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This legal research guide provides information about gambling laws in Texas, including charitable bingo, raffles, and eight-liners.

Research from Home

If you have a library account in good standing, you can check out an OverDrive e-Book title or access our remote databases. Don't have a library account? Texas residents can register for a library account from home! Learn more about how to register from home.

For more information on your topic, please try searching our eBook collection or electronic databases.

Resources at the State Law Library

Below are some of the library resources that can provide further guidance on this topic. The Texas State Law Library has many other resources in addition to the highlights we present below. Please call us at (512) 463-1722 if you have any questions about these materials.

Gambling in Texas

The term "gambling" as defined by Texas law may cover many activities, including raffles, bingo, gambling machines, and poker nights. Before engaging in these activities, please read the information below to ensure that the activity you are participating in is conducted legally. 

Texas and Federal Law

Below you will find references to areas of the Texas Penal and Occupations Codes and federal law that govern gambling and issues related to gambling. If you find these statutes difficult to understand, you may want to look at the "plain English" resources on this page or speak to an attorney.

Explained in "Plain English"

Because Texas and federal law may not be easy to understand, below you'll find a collection of resources that help to explain the law in "plain English."

The Eight-Liner Controversy

Gaming devices known as "eight-liners" are a topic of debate and controversy in Texas. Below are some sources of information that explain the debate and shed some light on the legal aspects of their use.

Statements from State Agencies on Gambling

Find official statements from state agencies on specific aspects of gambling.

Who Can I Contact?

The Texas Lottery Commission is the state agency that oversees the lottery system as well as charitable bingo operations in the state of Texas. For more information on charitable bingo operations, including information on applying for an operator's license, please visit their site below.

Legal Research Guides from the Texas State Law Library

The Texas State Law Library reference librarians have compiled legal research guides for specific areas of the law. These guides contain resources that can help you research a legal issue. The American Association of Law Libraries has a guide for Non-Lawyers on How to Research a Legal Problem [PDF]. If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 463-1722 or at


The information provided on this page has been prepared for general information purposes only and should not be construed as, nor substituted for, legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for advice specific to your fact situation. Your local bar association or the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service (1-800-252-9690) can assist you with locating an attorney.

Some of the electronic resources we refer to in this guide may be in PDF format. Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view PDFs.

Ask a Librarian

If you need help with a reference question, you may ask a librarian...

  (844) 829-2843 (toll-free) or (512) 463-1722
  Visit us at 205 W. 14th St in Austin
 PO Box 12367, Austin TX, 78711-2367