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This legal research guide provides information about gambling laws in Texas.

General Information

What is Considered Gambling in Texas?

Texas is one of the strictest states when it comes to gambling. Section 47.02 of the Texas Penal Code states someone commits an offense if they:

  • make a bet on the partial or final result of a game or contest or on the performance of a participant in a game or contest;
  • make a bet on the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or on the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or
  • play and bet for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, balls, or any other gambling device.

There are some exceptions to the law. Exceptions include the state lottery and certain types of animal racing. The law also provides for some affirmative defenses to prosecution.

The first page of this guide will provide you with an overview of the Texas laws on gambling. The subsequent pages will discuss more specific topics like bingo, eight-liners and poker.

Gambling in Texas

Below you will find references to areas of Texas and federal law related to gambling. If you find these statutes difficult to understand, please see the Understanding the Law resources below for a "plain English" explanation of these laws.

Texas Law

Federal Law

Understanding the Law

Attorney General Opinions

Below you will find links to Texas Attorney General opinions issued on gambling. While attorney general opinions can be persuasive, they are not binding. Interpretation of state law is left to the courts.