Texas is slowly making strides toward introducing gambling legislation to its citizens.
Texas has made a significant stride towards forming its gambling sector by introducing two bills that have broken through the Senate committee stage. House Bills 2843 and 1942 are set to make an impact, potentially opening up online sports betting as well as casino gaming activities – both of which would be subject to legal regulation for the first time in state history. If successful, these measures will redress current legislation outlawing most forms of wagering with exceptions only given for lottery participation, greyhound/horse racing & bingo games.
This new legislation has garnered support from the Sports Betting Alliance, major sportsbooks and professional Texan sports teams. Las Vegas Sands resort is a driving force behind this bill – having invested heavily in lobbyists, advertisements and donations to campaigns since 2020. If passed, it would launch 8 pending casinos across Texas as well as permit mobile-only sport wagering.
Despite seeing widespread support in the Texas House of Representatives, bills concerning alterations to the state’s constitution have seen a measured response from US Senate. With Lt. Gov Dan Patrick citing that “no Senator” had yet offered their backing for such legislation; it appears achieving ⅔ majority is no easy task – with much riding on individual Senators’ decisions looking ahead .
The Republican representative expressed an unwillingness to pursue legislation driven by their Democratic counterparts; insisting instead on having consensus from both parties in order for bills to be considered. This reluctance stemmed from a fear of problem gambling and the predatory nature associated with it, despite Texas residents already spending billions annually alone through sports betting – not factoring in the revenue lost due to illegal sports wagers across state lines.
Proponents of the bills have touted a variety of rewards that could come as a result, including an influx in job opportunities and increased sales. It’s been suggested also that by not formalizing gambling activities with legislation, Texans are at risk to potential repercussions which can be avoided if laws were introduced. Additionally, legislating would help protect sporting events’ integrity while allowing for proper regulation.