Can You Play Online Poker in Texas?
No, you cannot play poker online for real money in Texas. Although the game is quite popular in Texas, with the city of Robstown being recognized as the birthplace of one of the most popular forms of poker (Texas Hold’em), the law in Texas prohibits gambling, which may be interpreted to include online poker.
Why Not? What Are the Online Poker Laws in Texas?
Texas has a long and fascinating history with the game of poker. Yet, the game (like many other forms of gambling) has not been legalized within the state. Title 10, Chapter 47 of the state’s statutes prohibits gambling, which may be interpreted to include playing Texas online poker for money.
The law does have some legal gray areas that may be explored by poker enthusiasts who want to play poker over the Internet. As long as it is played at home and the only financial gain you receive from playing is what is due to you as a player, you are not subject to any form of prosecution by the law.
Despite this technicality, online poker sites are still prohibited from operating in Texas, which leaves players with offshore gambling sites as the only option for Texas online poker. Offshore sites like Ignition and ACR Poker accept registration from players in Texas and let you play for real money. These sites are run by companies licensed outside the United States, which means they’re not subject to the state’s laws. However, playing on these sites comes with inherent risks.
MyPokerCoaching does not recommend playing poker on offshore sites because of the safety concerns on these sites. There are no guarantees of fair gaming practices on offshore sites due to weak standards in locations where these sites are licensed. Also, players have no guarantees of getting their money, and there’s a high risk of the site getting shut down unexpectedly, which has been known to cause huge financial losses for players in the past.
Potential Texas Poker Sites to Launch in the Future
Poker has been popular in Texas for many years, but the state is still to regulate online poker sites. There have been several attempts at it over the years, but so far, none have come to fruition.
It is a pretty safe bet that online poker in TX will be regulated at some point in the future, so the only real question is when. While it’s hard to give any definitive answer at this point in time, we continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated with any important developments.
When online poker is finally legal in TX, there are a few sites that we can expect to go live. These are all operators with a major presence in the regulated US market, and they’ll likely jump at the opportunity to expand their presence.
BetMGM Poker Texas
BetMGM has established itself as a household name in the regulated US online poker space, and the operator will likely be among the first to stake a claim in such an attractive new market.
We expect BetMGM Poker will bring out a platform similar to that in other states like PA, MI, and NJ. A poker client powered by the PartyPoker technology offers a modern and very reliable solution for all online poker fans, even if it is not as rich in functionalities as some other platforms.
In terms of game variety, players can look forward to a nice mix of online tournaments, a wide range of cash game stakes, and, in all likelihood, BetMGM Poker’s staple SPINS – a hugely popular sit & go variation featuring a random jackpot.
It is also likely that BetMGM Poker TX will come out of the gate swinging, offering a generous welcome bonus. With what’s likely to be heavy competition in the state, all sites will look for ways to stand out, and this is generally a good thing for the players.
Although the company couldn’t enter the US before 2016, PokerStars has established itself as a staple name of online poker in the country, just like they have done in the global market.
Once the regulation is finally passed, the launch of PokerStars is pretty much a guarantee. This is especially true if the state passes a law with the expectation of joining the MSIGA, as the operator seems eager to take advantage of opportunities provided by interstate poker.
But even without that particular element, TX is a big enough market on its own.
What PokerStars brings to the table is the operator’s experience in organizing major online series, first and foremost. US versions of ‘COOP events have been hugely successful in all states where the site currently has a presence, and there is no reason to think Texas would be an exception.
PokerStars also offers one of the best software solutions for desktop computers and mobile devices alike. This enhances the player experience and certainly helps push the site towards the top of the list when deciding where to play.
The third TX poker site likely to go live as soon as legal requirements are met is WSOP.com. Right now, WSOP is the only operator present in all regulated US markets with active poker sites, and the company is on the constant lookout for expansion opportunities.
WSOP.com has one trump card that no other operators can match, which is its ability to host bracelet-awarding events and exclusive satellites to live World Series of Poker tournaments. This has helped the operator remain competitive across the country.
A launch in a new state would likely mean an exclusive bracelet series, giving players in the state great opportunities to win some WSOP silverware from the comfort of their home, and if past experience is any indicator, this is an opportunity that players jump on.
WSOP should have no problem claiming its fair share of the new market despite competitors, with the operators’ numbers surging during major live and online events.