“It makes no sense for us to force Texans to go to neighboring states to gamble in casinos,” said Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
If they want to place bets now, Texans will travel to other states and it’s estimated that they’ll spend over $2.5 billion gambling at casinos in general per year.
The hope is to get as many teams to join the coalition as possible. After all, there can be strength in numbers.
Sports Betting in Dallas Might not be Close
While the Sports Betting Alliance’s goal is to push for legislation that would see the legalization of sports betting in Texas, those involved understand that it’s a lengthy process.
Two pieces of legislation would be needed before Texans would be allowed to place wagers:
- First, the state constitution would need to be amended since Texas has banned gambling.
- Secondly, another piece of legislation would need to be introduced that outlines licensing and registration rules.
Republican State Rep. Dan Huberty has already drafted an initial bill as to what gambling in Texas could look like.
Huberty’s bill caps bettors winnings at a maximum of 90 percent, while the other 10 percent would be used for special education in Texas. Bettors would also be able to place wagers on professional and college games, while pro sports teams could also partner with sportsbooks.
So far, the Sports Betting Alliance has supported Huberty’s proposal.
Voters would be able to vote on the bill as soon as November 2022, which means it would be 2023 at the earliest for when Texans could gamble.
Resistance from Texas Lt. Governor
While the Sports Betting Alliance has been getting some positive feedback, not everyone is a fan.
Texas’ Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R) said this week that he’s not a fan of legalizing sports gambling, nor does he think it’d have the votes to advance any further.
“I don’t spend much time on it because the members are just against it,” said Patrick on Feb. 9.
The Republican party has an 18-13 majority in the Texas Senate and a majority vote would be needed to pass any sports betting legislation.
Patrick added that the introduction of sports betting wouldn’t really help with the budget in Texas, which spends upwards of $125 billion a year on the budget.
One of the main reasons that bringing gambling to Texas might not work, according to Patrick is the “infighting and competition” between people who might want to see sports betting over racetracks and vice versa.
Regardless of how Patrick feels, the Sports Betting Alliance is expected to make a continued push for gambling legalization.