In mid-January, the Legal Sports Report reported that sports betting could be on the legislative agenda in Texas, according to multiple sources. Deputy Governor Dan Patrick |however, says it doesn’t happen.
Legalizing TX sports betting would be a unicorn for the sports betting industry, much like California, Floridaand mobile betting in new York. It’s an idea that has long been considered unreachable.
But an attempt to legalize sports betting in Texas could be the rarest feat by any of the great states left. Despite the opposition’s long history, a handful of bills were tabled during this term.
Gaming infrastructure in Texas
Regulated games in Texas are sparse. Although the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in the Eagle Pass, Texas is a significant feature, there is very little regulated gambling in the state.
Currently, the only regulated casino game options are in tribal land as Texas law prohibits commercial casino operations.
The state allows horse racing, but Texas’s lack of gambling is perhaps most noticeable when driving north I-35 Here Texans are greeted by an abundance of casinos across the world Oklahoma Edge.
The Adelson Factor
However, the rumored driving factor for change emerged in late 2020, before the casino magnate’s death Sheldon Adelson. After his death, the Texas Tribune reported that Adelson Las Vegas Sands had hired 51 Lobbyists are pushing to open the Texas gambling market.
While the Tribune makes it clear that it is uncertain how much momentum Sands’ foray into Texas has, the catalyst has piqued the interest of some ears Austin seems to be the commonly cited need to increase revenue after hitting state coffers that the Coronavirus has treated.
While the Texas deficit appears to have been smaller than projected, it could disrupt the urgency. The urge to add casinos still seems to face opposition in the legislature, with some arguing that the best possible outcome would be for electoral action to occur.
Texas sports betting is a different beast
There is still a very long way to go before Texas comes on board.
The governor has reportedly reached out to lobbyists and other state regulators with inquiries. The urge to add sports betting is apparently supported by the state’s large professional franchises. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has long advocated legalized sports betting but has reportedly been approved by the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones.
Missile owners Tilman Fertitta is of course the owner of the Golden nugget.
The long-running daily fantasy sports saga
The saga, which according to the attorney general included daily fantasy sports in Texas, casts a shadow over the discussion of sports betting in Texas Ken PaxtonThe decision that daily fantasy competitions are against state gambling laws.
After the opinion was published in January 2016, FanDuel announced that they would leave the state in May while DraftKings tried to question the opinion. After about a two-year absence, FanDuel announced its return to the market, reporting at the time:
Considering a variety of factors related to the running of everyday fantasy sports in Texas, we have re-entered the market while the problem is being resolved by the state.
Despite the attorney general’s non-binding statement, the Austin American-Statesman reported a quote from the state MP Joe Moody that more than 4 million Texans had participated in daily fantasy sports. Despite the popularity of DFS in the Lone Star StateThere is surprisingly little discussion about including the competitions on at least one of the sports betting bills.
Sources of Prohibition
According to the Texas State Library of Law Article 3 (47) of the State Constitution requires the legislature to pass laws that prohibit lotteries and gift companies.
The constitution allows the state to operate lotteries.
The states Criminal Code and Professional Code fills the gaps in the constitution, leaving behind one of the most constrained game landscapes in the country.
Long odds, but could sports betting be coming to Texas?
Despite the long chances that Texas will have anything to do with sports betting this year (or in the near future), Democrat Harold Dutton introduced a sports betting bill in the Texas legislature in January.
The bill, HB 1121, would approve it Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation Monitor Texas Sports Betting through the State Lottery.
The initial registration fee is $ 250,000 with renewal costs $ 200,000and appears to advocate a market with at least five competitors, even though the draft law allows the Executive Director to exceed that number.
The tax rate is fixed at 6.25%. The stated aim of the licensing system, as we have seen it in other countries, is to “maximize revenue for the state”.
During this time of financial crisis, the Texas bill would pass funds on to the state Foundation School Fund.
The big things that are missing from the Dutton bill are a boon for the sports leagues. There doesn’t seem to be any drop in integrity fees or official data mandates. In fact, this Texas calculation appears to be very similar in many ways West VirginiaLegislation.
Texas Rep. Dan Huberty introduced additional laws last week. HB 2070 isn’t quite as friendly to consumers or the gaming industry as Dutton’s bill because it has a higher tax rate.
The Huberty bill also has a kind of double dip for professional athletes. Texas teams can choose to operate, and leagues would get an official data mandate.
In addition, there was a joint Huberty resolution this week to legalize sports betting for Texas voters as a constitutional amendment to be voted on November 2021.
What should you do with it?
Texas, which is seriously considering sports betting, is positive for the industry. Dutton’s bill was refreshing, however.
Given how recent high-license and data-mandated bills have looked, his bill seems almost too good to be true. Coupled with the lieutenant governor’s opposition and now a competing league-friendly bill, the industry-friendly bill almost certainly doesn’t go too far.
In reality, none of these proposals could go far without the support of Patrick. But these bills could be an important step in the right direction to finally bring regulated sports betting to the Lone Star State.
While TX sports betting is likely to be down in a few years, this could be the next the state has hit since the fall of PASPA. More bills are likely to be filed in the coming weeks, possibly with some tied to expanded casino gambling.
However, both casino betting and sports betting face significant barriers in Texas.