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gaming law

Gaming law is generally the law that applies to the gaming or gambling industry, including casinos, lotteries, horse racing, dog racing, sports betting, card games, table games, social gambling, bingo, raffles, slot machines, scratch tickets, etc. Gaming law includes state and federal statutes, rules, and regulations—and legal principles from traditional areas of law, such as contract law, administrative law, constitutional law, criminal law, and regulatory law. For example, the federal statute prohibiting illegal gambling businesses is located at 18 U.S.C. §1955.

In Texas, gaming law is primarily governed by state statutes that prohibit most forms of gambling. The Texas Penal Code §§ 47.01 et seq. outlines the state's restrictions on gambling activities, making it illegal to bet on the outcome of games or contests, the performance of participants in a game or contest, or the chance of anything. The only exceptions to this prohibition include the state lottery, pari-mutuel wagering on horse and dog races, charitable bingo, and raffles. Casinos are largely illegal in Texas, with the exception of those operated by federally recognized Native American tribes under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Social gambling in private places where no person receives economic benefit other than personal winnings and where the risks of losing and the chances of winning are the same for all participants is permitted. Sports betting is not currently authorized in Texas. The federal statute 18 U.S.C. §1955, which prohibits illegal gambling businesses, would apply to any gambling operation in Texas that violates state law and involves five or more persons and operates for more than thirty days or has a gross revenue of more than $2,000 in any single day.

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