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Bingo History in Texas Bingo is one of the most popular forms of betting in Texas and across the United States. It is the oldest form of legalized gambling in Texas. Voters approved a Constitutional Amendment authorizing Charitable Bingo on a local option basis in November of 1980 and since the first legal bingo game was called in 1982, a whopping $844 million has been distributed to Texas players and charities.

Although the state’s bingo games have been regulated by three different agencies since bingo was first legalized, it is now firmly entrenched in the Texas Lottery Commission.

Since voters have to approve bingo on a local option basis, bingo is available in 157 of the state’s 254 counties. The more than 1200 nonprofits and charities conducting bingo in Texas have to distribute a minimum of 35 percent of their adjusted gross receipts from bingo activities for the charitable work of their organization.

In 2006, a record year for Texas bingo, charities received over $31.7 million from bingo halls across the state. But charity wasn’t the only winner – Texas players pulled in a cool $489 million in prizes in that year alone.

And there is the ever popular poker games, including Texas Hold ‘Em, where Texas gamblers play in homes across the state or via computer. Betting, whether it has been on the horses or in the weekly poker party has been a favorite form of entertainment in Texas since people first began to settle the frontier which was to become the Lone Star State. Thanks to technological advances, betting online is available to many Texans. Check the links in our navigation for great articles loaded with tips and strategies for all sorts of gaming opportunities.

front-coverTypical Texas bingo players are married, white women over the age of 65, according to a June 2003 survey by the Texas Lottery Commission, who runs the charitable bingo program for the state. They have annual incomes of $10,000 to $24,999 and most often play bingo on Fridays and Sundays using paper over the other forms of bingo.

But remember that was over five years ago and boy how times have changed. Today bingo players in Texas don’t have to rely just on bingo paper. They can play online games or play on numerous computers at bingo halls across the state. In 2003, bingo players said they played bingo for entertainment, a change to win something, socializing with friends and supporting worthy causes. That’s probably still the case – but let’s be honest, it’s all about the fun and the chance to win cash.

And things are still looking up for bingo in Texas. During the first three quarters of 2008, nonprofits reported gross receipts of $515 million from bingo players. That’s up 3.2 percent from the same period in 2007. And Texas players pulled in a total of $384.5 million. Pull-tabs, also known as instant bingo, brought in nearly $300 million in the first nine months, up from $207 million in 2007.

In 2003, bingo players said they played bingo for entertainment, a change to win something, socializing with friends and supporting worthy causes. That’s probably still the case – but let’s be honest, it’s all about the fun and the chance to win cash.

And things are still looking up for bingo in Texas. During the first three quarters of 2008, nonprofits reported gross receipts of$515 million from bingo players. That’s up 3.2 percent from the same period in 2007. And Texas players pulled in a total of $384.5 million. Pull-tabs, also known as instant bingo, brought in nearly $300 million in the first nine months, up from $207 million in 2007.

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