Texas doesn’t have a sports betting market and looks to revive the push in the next legislative session. Last week, the Texas Sports Betting Alliance reminded Texans that NFL betting is illegal in the Lone Star State.
Supporters of the Bill Will Try again in Texas
Currently, New York has the biggest sports betting market in the industry, but the state only has the fourth largest population in the country. The Seminole Tribe in Florida quietly launched Hard Rock Sportsbook, but the operation was deemed illegal by a federal judge.
Both Proposition 26 and 27 will appear on the ballot in California in the upcoming election. Lawmakers who supported the sports betting operation in Texas failed to legalize it.
It will be possible to legalize sports betting in Texas in 2023 since legislators meet every two years. If they fail once again, bettors and the entities that want to get a license in the Lone Star would have to wait another two years.
Currently, potential bettors must cross state lines to place wagers on events throughout the year. Between Texas and Florida, Louisiana is the biggest sports wagering market in the Gulf.
Why do Supporters Want Sports Betting to Come to Texas?
Those who monitor the situation in Texas believe that sports gambling is inevitable in the state. Potential bettors that cannot leave the state resort to using offshore sportsbooks like Bovada and MyBookie. These offshore sportsbooks are based in other countries and don’t have to abide by the rules set forth by the United States.
To crack down on offshore sportsbooks, Texas legislators sent a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland. The American Gaming Association also sent a letter to the DOJ in regards to strategically cracking down on offshore sportsbooks from reaching consumers in the United States.
The Texas legislature attempted to legalize sports wagering several times in 2021. It appeared that Rep. Dan Huberty’s HB 2070 would have the most momentum, but it stalled toward the end of the session.
Sports betting would be a lucrative business in Texas because the Lone Star State is home to numerous professional franchises and has some of the best rivals in the college scene. Teams like Austin FC, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Dynamo, and Houston Astros have partnerships with sportsbooks like PointsBet, Betway, Fubo, and BetMGM.
Texas is Missing out on Revenue
The sports betting push in California is looking underwhelming as many undecided voters are turning away from the idea of voting on one of the initiatives. The reasoning behind this is countless ads have been broadcasted throughout the state.
Sports Betting Alliance estimates that 2 million illegal bets are placed each year in the Lone Star State. It’s estimated that $8.7 billion is wagered on those bets, which means the state is losing out on major revenue.
If a legal market is set in place, Texas will also get visitors from neighboring states that don’t have a market. Since Texas has a much larger population than New York, it may become the largest sports betting market if California doesn’t pass an initiative in its upcoming effort.