Games of chance are a popular form of entertainment. Due to the potentially abusive nature of this pastime, professionally organized gaming entertainment is strictly prohibited throughout most of Texas. There are a few minor exceptions to this rule.
The Definition of Gambling
Gambling is considered to be any activity where two or more people agree to profit or lose economic value based on the result of a chance occurrence. This definition makes all casino-style games like cards, dice, slot machines, and other casino games illegal. It also restricts betting on sporting and other public events.
What Is Permitted
The law makes an exception for dog and horse racing. The host of a racing event must have a valid permit and be responsible to ensure that all regulations are followed. You should always consult with a criminal defense attorney to clarify requirements in order to prevent being the subject of an investigation.
Private games are still permitted in Texas. A group of friends can gamble socially without breaking the law as long as the host does not profit from the games. All players must have an equal chance of winning and losing. You can enjoy your neighborhood card game as long as everyone is treated fairly and equally.
On Native American lands the gambling laws in Texas are inapplicable. This allows for a limited number of casinos to operate inside the state. Private event companies may also offer casino style parties for special events. These agencies may not profit from the games or take any portion of the winnings.