Introduction to Texas Slot Machine Casino Gambling
Texas slot machine casino gambling consists of Class II bingo-style electronic gaming machines at American Indian tribal casinos as well as the gambling boat Jacks or Better Casino which sails to international waters from Galveston.
The state government of Texas has long challenged the legality of tribal gaming in Texas, with some successes, resulting in a dynamic history from the late 1980s through 2017. Notable events include
Texas also offers six large dog and horse racetracks with pari-mutuel wagering, but these facilities do not offer any electronic gaming machines.
This post continues the weekly blog series “Slot Machine Casino Gambling, State-By-State“, a year-long online resource project dedicated to guiding slot machine gambling enthusiasts to success.
Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling*
The minimum legal age for cruise ship casino gambling and pari-mutual wagering in Texas is 21. It is 18 for the lottery. For bingo, anyone less than 18 must be accompanied by a parent. The tribal casinos in Texas are open daily for 24 hours.
Texas has three federally-recognized American Indian tribes, including:
- Alabama-Coushatta Tribe;
- Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas; and
- Tigua tribe of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo.
The Texas state government and the federally-recognized tribes in Texas have, so far, been unable to successfully negotiate any state-tribal compacts to allow Class III Vegas-style gambling.
There have been substantial law suits by the Texas state government to shut down tribal casinos offering Class II gaming, with some successes. Various court filings and rulings regarding the legality of tribal casinos in Texas have continued since the late 1980s to as recently as 2017.
In brief, Texas has challenged the legality of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988 based on the argument that the Restoration Act of 1987 took precedence. This Restoration Act gave federal recognition to the Tigua and Alabama-Coushatta tribes, while also specifically forbidding gambling.
These legal challenges have resulted in the conversion of one former tribal casino, the Speaking Rock Casino operated by the Alabama-Coushatta tribe, into the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership
It is legal to privately own a slot machine in the state of Texas without a legislative restriction on the date of manufacture of the machine.
State Gaming Commission
The great U.S. state of Texas does not have a state gaming commission responsible for slot machine gambling, nor has it negotiated any state-tribal compacts with sovereign nation American Indian tribes within its borders.
However, the Texas Lottery Commission is the state agency which regulates the Texas Lottery.
Besides Texas continually challenging the legality of tribal gaming within their state as far back as the late 1980s, there is also a long history of gambling boats being quite unsuccessful businesses.
Gambling boats have operated out of Texas ports, taking passengers on one-day trips to international waters, where there are no state gaming regulations. Changes as to which gambling ports operate out of which Texas ports, if any, have occurred nearly constantly since 1988. The only current gambling boat is the Jacks or Better Casino, which docks at and sails from the port of Galveston.
Texas also offers one greyhound racetrack and five horse racetracks, all offering pari-mutuel wagering, but not offering any electronic gaming machines.
The largest casino in Texas is the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel . It has over 3,300 gaming machines and a private poker room as well as offering bingo five days a week.
The second largest casino is the only other casino in Texas, Naskila Gaming, located 15 miles east of Livingston, having 800 electronic gaming machines.
The four casinos in Texas are or were:
- Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel is a tribal casino in Eagle Pass, located 143 miles southwest from San Antonio.
- Speaking Rock Entertainment Center is in El Paso, formerly a casino, owned and operated by the Tigua tribe of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. Due to losing a court decision, this casino was closed in 2002. At present, it operates as a large event center.
- Naskila Gaming is a tribal casino in Livingston, located 74 miles north-northeast from Houston.
- Jacks or Better Casino is a gambling boat which acts as a casino when sailing in international waters. Its home port is Galveston.
Summary of Texas Slot Machine Casino Gambling
In summary, Texas slot machine casino gambling consists of two tribal casinos and one gambling boat. The largest casino is in Eagle Pass, on the Mexican border near San Antonio. The second casino is outside of the city of Livingston, which is north-northeast of Houston.
The tribal casinos offer Class II electronic bingo games, which have a similar appearance to traditional slot machines. The gambling boat in Galveston is open to the public on Thursday through Sunday, but closed for private parties Monday through Wednesday.
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Main: Slot Machine Casino Gambling, State-By-State
- Previous: Tennessee Slot Machine Casino Gambling 2018 – Tennessee slot machine casino gambling does not exist. Why? Because, there are no commercial casinos, racetracks, or tribal casinos. Alternatively, a few of Tennessee’s seven neighboring states offer extensive slot machine casino gambling options, most notably within the great U.S. states of Mississippi and Missouri.
- Next: U.S. Virgin Islands Slot Machine Casino Gambling 2018 – U.S. Virgin Islands slot machine casino gambling consists of casinos on the island of St. Croix. Hurricanes Irma and Maria two weeks later, both category 5 storms, have devastated the island territory. Currently, the cruise ships port is in use, a hotel casino has reopened, but the casino resort is still under repair.
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