In 2023, the Texas legislature might legalize some sports betting and a few commercial casinos. But they’ll have to get voters on board during the next state election.
Now, casino gambling is off-limits in Texas, except on reservation land, where three tribes run casinos. They play Class II games, like non-banked card games and bingo-type slot machines, without any state oversight.
The minimum age for gaming varies in Texas: you gotta be 21 for casinos and poker, 18 for bingo, 21 for horse racing, and 18 for the lottery. Despite Texas banning casino gambling, the feds have given three tribes permission to build and operate casinos on their land under the U.S. Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Texas has been trying to shut these casinos down for years, even though they have sovereignty.
There are three casinos in Texas: the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass, Maverick County, run by the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas; the Speaking Rock Casino in El Paso, run by the Tigua Indians of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo; and the Naskila Casino in Livingston, Polk County, run by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court finally made a ruling on the Indian gaming controversy in Texas. They said Texas can’t stop tribes from having electronic bingo games because Texas allows bingo. Under the U.S. Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, Texas tribes have control over these casinos on their land.
Best Casinos in Texas
1. Kicpakoo Lucky Eagle Casino
Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino is a popular gaming venue located in Eagle Pass, Texas, operated by the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas. The casino features a vast array of games, including electronic and table games, with slot titles such as Timber Wolf, Lock It Link, and Dragon Link. The casino also has a bingo hall that can accommodate up to 1,000 players, with sessions held daily.
The casino features 3,000 gaming machines, a high-stakes poker room, and several table games. The casino launched in 1996, and players can expect to pay a small entrance fee to enter the venue.
In addition to gaming, Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino has several dining options, including a steakhouse, a Mexican restaurant, and a cafe. There’s also a bar and grill on site. For visitors who want to stay overnight, the casino has a hotel with over 200 rooms and suites. The hotel features a fitness center and a pool, as well as a complimentary shuttle service to and from the casino.
While the majority of customer reviews for Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino are positive, some guests have complained about long wait times for payouts and slow service at the restaurants. However, the casino has responded to these concerns and has taken steps to improve customer service. Overall, Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino is a popular gaming destination in Texas, with a wide range of amenities and entertainment options.
2. Speaking Rock Casino
Speaking Rock Casino is a casino and entertainment venue located in El Paso, Texas, operated by the Tigua Indians of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. The casino has a wide variety of electronic gaming machines, including slot machines, video poker, and electronic bingo, with some popular titles such as Fu Dao Le, 88 Fortunes, and Dragon Link.
The venue itself is spacious, featuring a large stage and seating area for live entertainment, as well as a sports bar and a restaurant with a range of food and drink options. The casino also hosts several events and promotions throughout the year, including concerts and giveaways.
Speaking Rock Casino does not have a hotel on site, but they partner with nearby hotels to offer discounted rates for guests. The casino also has a shuttle service that provides free transportation to and from the venue.
In the past, Speaking Rock Casino has faced legal challenges from the State of Texas over their right to offer certain types of gaming. As a result, the casino has had to adapt their offerings over time to comply with changing regulations. Despite these challenges, Speaking Rock Casino remains a popular gaming and entertainment destination in the El Paso area, with many visitors praising the venue for its atmosphere and variety of games.
3. Naskila Casino
Naskila Casino is a casino located in Livingston, Texas, operated by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas. The casino features a variety of electronic gaming machines, including slot machines, video poker, and electronic bingo, with popular titles such as Lightning Link, Buffalo Gold, and Wheel of Fortune.
Naskila Casino is smaller in size compared to some other casinos in Texas, with around 800 gaming machines, but still offers a good selection of games to choose from. The casino opened in 2016 and has a small entrance fee for visitors.
For dining, Naskila Casino has a cafe and a bar on site, serving a range of food and drink options. They also offer several promotions and events throughout the year, including giveaways and live entertainment.
There have been some customer complaints about the size of the casino, the limited selection of games, and occasional machine malfunctions, but these appear to be relatively minor issues that do not detract from the overall experience of visitors. Overall, Naskila Casino is a popular gaming destination in the Livingston area, offering a variety of electronic gaming options in a cozy, friendly atmosphere.
Texas Gambling Revenues
Gambling is currently illegal in the state of Texas, and as such, there are no official gambling revenues generated within the state. However, Texans do spend a significant amount of money at neighboring state casinos, which generates revenue for those states. According to a 2019 report by the American Gaming Association, Texans spent over $2.7 billion at casinos in Oklahoma and Louisiana, which are the closest states with legal casinos.
These revenues are allocated differently in each state. In Oklahoma, a portion of the gambling revenues goes to the state’s education fund, which supports public schools. In Louisiana, gambling revenues are allocated to several different programs, including the state’s general fund, the Louisiana Lottery Corporation, and programs for problem gambling treatment.
