Texas Legal Poker 2017
Searching high and low for legal poker sites in Texas? It is perhaps ironic that in the home of Texas Hold'em and the great road gamblers like Amarillo Slim and another legend who took his moniker from the Lone Star State - Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson - online poker is unregulated.
Yes, when it comes to online poker Texas is an oddball. Specifically, Texas bans "bets for money or other things of value at any game played with cards, dice, balls, or any other gambling device," so it's no wonder that the great card players of Texas took off over the desert to set up home in Las Vegas.
Many Lone Star State Senators have tried - and so far failed - to introduce pro-Internet poker laws in their state, and some have even pioneered federal laws governing poker on the net.
For now, however, finding the best poker sites in Texas is a case of sticking with unregulated rooms open to Americans. While legal poker sites in Texas are hard to come by, internationally regulated sites that serve Texans are a dime a dozen.
How Likely Is Texas to Regulate Internet Poker?
When it comes to regulated poker in America, Texas has been at the forefront - at least in regards to a federal change in the law. There's been a big push for legal poker sites in Texas and for a while it looked like online poker TX sites were about to become totally legit.
Legalized online Texas Hold'em games looked in the cards when Republican Senator Joe Barton proposed his Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013.
The Act - presented to the House of Representatives as HR 2666 - includes licensing for any firm wanting operate a poker site in the USA. Sites that accepted US bets post-UIGEA would only be temporarily barred from operating in America. Barton is a keen supporter of what he calls, "the all-American game - one based on skill, not chance." That's good news for online poker TX legal proponents.
Presidential Hopeful - A Fly In the Ointment?
As of August 2017, HR 2666 is still to be discussed in Washington, but any likelihood of it becoming law is reliant on it gaining widespread support.
That support may be shortcoming, at least closer to home.
You might want to listen to this if you're a fan of online poker. Texas Governor - and potential Republican presidential candidate for the 2015 election - Rick Perry is keen to stamp out any federal moves toward countrywide legislation.
Perry is among a group of politicians calling for a reversal of the Department of Justice's reinterpretation of the 1961 Wire Act. This move is also backed by casino heavyweight and political donor, Sheldon Adelson - whose Sands empire could possibly lose out if the USA legalized poker online.
However, Perry's position is at odds with that of Sen. Barton, who wants the Governor to instead back his plans to regulate US-wide.
What's the Live Poker Scene Like?
Ironically, given that the state gave its name to the most popular form of poker in the world, live poker clubs and gambling establishments are banned in Texas. Strange, right? The most famous variation of poker is banned in the state that shares its name. It's way easier to play at online poker TX sites than it is live.
However, concerns over budget deficits and tax dollars going to neighboring states like Louisiana - where some land-based casinos are allowed - has meant some legislation on allowing casinos in Texas may appear over time.
Moral concerns over gambling still persist, however, and so far all attempts by State Senators have been to influence a change in law on a federal level.
The Future of Legal Poker In Texas
The home of Texas Hold'em may have to wait until legalized poker on the web is introduced to the Lone Star State's many residents. So far, all attempts by the state's power men have been to force through legislation on a federal, rather than state, level. That means the online poker TX legal situation is really rocky.
Dallas-based Senator John Carona introduced Senate Joint Resolution #64 in 2013, which seeks to set up a Texas Gaming Commission - a stepping stone to legalized casino games and slots in licensed casinos in the Lone Star State.
Elsewhere, Texas Ballot Measure SJR No. 43 was introduced in 2013 by Sen. Leticia Van De Putte. The proposed resolution would allow for the state to opt-in to any new federal law legalizing online poker. Of course, a federal law has to be passed first.
Recently, Gambling Compliance published a report predicting up to 10 states that could forge ahead with regulated online gambling laws of their own.
Texas was not one of them, which means that online poker TX legal sites aren't exactly forthcoming.
Can I Play Online Poker Legally in Texas?
Currently, under Penal Code 47, any games of chance played with cards are illegal in Texas. However, no bill has ever been introduced specifically outlawing the playing of online poker in Texas. Various attempts are being made by state senators to push through intrastate online poker TX legislation.
What Age Do You Have to be To Gamble In Texas?
One tribal casino exists in the Lone Star State, and you must be 21 or over to visit and gamble there. If online poker Texas sites become regulated, 21 will likely be the age required to play.
Are There Any Live Casinos in Texas?
Lotteries and some parimutuel racetracks have been introduced and one tribal casino - offering poker games - currently operates outside state jurisdiction. Attempts have been made by state senators to force through legislation regarding live poker clubs on a state-wide level.
Can I Make Real Cash Deposits In Texas?
US players can play for American dollars at dozens of legal poker Texas sites in 2017. Under the limitations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), it may be difficult to have your payments processed, but making a deposit is possible. Make sure you're playing at legal poker sites in Texas that are regulated internationally if you want to get your hands on your winnings fast.