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Texas Gambling Laws

Despite the popularity of Texas Hold 'Em, betting on card games is illegal in the Lone Star State. In fact, Texas gambling laws are relatively strict and only allow residents and visitors to bet on horse racing and greyhound dog racing. Some exceptions to the rule include "social gambling" (such as office pools), bingo, and chartitable raffles. As a rule of thumb, betting on games of chance (other than horse or dog racing) is prohibited in Texas.

The following table highlights the basic provisions of Texas gambling laws. See Details on State Gambling Laws for more general information.

Code Section PEN 47.01 et seq.; Civ. St. 179e
Gambling Agreement to win or lose something of value solely or partially by chance.
Horse Racing/Off-Track Betting Licensed horse racing; simulcast races and on-track pari-mutuel wagering are legal.
Dog Racing/Off-Track Betting Limit of three racetrack licenses for greyhound racing. Simulcast races and on-track pari-mutuel wagering are legal.
Casinos Allowed? Keeping a gambling place is prohibited.
Other Kinds of Gambling-Related Activities Allowed or Banned Promoting gambling; keeping a place of gambling, communicating gambling information; possessing gambling devices with intent to further gambling illegal. Social gambling; bingo and raffles sponsored by charitable organizations allowed. Bona fide contests of skill allowed.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Texas gaming attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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