While Texans may be contributing to the gambling revenues of neighboring states, there is a push by some groups to legalize casino gambling in Texas in order to keep those revenues within the state. Proponents of legalizing casino gambling argue that it could bring in billions of dollars in tax revenue for the state and create jobs in the gaming industry.
However, opponents of legalizing gambling in Texas argue that it could lead to increased problem gambling and other negative social consequences. Additionally, any efforts to legalize gambling in Texas would likely face significant political and legal obstacles. As of now, it remains to be seen whether Texas will join the growing number of states that have legalized casino gambling.
Indian Gaming Tribes in Texas
There are three federally recognized Indian gaming tribes in Texas: the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas. Each of these tribes has a unique history and relationship with the state of Texas.
The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas was the first tribe to establish a gaming operation in Texas, opening the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in 1996. The casino has since become a major source of revenue for the tribe and has helped to fund important social and economic programs for the community.
The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, located near El Paso, also operates a gaming facility, the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center. However, the tribe has faced legal challenges from the state of Texas over the legality of its gaming operations, and the issue remains unresolved.
The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas also operates a gaming facility, the Naskila Gaming facility, located in Livingston. Like the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, the tribe has faced legal challenges from the state of Texas over the legality of its gaming operations.
Overall, the relationship between Indian gaming tribes in Texas and the state government has been contentious at times. The state has generally been opposed to the expansion of gaming operations, and there have been numerous legal battles over the years regarding the legality of these operations.
Indian Gaming Tribes in Texas:
- Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas
- Ysleta del Sur Pueblo
- Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas
Gambling Taxes in Texas
While casino gambling is currently illegal in Texas, Texans who gamble at casinos in neighboring states such as Oklahoma and Louisiana are still required to pay taxes on their winnings. In general, gambling winnings are considered taxable income by both the state and federal government, and Texans who win money at out-of-state casinos are required to report those winnings on their tax returns.
The amount of taxes that you will owe on your gambling winnings depends on the amount of money you win and your overall income. In Texas, the state income tax rate is zero, which means that you will not owe any state income taxes on your gambling winnings. However, you will still owe federal income taxes on those winnings, which are taxed at a progressive rate that ranges from 10% to 37%, depending on your overall income.
To report your gambling winnings on your tax return, you will need to use IRS Form W-2G, which is provided by the casino where you won the money. This form shows the amount of money you won and the amount of taxes that were withheld from your winnings. You will need to include this form when you file your federal tax return.
If you win a large amount of money at a casino, the casino may withhold taxes from your winnings at the time they are paid out. For example, if you win $5,000 or more at a slot machine or table game, the casino is required to withhold 24% of your winnings for federal income taxes. If the amount of your winnings is less than $5,000, the casino may still withhold taxes if you request it or if they determine that you owe taxes on your winnings.
Texas Gambling FAQ
How much can you win at Texas casinos before being taxed?
There are currently no legal casinos operating in Texas, so there is no set threshold for gambling winnings before taxes are due. However, if you gamble at a casino in a neighboring state and win more than $600, the casino may withhold taxes from your winnings and provide you with a W-2G tax form.
How to ban yourself from casinos in Texas?
Since there are no legal casinos in Texas, there is no formal self-exclusion program available. However, if you have a gambling problem, there are several resources available for help, including the Texas Council on Problem Gambling and the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Who regulates gambling in Texas?
The Texas Lottery Commission is responsible for regulating the state lottery, while the Racing Commission regulates horse and greyhound racing. However, there is no state agency that regulates casino gambling since it is currently illegal in Texas.
What is the minimum gambling age in Texas?
The legal gambling age in Texas depends on the type of gambling. For the state lottery, the minimum age is 18. For horse and greyhound racing, the minimum age is 21. Since casino gambling is illegal in Texas, there is no legal minimum age for that type of gambling.
Can I gamble online in Texas?
Online gambling is currently illegal in Texas, and there are no online casinos or poker rooms that are licensed by the state. However, many offshore online gambling sites do accept players from Texas.
What types of gambling are legal in Texas?
The only types of gambling that are legal in Texas are the state lottery and horse and greyhound racing. Casino gambling, including slot machines, table games, and poker, is currently illegal in the state.
Can I deduct gambling losses on my taxes in Texas?
While you cannot deduct gambling losses on your Texas state tax return, you may be able to deduct them on your federal tax return if you itemize your deductions. However, you can only deduct losses up to the amount of your gambling winnings for the year. Additionally, you will need to keep detailed records of your gambling losses and winnings in order to claim the deduction.