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Is Gambling on Horse Racing Legal in Texas?

Gambling on horse racing is a popular pastime in the United States, and it’s no surprise that Texas is no exception. Horse racing is one of the oldest forms of sports betting and the Lone Star State is home to some of the biggest and most exciting tracks in the country. But with the state’s notoriously strict gambling laws, is it legal to gamble on horse racing in Texas?

The answer is yes. Gambling on horse racing is legal in Texas, and has been since the early 1900s. This means that residents of the state can bet on horse races and enjoy the thrill of the sport without fear of prosecution.

What Types of Horse Racing Betting is Legal in Texas?

Texas allows a range of legal betting on horse racing. These include:

Parimutuel Betting: This is the most common type of wagering and the only one that’s allowed in Texas. With parimutuel betting, all players wagered money is pooled together and the winner takes the pot.

Fixed-Odds Betting: Fixed-odds betting is legal in certain other countries and states, but it’s not permitted in Texas. This type of wagering involves setting odds on the outcomes of a horse race before the race begins and the bettor pays a fixed amount depending on the odds.

Where Can I Bet on Horse Racing in Texas?

The Texas Racing Commission oversees all horse racing in the state, and they have approved several tracks for betting. These include:

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• Sam Houston Race Park in Houston

• Retama Park in Selma

• Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie

• Valley Race Park in Harlingen

• Gulf Coast Racing in Galveston

• Fairgrounds Race Track in Austin

In addition to these tracks, there are also off-track betting facilities in Texas. These are called “OTBs” and they allow you to place bets on horse races without having to go to the track.

What Horse Racing Bonuses Are Available in Texas?

Many Texas horse race tracks offer bonuses and incentives to attract new bettors. These can include free bets, cash back, and other rewards. Be sure to check with each track to see what bonuses they have available.

Are There Any Tax Implications for Gambling on Horse Racing in Texas?

Yes. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), winnings from gambling are considered taxable income. This includes winnings from horse racing. All winnings must be reported on your federal tax return and must be taxed at the applicable rate.


Gambling on horse racing is legal in Texas and can be enjoyed at various tracks and off-track betting facilities. Betting on the sport is subject to certain restrictions and all winnings must be reported to the IRS. With that said, Texas is home to some of the biggest and most exciting horse racing events in the country, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy this thrilling sport.