Texas Penal Code § 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.

<Text of (c) effective until January 1, 2016, contingent upon adoption of the constitutional amendment proposed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., H.J.R. No. 73, at Nov. 3, 2015 election >

(c) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor reasonably believed that the conduct:

(1) was permitted under Chapter 2001, Occupations Code;

(2) was permitted under Chapter 2002, Occupations Code;

(3) consisted entirely of participation in the state lottery authorized by the State Lottery Act (Chapter 466, Government Code);

(4) was permitted under the Texas Racing Act (Article 179e, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes);  or

(5) consisted entirely of participation in a drawing for the opportunity to participate in a hunting, fishing, or other recreational event conducted by the Parks and Wildlife Department.

<Text of (c) effective January 1, 2016, contingent upon adoption of the constitutional amendment proposed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., H.J.R. No. 73, at Nov. 3, 2015 election >

(c) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor reasonably believed that the conduct:

(1) was permitted under Chapter 2001, Occupations Code;

(2) was permitted under Chapter 2002, Occupations Code;

(3) was permitted under Chapter 2004, Occupations Code;

(4) consisted entirely of participation in the state lottery authorized by the State Lottery Act (Chapter 466, Government Code);

(5) was permitted under the Texas Racing Act (Article 179e, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes);  or

(6) consisted entirely of participation in a drawing for the opportunity to participate in a hunting, fishing, or other recreational event conducted by the Parks and Wildlife Department.

(d) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

(e) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that a person played for something of value other than money using an electronic, electromechanical, or mechanical contrivance excluded from the definition of “gambling device” under Section 47.01(4)(B).


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