Texas Online Horse Race Betting

Texas is generally opposed to gambling in almost every form. This is especially true of online betting, which the Lone Star State prohibits across the board. The only truly legal gambling options for Texans are the state’s two land-based casinos and a handful of race tracks. 

Some states with similarly restrictive online gambling laws still allow online pari-mutuel horse race betting, Texas stands firm and prohibits online horse race betting, giving residents precious few options for placing wagers on races. 

A previous legal loophole allowed horse race bettors to wager online, but in 2013 the last of the state’s remaining online horse race betting sites stopped its operation in the state. 

List Of Online Horse Race Betting Sites In Texas

Unfortunately, there are no sites that can legally accept horse racing bets in Texas. Instead, players have to visit one of the state’s race tracks to get in on the action. 

Should Texas move to legalize online horse race betting in the future, there are a few operators who will definitely join the fray. Some of the online horse betting sites operate in more than half of the US states. This means that Texas is in the minority in its stance toward online horse race betting. More than 30 states allow it in some form while Texas prohibits it. If Texas decides to legalize online horse race betting sometime in the future, these operators will almost certainly enter the market. 

TVG Network

TVG is owned by FanDuel Group, which is in turn a US subsidiary of Flutter Entertainment. Both FanDuel and Flutter are big names in the sports betting industry, and TVG’s horse race betting product lives up to that name. It’s one of the premier destinations for online horse race betting in legal jurisdictions.

TVG users can palace bets over the phone, via mobile, or on a computer. 

If Texas were to allow online pari-mutuel betting, it’s a safe bet TVG would be one of the first to market.

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TwinSpires

Churchill Downs Incorporated owns TwinSpires, another top-tier online horse race betting site. It’s the official wagering site of the Kentucky Derby, but there are hundreds of other races available on TwinSpires, too. Bettors can wager on mobile, desktop, and via phone. 

New players on the TwinSpires platform get a $100 sign-up bonus and rotating promotions. 

Xpressbet

The Stronach Group owns Xpressbet, another heavy hitter in the horse racing industry. It offers mobile, phone, and desktop wagering like its counterpart. 

New Xpressbet users can get a $10 bonus plus up to $500 as a 10% rebate over their first 30 days of betting. 

What Types Of Bonuses Are Available For Online Horse Betting In Texas

Texans unfortunately can’t access horse race betting bonuses because it’s illegal in the state. 

Bettors in legal states can claim some excellent bonuses, however. Here are a few common bonuses at legal online horse race betting sites. 

No Deposit Bonus

Many sites offer this bonus type as a simple “thank you” for signing up. No deposit bonuses are usually between $10 and $50, but they can reach much higher amounts in competitive markets. The bonus hits your account before you even make a deposit, so it’s one of the easiest promotions to claim. 

Betting Rebate

Xpressbet is known to offer a betting rebate of up to $500 over your first 30 days with the site. The operator will give you 10% back on each bet you make until you reach the $500 max or your 30 days expires. To claim the full bonus, you would need to bet $5,000 in 30 days. That’s a lot for a casual bettor, but even a modest $300 in wagers over the first month would still get you a $30 bonus. 

If you plan to bet a lot, rebate bonuses are a great way to maximize the value of your horse race betting experience. 

Refer A Friend

TVG offers a referral bonus of $25. If you refer a friend and they sign up and make a $10 deposit, you each get a $25 free bet.

In legal markets, this can be a great way to amp up the value of your account and get a number of free bets to help boost your account. 

List Of Horse Race Tracks In Texas

RacetrackCityYear Founded
Gillespie County Race Track (Fairgrounds)Fredericksburg1953
Lone Star ParkGrand Prairie1997
Sam Houston Race ParkHouston1994
Retama ParkSelma1995
Valley Race ParkHarlingen2000

Lone Star Park

Lone Star Park is located in Grand Prairies, Texas. The track opened in 1997 and hosts live racing on various days of the week, usually focused on Saturdays and Sundays. 

The track hosts various stakes races, including the Nevill Stakes, the Texas Arabian Derby and the Olympio Joe Stakes. 

Sam Houston Race Park

Opened in 1994, Sam Houston hosts thoroughbred live racing and has a variety of simulcast options for horse racing enthusiasts. 

The track’s 2021 calendar includes races Thursday through Sunday in January, April, May, and June. February and March have a heavier slate of races with thoroughbred contests running Wednesdays through Sundays. 

Sam Houston Race Park also has camel, ostrich, and wiener dog racing as special events.

Retama Park

Selma’s Retama Park has live racing all summer. July and August are the busiest months, hosting quarter horse races on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Retama also has a wall packed with TV screens for simulcast viewing. 

Is Online Horse Race Betting Legal In Texas?

Horse race betting is unfortunately prohibited in Texas. The state is very conservative with its gambling laws. Only two land-based casinos are open in Texas, and the state is strongly opposed to constructing any more. Race tracks are allowed, and there are a few peppered throughout Texas. Online betting in all forms, though, is illegal. 

