A need for new revenues stream due to massive debt brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred rumors that online sports betting may be coming to Texas.
Texas is far from the top of the list of states that anyone would expect sports betting to become legalized due to its staunch anti-gambling past. Any changes to gambling laws in the state also requires a constitutional amendment.
Despite all that there are multiple reports that the state Governor’s office has already reached out to lobbyists and regulators in New Jersey for information on how to best bring legal sports betting to the state.
[ See Texas sports betting legalization history and updates ]
As Texas does not have any commercial casinos the rumored plans for brings sports betting to the state are very different than other states where casinos have partnered with sportsbook operators. One plan for Texas would involve anywhere from 14 to 20 licenses made available to professional sports teams in the state and several of the state’s horse racing tracks.
How would Texas online football betting happen?
It’s likely that major sports owners in the state like Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Cuban and Houston Rockets’ Tilman Fertitta would all be in favor of that model considering all three already have links to sports betting. Jones owns a stake in DraftKings, Cuban has a stake in the esports betting platform Unikrn, while Fertitta owns the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas.
A draft bill is reportedly in the works, but it still needs a sponsor before it can be sent to the floor of the house. Things could start to pick up steam next week when the state legislature returns to session.
Nothing is ever easy when it comes to gambling and Texas, but if sports betting is legalized it could be the first step needed to finally bring casinos and poker to the Lone Star State.