|Horse betting is considered illegal by Texas authorities. However, two US online betting companies and possibly several more continue the show. Youbet.com, based in Woodland Hills, Calif., and BrisBET.com, based in Lexington, Ky., accept horse racing wagers from Texans and have no qualms in confirming that their companies accept wagers from Texans. |
Tom Kelly, the state attorney general's office spokesperson says, 'That kind of betting in Texas is illegal'. There seems to lack of clarity on the legalities of betting in Texas and everyone has an opinion.
Internet wagering is straining the bottom lines of racetracks. During the recent thoroughbred season in Grand Prairie, the racetrack's attendance and handle, or money bet, fell to all time lows and attendance dipped to a daily average of 8,600, down 4.7 percent from 2002. Lone Star Park (a race course track) General Manager Jeff Greco says, 'I know we've lost a number of our horseplayers to the comfort of their homes and bet over the Internet.'
Not surprisingly no Texas citizen, nor has any company ever been prosecuted for accepting Internet wagers from Texans explains David Boatright, an Attorney with the Department of Public Safety.
Michael Weiss, the General Manager of America TAB which owns Brisbet.com said, 'I haven't seen anything from anybody in Texas saying this is illegal. We comply with the law and I assume all of the affiliates accept bets from Texans”. America TAB processes Internet wagers for its nine affiliates (including BrisBET).
Charles Champion, the chief executive officer of Youbet, said, “I am not aware of any legal problem or prohibition regarding Internet bets from Texans.'
But for now Texans continue betting. With a few mouse clicks and keystrokes anyone in Texas with a credit or debit card, open an online betting account and start wagering on races from New York to California to Australia.
Wagering companies aren’t too affected by legal issues, as they are raking in money. Youbet.com reported a total handle of $73.3 million, an increase of 85.3 percent from the same period a year ago with three of the top 25 contestants from Texans.