Sports gamblers in Texas are paying close attention to the ongoing debate over whether the Lone Star State wants to legalize sports betting for its residents, a change in policy that would first require a rewrite of the state’s constitution and its provision to outlaw gambling there.
Some Texans have united into the Texas Sports Betting Alliance (TSBA), a group comprised of the state’s professional sports teams, fans, plus various betting platforms, with a goal to legalize and regulate sports betting there for a reason that sounds straight out of the heart of Texas:
“Because Americans deserve the freedom and safety to enhance the experience of the sports they love.”
It’s true, they do, and their spokesperson, former Gov. Rick Perry, could not agree more, and he says as much in a video on the TSBA website:
“Texas is built on the core principle of individual freedom, and we pride ourselves on being an economic powerhouse in the nation. Legalizing mobile sports betting in Texas will finally allow the state to protect consumers from illegal offshore sports betting sites.”
It’s a philosophy by which over thirty other U.S. states also live.
Once the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA in May 2018, it gave every state the right to legalize, regulate, and tax their own sports betting market, a choice that over 30 states and counting have made, each launching a retail and/or mobile market for their residents.
The U.S. legal sports betting market has been a success so far having generated a total handle of over $167 billion, meaning that much money has been wagered, which has created $12.5 billion in revenue which has resulted in over $2 billion in tax revenue for those collective states.
Texas lawmakers understand that any change to the state constitution takes careful deliberation and meaningful debate, especially given the serious pushback it’s received from leaders as high up as Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, who as been clear on his opposition to that potential market.
Of course, money talks and Texas is no different than anywhere else in America when it comes to being open to new and different ways to make a buck, so expect the conversation to continue there especially after the new year when lawmakers will officially reunite under one roof.
The 88th Legislature of Texas reconvenes after the new year starting on January 10, 2023, and chances are lawmakers will begin to reconsider their stance on legalizing sports gambling, or else choose to continue allowing residents to gamble using unregulated and illegal means.
Offshore sportsbooks and illegal bookies have been happy to take $8.7 billion in Texas action just in 2022 alone, but with a two-thirds vote of the legislature, the matter of legalizing that activity via a change to the state constitution could be presented to the Texas voters to decide.
It makes perfect sense to create a legal and regulated market for sports bettors there since all that gambling money is already being spent, but every major change is a slow process at first, so in the meantime all that lucrative action will continue to bleed right out of Texas.
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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]More info on Mike Lukas
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