What most important to players is that daily fantasy sites are able to operate in Texas. The legislature seems disinclined to enact a legal ban, so players should be free to enjoy the games for the foreseeable future.
Technically, there is no clear legislation regarding DFS whether it’s even regarded as gambling, let alone whether it’s legal or not. Subsequently, daily fantasy in Texas has had a long on-and-off legal battle with the state government. FanDuel left the state over fears that Lone Star State officials might deem DFS as a game of luck, not skill, and then be able to ban it. Competitor DraftKings remained in Texas, the nation's second-most populated state, while challenging the state in court. In August 2018, the winds shifted in daily fantasy's favor and FanDuel returned to the market.
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Tradition is strong in Texas, and that tradition still has a lot of sway, especially when it comes to gambling laws. The Lone Star State actually outlawed gambling entirely at certain points during its history, although as with many other states around the country, increasing pressure to relax these restrictions is leading to changes, albeit slowly.
Currently, most standard forms of gambling are legal, albeit with limited opportunities to do so. That includes casinos and betting on both horse and dog races.
Charitable gambling, as well as social gambling, are also legal. That means you can still enjoy a few card games with pals on weekends, but things start to get far stricter when we look at online gaming.
While gambling laws in Texas can be quite complicated when we start looking at the details, the history of legislation is simple. It wasn't until the 20th century that major changes began to happen, and up until that point all gambling was illegal. There are still, as mentioned, many nuances in Texas gambling law—it's legal for a casino to operate slot machines for example, but illegal for them to pay cash prizes.
Unlike in some other states, where a gray area means players can still legally access and play online casinos, Texas online gaming is completely unspecified when it comes to legality. While there is no official law prohibiting them, online casinos are effectively prohibited in the state. This means you can't gamble on or access any online casino that is offering cash prizes.
Unfortunately, the same is true for online poker in Texas. Playing online poker on any gaming site that offers money or cash prizes is illegal. Again, this isn't currently explicitly stated in law and online poker itself is not singled out. But the state's broader gambling laws still have sway here. There are no avenues for online poker for money and no likelihood that that changes anytime soon.
A handful of states have legalized sports betting and up to two dozen more have introduced legislation to consider doing so. Texas is not among them. Though there is some push from lawmakers and gambling stakeholders, few efforts have gained traction. Neighboring Oklahoma and Louisianna have considered sports betting legislation, so that may spark a similar response in Austin. But Texas' long-standing opposition to most forms of gambling means any substantial change is a long shot.