Texas is an interesting place to talk about with regard to gambling because it is a state that features a clash of liberal and conservative ideals. To make a long story short, it is the extremely conservative nature of the state that has won over things when it comes to gambling. There are very few casino options and that is something that does not look to be changing anytime soon. While this is the case, neighboring states boast casinos that are a constant draw for Texans.
With time, and as more potential tax revenue streams over the border, there is hope that Texas will become friendlier to casinos. With that being said, recent attempts to introduce pro-casino legislation have not gone over very well. Either the measures have been shot down entirely, or state lawmakers simply feel as though they have more important things to focus on.
Kickapoo Lucky Eagle
At the present moment, the only site that can be at all interpreted as a casino is known as Kickapoo Lucky Eagle, located in Eagle Pass, Texas. As you might expect, the casino is on Native American land and only exists thanks to a Federal Act that was passed back in the late 1980s. Unfortunately, the only casino games available to be played at this site are slot games and poker. Classic casino games such as blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat are all illegal in Texas.
Like most states in this part of the country, Texas was originally settled by folks who really loved to gamble. Whether it was at old-time casinos or at the many horse tracks across the state, gambling was by no means frowned upon during the very early days of the Texas Territory. Once the Territory officially became a state, however, things began to change. In fact, the state’s original constitution very clearly bans any and all types of gambling.
For quite some time, this all-out ban on all types of gambling persisted, then, in the early 1930s, it appeared as though things were going to begin to change. In 1933, the state moved to legalize pari-mutuel gambling at the state’s racetracks. This lasted not even 5 years before, once again, there was an all-out ban on all forms of gambling. It would be more than 50 years before horse race betting would once again be legalized. Even though Texas does allow for betting on races, they have repeatedly shot down efforts to add slot games like you will find in many other states around the US.
Even when Federal laws allowed for Native American tribes to attempt to open their own casino operations, Texas lawmakers fought and won a battle that stopped this. The battle actually shut down a number of high-stakes bingo halls and even put an end to construction projects that would have culminated in the building of massive resort casinos. When riverboat casinos, and any other casinos that existed on water, came to light, the state was quick to end that dream too. Citing some old laws, Texas was able to destroy the notion that riverboat casinos could exist.
Nowadays, Texas is a barren wasteland as far as casino gaming is concerned. This is not a very good thing either, as casinos located in neighboring states have profited to the tune of millions of dollars from Texans who cross over the border to gamble elsewhere.