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Push Increases For Legal Mobile Sports Betting Market in Texas, Vegas Included
Infamous Texas Gambler Mattress Mack Continues to Bring Attention to Issue
Over Thirty U.S. States Now Allow Sports Betting Including Three Texas Neighbors
It might not be legal yet to sports bet in Texas, but that is not keeping residents from engaging in that activity by any means necessary – illegal bookies, offshore sportsbooks, neighboring states – and that reality is something state lawmakers are planning to face during this session.
Helping the debate along will be 50+ lobbyists sent to the Lone Star State from the good people at the Las Vegas Sands Corp. “as part of an offensive” that started after the last legislative session ended, that’s according to reporter David Montgomery of the Fort Worth Report (FWR).
Montgomery reports that Sands has organized a lobbying group called the Texas Destination Resort Alliance and their goal is to “amass public support for high-end resort-style casinos in Texas” their spokesperson, Matt Hirsch, telling FWR:
“The reality is there’s going to be another big push on gaming this session.”
That debate would be occurring with or without input from Vegas given that Texas is currently missing out on a multi-billion dollar industry that has created a new tax revenue stream for every state involved, with cites like Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston potential gambling epicenters.
Despite no legal market, though, one Texas sports bettor has gotten far more press than the rest – he is the maverick known as Mattress Mack.
In prior coverage, we have talked about How Mattress Mack Crossed Texas State Lines to Win $75 Million Sports Betting, the furniture mogul with a passion for sports betting who placed $10 million in bets on the Houston Astros to win the World Series and won a $75 million payout.
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, the Houston-based furniture mogul who owns Gallery Furniture, has not stopped participating in the U.S. legal sports betting market traveling out of state again to put $2m on the Dallas Cowboys to beat the San Francisco 49ers, a possible $3.35m win.
McIngvale has become an advocate for legalizing sports betting in the state of Texas, with shots of him hauling wheelbarrows full of his winnings to his private jet to fly back to where he lives, a state that so far has refused to join the other over thirty states who have already made the leap.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA in May 2018 giving states the right to legalize, regulate, and tax their own sports betting market, over 30 have done so including three of Texas’ closes neighbors – New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas – a quick hop over the border.
That’s how plenty of Texans who live on the outskirts of the state have been sports betting, while the rest are forced to use unregulated and illicit means – local bookies and offshore sportsbooks – neither of which is held legally accountable for their transactions.
The Texas legislature convenes between January 10 and May 29, plenty of time to reach some mobile sports betting compromises and to address the fears of a problem gambling surge if such a market were to launch.
Keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this unfolding story.
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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