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Texas Lawmakers File Sports Betting, Casino Bills That Put Voters in Charge

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated February 6, 2023
8 min read
  • Legislators from Both Texas Chambers Introduce Gambling Bills for Voters

  • Texans Would Vote in Nov. for Destination Resorts with Casinos, Sports Betting

  • Three of Four Texas State Neighbors Already Have Legal Sports Betting in Place

Texas Lawmakers Sports Betting Casino Bills

Legislators from Both Texas Chambers Introduce Gambling Bills for Voters

Everything’s bigger in Texas, they say, so it makes perfect sense that lawmakers there are hoping for more than just legal sports betting, the hope now being to allow voters to decide whether they want to turn the Lone Star State into a gambling vacation destination.

Republican State Rep. Charlie Geren, who represents parts of Tarrant County, just filed a bill that would allow Texans to decide whether they would want such a giant shift in how the state handles its gamblers, that’s according to Steven Dial of FOX4 KDFW of Texas.

Geren told FOX4:

"We have Texas citizens going to Mew Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, and frankly going to Las Vegas. We are not looking to have a slot machine in every corner store. What we are looking for is resort destinations, and if this passes, the Legislature will decide what type of sports betting will be allowed."

Rep. Geren reportedly understands that many of his fellow Republicans don’t support the idea of bringing legal gambling to Texas, but what they can agree on is that the decision should be left up to resident voters who now might get the chance in November to vote for such a market.

Houston Democrat Senator Carol Alvarado has already filed similar legislation, reports Dial, the lawmaker convinced that such a market could create 185,000 direct and indirect jobs, telling FOX4:

"We are talking about casinos that would have to have a hotel component, four or five star hotels, restaurants and shops, venue for conferences and conventions."

With both bills, the idea is to leave the decision up to the Texas voters.

Texans Would Vote in Nov. for Destination Resorts with Casinos, Sports Betting

Over thirty states have already legalized and launched their own sports betting markets to much fanfare and subsequent financial success, all thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in May 2018 to overturn PASPA and give each state the right to decide on creating such a market.

Texas has its share of gamblers who have been forced to find alternative ways to place their action, whether by using unregulated offshore sportsbooks or local (and illegal) bookies, neither of which can be held responsible for how they conduct their business.

By legalizing gambling in Texas, it would pave the way for transforming that state into a vacation destination by constructing new casinos that would offer far more than just the chance to wager, with Sen Geren telling FOX4:

"These destination resorts will not only have casinos, but they will also have showrooms, they will have restaurants, they will have shopping, and all of that will generate money for the state."

It would also create another tax income stream for Texans, something that three out of their four state neighbors have already done.

Many Texan bettors who live near the state border have been taking advantage of the legal betting markets that now exist in New Mexico, Arkansas, and Louisiana, those states having already launched their own legal sports betting markets since May 2018.

As more states begin to take advantage of this new way to generate new tax revenue for their pet programs (education, youth sports, battling addiction, infrastructure), it only makes sense that Texans get the chance to vote on whether they want to participate, as well.

Keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this ongoing story.

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Mike Lukas

1204 Articles

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]

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