Texas Pro Teams back legal Sports Betting
Texas Professional Teams Back Legal Sports Betting
Texas is huge. It is the second-most populous state in the Country. There is no denying that the untapped potential to bring in tax revenue from online mobile sports betting is off the charts. At the present time, gambling is illegal in Texas.
Texas is no different from other states that feel the crushing weight of economic loss from the Covid-19 pandemic. Lawmakers only need to look to States that have legalized online sportsbooks since the PASPA Supreme Court decision in 2018 to see how much revenue they bring in. Sports gambling could help alleviate economic deficits and make up for budget shortfalls.
The economic loss from Covid-19 may just help propel the conservative legislature to recede from their traditional reluctance to issue gambling into the state. But, there are other factors at play too. Texas has eight professional sports teams.
Many of the owners are fully behind the efforts to legalize mobile sports betting. Mark Cuban, the influential owner of the Dallas Mavericks, also owns a part of Unikrn, an esports betting platform.
He has been quite vocal about his support for legalizing sports betting. According to Cuban, it will increase interest in television viewership, which will help television markets and bring in extra revenue to the state.
Cuban is not alone. In fact, five professional sports teams have joined forces to try to legalize sports betting in Texas. According to the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Cowboys, FC Dallas, the Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, and Texas Rangers have formed a consortium called the Sports Betting Alliance.
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They have issued the following statement:
“Legalized sports would regulate the industry and generate hundreds of millions of dollars of new revenue for the state, which will help critical fund programs without raising taxes.”
Interestingly, Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys owns a piece of Draft Kings, and Tilman Fertitta of the Houston Rockets owns the Golden Nugget. Thus the consortium of teams and companies they own all support legislation that would legalize retail and mobile sports betting.
They are aided by another sort of shift, which is also taking place at the same time in NY. Governor Cuomo, who had previously been opposed to legalized gambling, has now changed his mind and is now in favor of legislating change.
Governor Greg Abbott may understand the boon sportsbook revenue might hold for the state and work to pass legislation.
The Sports Betting Alliance has been quick to point out that Texans have been traveling to Louisiana and Oklahoma to gamble. They also bet on unregulated off-shore betting platforms. Legalization would keep that revenue in the State of Texas and protect the residents of their state.
Although the Pro-team consortium and their respective companies are making a big push to legalize sports betting in Texas, there are large hurdles. The Texas Constitution bans gambling.
In order to amend the Constitution, 2/3 of both the House and the Senate would need to approve a bill, and once passed through the two houses; the question would need to be placed on the ballot for the voters to approve.
Two such bills have been introduced into the legislature. One bill is for casinos, and the other is for statewide mobile betting. Perhaps the idea of mobile sports betting would represent the more palatable choice.
With the push from the Sports betting alliance, the economic shortfalls from the pandemic, and a changing cultural shift among Governors in support of bringing in extra revenue, the Texas gambling wall may just crack wide open.