For the first time ever, a Texas sports betting bill advanced out of the State House. While this is major progress for the sports betting efforts in the Lone Star State, it seems to be the end of the road. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick reaffirmed that there is no support for the legislation in the State Senate. Patrick also assured the measure will not be referred, meaning it won’t even go to a committee to begin the process of having an eventual vote.
Texas Sports Betting Hopes Die In The Senate
Not 24 hours after HJR 102 and HB 1942 advanced out of the House did Patrick take to Twitter to dim any hopes of success in the Senate. With the session deadline approaching, it appears there is no time to convince Senate members to change their minds.
Patrick stated back in April that the Senate has no votes in favor of sports betting. A sentiment he has maintained even as House legislation progressed. The Senate saw SJR 39 and SB 715 be unsuccessful. These measures were identical to the House bills.
“Our members have been clear: they’re not in support today,” Patrick said on the Mark Davis Show. “We don’t have any votes in the Senate. Couldn’t find one Senator who supported it.”
Patrick also reiterated his sentiment that he would only support a Texas sports betting bill if it was a Republican majority. The House measures that advanced were backed primarily by Democrats despite being bipartisan bills. The bills’ main author is also Rep. Jeff Leach of the Republican party. Despite this, Patrick does not view the measure as a GOP measure.
What This Means For The Future Of Sportsbooks In Texas
While this is likely the end of the road for betting hopes in 2023, Texas legislators can still feel successful in their efforts. The fact that a measure advanced out of the House means that there is a shift in perspective for sports betting amongst lawmakers.
Those in favor of sports betting now need to work to convince Patrick and other Senate members of the benefits. Texas would instantly become the biggest sports betting state should they go live. The potential tax revenue could rival top-grossing markets like New York, Illinois, and New Jersey.
Locals can expect lawmakers to make yet another push for sports betting in 2024.