Texas Gambling Information
Texas has a popular state lottery, lots of charitable bingo halls and their share of horsetracks. Texas has only two casinos: a Native American casino and a casino cruise. Most gambling Texans travel to Louisiana or Oklahoma to play in casinos.
The Texas Lottery began in 1992 and has gained a total of $15 billion dollars for Texas. Before 1997 the Texas Lottery money that was earned went to the General Revenue Fund. After 1997 the Texas Lottery money was used to help the public education in the state and has since been transferred to the Foundation School Fund. The Foundation School Fund has received over $10 Billion with over $1 Billion was received in the 2007 fiscal year. Other funds from the Texas Lottery, things like unclaimed prizes, went back to the state for programs approved by Texas Legislation. In 2007 61% of the money went to prizes paid, 27% went to Foundation School Fund, 5% to retailer commissions, 5% to lottery administration, and 2% went to other state programs with money from unclaimed prizes. There are several popular Texas Lottery games and they include; Texas Lotto, Texas Lottery Megan Millions, Texas Two Step, Pick 3, and the Texas Cash Five.
Underage lottery purchases where bad at the beginning of the lottery in the early nineties and the state of Texas came up with some unique laws dealing with the problem. A sales person that knowingly sells a lottery ticket to a person 18 years or younger they are committing an offence. A person that is 18 years old or older can buy a ticket as a gift for another person as a gift even a person 18 years old or younger. If you break any under aged lottery laws it is a class C misdemeanor.
Texas Casino Gambling
There is only one real casino in Texas with another being a cruise casino. The one casino is Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino located in Eagle Pass, Texas. It has 1,371 gaming machines and 18 table and poker games. It was opened in 2004 it is the only casino with state and federal backing in Texas. While it’s certainly a casino on the size of the Las Vegas casinos, Foxwoods, or even Biloxi, it is a place to play some table games or bingo. Their slots are not the traditional slots selections, but are more in the way of videos slots and many have a cartoon like quality to them. Old ladies might not like the slots at Kickapoo Lucky Eagles Indian Casino, but these machines have the same essentials as Nevada slot machines (despite the bingo mechanism), so it shouldn’t put too many people off.
Texas Cruise Casinos
The cruise casino is Texas Treasure Cruise Casino and is located in Port Aransas, Texas. It has 450 total gaming machines, and 25 table and poker games. There is also a Bingo room on the cruise with over 100 seats.
Bingo is large in Texas and continues to grow daily. All Texas bingo is charitable bingo, which is used for the purposes of the money being spent on charitable causes and objectives of an organization. To be a charitable bingo establishment you must qualify under the Bingo Enabling Act of 1981. In 2007 charitable bingo establishments paid $489 million in prizes and charities got over $31.7 million. As of now there are 1,263 charitable and nonprofit organizations that have charitable bingo going on in Texas. The organizations have to give at least 35% of their adjusted gross recites profits for the charitable cause of the organization. Since charitable bingo was given the go ahead in 1982, and through 2007 the distributions of charitable bingo in Texas is now over $844 million.
There are several restrictions on the organization running the bingo though. One being that they can only have 3 days per calendar week to play with only four hours allotted during a 24 hour period. The number of games within the four hour period has no limit as long as they don’t go above the authorized prize payout limitation. $750 dollars is the limit for the value of a single game. Excluding pull tab bingo, $2,500 aggregate value is the maximum a person can award in prizes in a regular bingo occasion. You must be 18 years old to play bingo, unless you are with a parent or guardian. However, every place is free to set there own age limits with the licensee of the bingo game having the final word.
In 1986 the Texas Racing Commission was born from the 1986 Texas Racing Act. Its original makeup was made of 6 regular members and 2 ex officio members that included two greyhound racing specialist, two horse racing specialist, two veterinarians, and the two ex officio members who are all appointed by the Texas State Governor. In 1997 it was changed to four members representing the general public, two members that are knowledgeable in the areas of greyhound racing and horse racing, and two ex officio members. The racing commission is there to encourage greyhound and horse breeding, provide strict control of betting, give licenses for pari-mutuel tracks in Texas, and supervise every race meeting held in Texas. There are 3 greyhound racetracks in Texas; they are located in Corpus Christi, Harlingen, and LaMarque. There are also 7 racetracks for horseracing in Texas and they are located in Grand Prairie, Manor, Fredericksburg, Selma, Houston, Amarillo, and Austin.
The age law for Texas pari-mutuel betting and attendance is slightly confusing but is best explained like this, probably for political reasoning Texas decided to make two different classes of underage individuals. The Texas Racing Act say that a “child” is someone under the age of 16 and is not allowed in to the viewing section of the racetrack unless he or she is attending with their parent or guardian, while a “minor”, someone under the age of 21, is not allowed to place any bets but is allowed to watch.
Texas Pari-Mutuel Online Betting
Online pari-mutuel betting is considered to be illegal but has recently been challenged by a number of out of state betting sites. Attendances to the horse tracks are at an all-time low at many Texas horse tracks simply because many people can make there bets from the comfort of their own home. The lack of clarity has not helped the issue as everyone now has an opinion. State officials are working at break neck speed to get rid of the online horse betting while the betting sites are, if nothing else, trying to prolong the situation as they are racking in mega bucks from the situation. One California-based online betting site has reported an 85.3 percent increase from last year.