningful way, Texas law makes it difficult to stay afloat. This is true even if a casino already operates legally under Tribal regulations. There are only two casinos and a handful of race tracks open in the state.
Gambling In Texas At A Glance
|Is lottery legal in Texas?||Yes, but you cannot purchase tickets online. Retail-only.|
|Does Texas have racetracks?||Yes|
|Does Texas have casinos?||Yes, there are two land-based casinos in Texas|
|What is Texas’ minimum gambling age?||21 (18 for lottery and Daily Fantasy Sports)|
|Who regulates Texas casinos?||The National Indian Gaming Commission oversees Texas’ two casinos|
Texas Casino And Racing Overview
Texas’ two casinos are Naskila Gaming, owned and operated by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, and Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel, owned and operated by the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas.
The casino landscape in Texas is small, with only two properties open. Casinos face long legal battles with the state of Texas to stay open, making it difficult for any new casinos to open. Because Texas is less friendly to gambling than most other states, casino operators stay clear to avoid undue costs or loss of revenue due to strict state limitations.
The one minor exception to Texas’ anti-gambling stance is horse racing. Though bettors can’t wager online, there are a few race tracks in the Lone Star State.
For Texans close to the border and willing to travel, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana all have active casinos a short distance outside of the Lone Star State.
For anyone looking to play at a land-based gambling destination in Texas, here’s a rundown of the properties that offer casino gaming or horse race betting.
|Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel||Eagle Pass||Casino|
|Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie||Grand Prairie||Racetrack|
|Sam Houston Race Park||Houston||Racetrack|
|Gillespie County Fairgrounds||Fredericksburg||Racetrack|
Texas Horse Racing
Texas has a horse race wagering scene. Four race tracks operate in the state and offer pari-mutuel wagering on those races.
Recent decades have brought tough times for Texas racecourses, however. Manor Downs closed in 2010 after financial struggles while Bandera Downs, years earlier, filed for bankruptcy in 1995.
There are a few racetracks remaining in Texas that still offer pari-mutuel betting. However, the state does not allow online or off-track betting at all, giving tracks a slim chance for meaningful revenue outside of in-person attendance and wagers.
Texas Online Gambling Options
|Online Gambling Type||Legal Status In Texas|
|Online Casino||Illegal in Texas|
|Online Sports Betting||Illegal in Texas|
|Online Horse Race Betting||Illegal in Texas|
|Online Lottery||Lottery tickets are available only at licensed retailers in Texas|
|Daily Fantasy Sports||Offered in Texas, not explicitly legal or illegal by state law|
|Sweepstakes Casinos||Available to Texas players|
|Sweepstakes Poker Sites||Available to Texas players|
More Information About Gambling In Texas
- Texas Lottery Homepage
- National Indian Gaming Commission Homepage
- FindLaw Texas Gambling Law Hub
- Texas State Law Library: Gambling Laws
Texas Online Gambling FAQs
Yes. however, your options are limited. Texas only has two casinos: Kickapoo Eagle Pass and Naskila Gaming in Livingston.
Those are the only two properties currently operating in the state. Texas law restricts gaming expansion, making it very difficult for new casinos, even those run by Native American tribes, to open in the state.
The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) oversees the state’s tribal casinos from a regulatory standpoint.
The Racing Commission of Texas governs horse and greyhound racing, and the Texas Lottery is regulated by the Texas Lottery Commission.
No. Even though the United States Supreme Court declared the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional in 2018, that only opened the door for states to legalize sports betting.
Texas has made no moves to regulate sports betting either in the retail or online formats. A few state lawmakers have introduced bills that would regulate sports betting, but the bills have received no support, leaving Texas a state without any sportsbooks online or otherwise.
No. Texas has a number of laws that restrict gambling in most forms, online among them. The only legal forms of gambling in Texas are in-person pari-mutuel wagering on horse races, land-based casino gaming at one of the state’s two casinos, and the state lottery.
There are DFS operators in the state and some sweepstakes casino and poker sites that accept Texas players.
18 years old. You have to be a legal adult to play at the sweepstakes casinos, FendOff Sports, and Global Poker.
If you’re under the age of 21, you’re not even permitted onto the casino floor at Texas’s tribal casino. States with legal online gambling also require that players are 21 and up. So those between 18 and 20 have the sweepstakes sites as their only legal casino game option.
You can win cash prizes at sweepstakes sites by redeeming cleared Sweeps Coins.
Uncleared Sweeps Coins are included in some purchases of Gold Coins. Sweeps Coins are cleared for redemption once they’re used to play at a casino game.
At Chumba, the minimum number of Sweeps Coins you need before redeeming is 100. At LuckyLand, the minimum is 50.
Players can also redeem Sweeps Coins for gift cards to popular retailers, but the minimum is the same.
Global Poker is generally busy at all times. However, if you like to play the more obscure games—like Sit & Go Omaha for example—you’ll want to join in during peak times.
The peak time to play at online poker sites is generally between 6:00 PM and 12:00 AM. But keep timezones in mind. Because the vast majority of Texas is in Central Time, peak hours are between 5:00 PM and 2:00 AM to account for the east and west coasts.