Texas is one of the biggest states in the United States, and it is loaded with professional sports teams. This would seem like the perfect state to legalize and launch sports betting, but that has not been the case up to this point.
New reports have claimed that sports betting will be a priority in 2021, but there have been several attempts in the past. The state is also expected to push to legalize casino gambling, but that’s another industry that currently doesn’t exist in the state.
Texas, Florida, and California have all explored legalizing sports betting in the past, and now it appears to be a race to the finish line. Whichever state is able to pass legislation the quickest will likely become the leader in the US industry.
The sports betting handle in the United States has now gone over $3 billion each month, and that number is expected to continue to grow in 2021. This has lawmakers in Texas looking to capitalize on the growing industry and bring in revenue for the state.
Adelson Leading the Charge
Sheldon Adelson is one of the biggest donors to the Republican Party, and he is set to ramp up lobbying efforts to legalize casino gambling in Texas. Adelson is a major player in the Las Vegas casino industry, and he believes that it is time for Texas to allow for commercial casinos.
Even though Adelson will not be able to propose any bills or speak in front of lawmakers, his support will push lawmakers to draft bills. Adelson has also promised to target Texas with some of his properties if this were to be an option.
Lawmakers are expected to highlight the number of jobs and the amount of revenue that casino gambling could bring in when looking to gain support for their bills.
Neighboring States Applying Pressure
Another factor that will likely come into play in 2021 is that some neighboring states have already legalized sports betting. Texas could lose out on some much-needed revenue to these states as residents look for places to make wagers on sporting events.
Arkansas has already launched sports betting, and Louisiana voted to legalize the industry in a number of parishes. Texas would have a much larger sports betting industry than these two states, but they have been able to get the industry legalized first.
Casinos Must Come First
Even though there is plenty of optimism surrounding Texas sports betting in 2021, supporters of the cause should express some caution. There have been attempts in recent years to legalize sports betting, and those have come up well short of the finish line.
If sports betting is to be legalized in Texas, the first step would be to legalize casino gambling. If casinos were to get the approval, then it is likely that sports betting would follow right behind.
Texas could become one of the biggest sports betting markets in the United States, but getting things rolling will be a tough first step.