Brief History of Horse Racing In Texas

Most of Texas’ race tracks have been active since the 1990s, but business has steadily declined over recent years. Still, there are a handful of tracks in the state that continue to run races and take bets. 

The state legalized pari-mutuel wagering in 1933, but legislators reversed the law in 1937. Fifty years later in 1987, Texas re-legalized pari-mutuel horse race betting. It’s one of the only legal forms of gambling available today in the Lone Star state, alongside land-based casino gaming at the state’s two casinos. 

Online betting remains out of reach. It was previously allowed in Texas, but a 2011 amendment to the Texas Racing Act led to the prohibition of online pari-mutuel betting.

TwinSpires, the last remaining operator in Texas, shut down in 2013. The company sued, claiming the amendment was in violation of the US Constitution’s Commerce Clause. The Lawsuit failed and the operator pulled out of the Lone Star State, leaving no online horse race betting sites available to Texans. 

How Safe Is Online Horse Betting In Texas

Simply put: it’s not. Texas completely prohibits online horse race betting. If you find a site claiming to offer pari-mutuel wagers online in Texas, it is certainly an illegal operation and is very risky to use. 

Offshore and grey market sites can be careless with customer data, so you’re putting more than just your money at risk. Your personal information has no guaranteed safety at offshore operators.  

Though the appeal of online betting is strong thanks to convenience and ease of use, it’s best to stay away from these options in Texas. Instead, stick to retail betting locations with simulcast wagering. 

What Races Can You Bet On In Texas?

You can bet on a wide variety of horse races in Texas. 

Popular Horse Racing Events In Texas

Texas race tracks each have their own individual schedule of live racing events, including thoroughbred and quarter horse races. Check your preferred race track’s schedule for a full listing, and keep an eye out for unique events like camel or ostrich races. 

Important American And International Races

Texas race tracks offer betting on races outside of the state, including flagship events like the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. You might also encounter bets on big international races like the UK’s Grand National. 

Do Race Tracks in Texas Offer Casino Games?

Texas race tracks are solely dedicated to racing. There are no race tracks in the state that offer casino games. 

This is a result of Texas’ strong anti-gambling stance. State legislators are vehemently opposed to any form of gambling expansion, even if it would boost revenue for in-state businesses such as race tracks. 

This is evident in Texas’ casino outlook, too. The state has two tribal casinos that have faced many legislative challenges. Meanwhile, the government prohibits the construction of new casinos anywhere within the sprawling state. 

Does Texas Have OTB Facilities?

Off-track betting facilities are another no-go for Texans. Many states allow OTBs for race tracks to earn extra revenue and expand their presence throughout legal markets. Texas prohibits OTBs, and that doesn’t look to change any time soon. 

Instead, bettors need to stick to licensed and regulated racing facilities to place their bets. 

This outlook is in line with Texas’ thinking toward other forms of gambling. The state wants to prevent the spread of gaming in any form. OTBs would violate that stance, so it’s unlikely we’ll see any facilities pop up in the Lone Star State. 

Texas Online Horse Race Betting FAQ

Are there racinos in Texas?

No. Texas has two casinos and a handful of race tracks, but there’s no overlap among them. Race tracks offer horse race betting and simulcast wagering in the state. The two casino properties in Texas offer casino games, but no horse racing.

Is TVG Horse Racing legal in Texas?

No. Texas completely bans all forms of online gambling, including horse race betting. 

Online horse race betting at platforms like TVG was once legal in Texas, but a 2011 amendment to the Texas Racing Act outlawed these operations. TwinSpires, a notable TVG competitor, was booted from the state in 2013 following a failed lawsuit, leaving Texans with no online horse race betting options.

Is the BetAmerica horse race betting site legal in Texas?

No. Texas does not allow any online horse race betting or any online gambling at all, for that matter. 

Texas horse racing enthusiasts have to place their bets in-person at a licensed track. There are no online betting sites or off-track betting facilities in Texas.

Can I bet on Triple Crown races in Texas?

Yes. You can bet on the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and Preakness Stakes in Texas via simulcast wagering at one of the state’s licensed race tracks.

How old do you have to be to bet on horse races in Texas?

21 or above. Anyone 21 or older can place a bet in person at a Texas race track. 21 is also the minimum age for casino gaming in Texas. 18 is the minimum age to play the Texas Lottery.

Can I watch horse racing on a live stream in Texas?

Yes. Though you can’t place bets online, there’s no law prohibiting you from streaming races live. Texas horse racing fans can watch live on a number of sites. TVG Network is well-known for its live streams, and they are accessible to anyone regardless of betting laws.

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is a Chicago-based freelance writer in the gambling, media, and entertainment space. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns. Prior to freelance writing, Cole spent seven years in communications at a gambling and lottery supplier. Cole writes for a number of online and print publications, including The Quill To Live, a book review site.