The State of Texas makes unlawful gambling a Class C Misdemeanor, however, defenses may include that the gambling was in a private place and that the individual doing the gambling would not receive any economic benefit other than personal winnings:
Sec. 47.02. GAMBLING. (a) A person commits an offense if he:
(1) makes a bet on the partial or final result of a game or contest or on the performance of a participant in a game or contest;
(2) makes a bet on the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or on the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or
(3) plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, balls, or any other gambling device.
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:
(1) the actor engaged in gambling in a private place;
(2) no person received any economic benefit other than personal winnings; and
(3) except for the advantage of skill or luck, the risks of losing and the chances of winning were the same for all participants.
Based on that, one might conclude that online gamblers are in the clear provided they are gambling online within their own homes or other private place. Virtually all other offenses that would pertain to unlawful gambling focus on operators or those housing the gambling, and in almost all cases, are Class A Misdemeanors that could call for up to a year in county jail and fines of up to $4,000.
There do not appear to be any offenses that are designed specifically to apply to online gambling, so it appears to be legal for mere players provided they are conducting their play privately and only stand to win personal winnings.
While there have been some bookmaking operations busted up in the state over the years, there is no evidence of any individuals who were mere online players being arrested, most probably because it is not actually a crime in the state. Surprisingly enough, we are going to have to rank Texas as not at all restrictive when it comes to online gambling as a mere player, which is the focus of this page.
FINAL RANKING: None-0
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