Are Slot Machines Legal in Texas?


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Texas, with its expansive expanses, boasts some of the country’s strictest gambling laws – and that includes eight-liners. While wagering on horses, purchasing lottery tickets and taking part in office pools are permitted activities, almost any other form of gambling such as eight-lining is forbidden by Texas state law. Gaming rooms and machines that do not pay out in cash can pose significant legal concerns. Eight-liners in particular are an issue; their payouts often come in the form of coupons or other items that cannot be redeemed for cash, making them a prime target of law enforcement agencies. But earlier this week, a district judge in Fannin County made history by ruling that these machines and games are actually legal under state law.

This ruling could have far-reaching ramifications for Texas, as this marks the first time any court has addressed the issue of slot machine ownership and operation by residents in Texas. Legislators from both houses of the legislature continue pushing for legislation that would permit residents of the state to acquire and operate slot machines within its borders; unfortunately, however, no legislation of this sort has passed yet and there’s a good chance it won’t reach Gov. Perry this year.

As an alternative, Texas offers many ways for its citizens to bypass its gambling ban, including online casino use and visiting tribal casinos; using cruise ships featuring onboard casinos; and two American Indian tribes which host their own gambling establishments.

Are slot machines legal in Texas? Your best bet for finding out is to reach out to the county commissioner’s office in your locality. Many counties provide access to their local ordinances online and you can ask whether there are any regulations surrounding slot machines if any. If any regulations do exist, be sure to abide by them.

These regulations exist because slots are designed to make money for their owners rather than offer fair gaming conditions, leading to small wins from some people resulting in large losses for the machine’s owner if others win big – so police often raid gas stations, truck stops and convenience stores that host 8-liners that don’t pay out in cash.

Even though these businesses are technically illegal, many operators choose not to report their operations for fear of arrest and are therefore often unknowingly engaging in gambling with these devices in Texas. As a result, it’s essential that you understand the state laws surrounding these machines in order to stay out of trouble if using one yourself. In this article we’ll look at their history in Texas, current legislation regarding them, as well as arguments made that these machines shouldn’t really be considered gambling devices – this information should help inform your decision as whether or not gambling with these devices while in Texas.

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