While lawmakers work to push for a gambling market in the Lone Star State, former Texas Governor Rick Perry has endorsed a potential sports betting market. Perry, who served as Texas governor from 2000-2015 spoke with Fox 7 Austin about bringing Texas sports betting to residents. The former governor is the latest Texas voice to endorse a legal betting market.
Perry Says Yes To Sports Wagering In Texas
The former governor and U.S. Secretary of Energy has joined the Sports Betting Alliance. This is a Texas-based pro sports betting organization that lobbies for legislation.
Perry’s reasoning behind supporting legal betting in Texas is due to it being normalized across the nation. Additionally, it is believed that Texas could be a market leader in the sports wagering arena, sacrificing millions of dollars in tax revenue yearly with the lack of a regulated market.
“I’m pretty sure people have been betting since the first time two guys met horseback in a dusty street and probably centuries before that. So betting on sporting events is nothing new. 35, 36 other states already do this because the Supreme Court met and said, you know, you can’t ban this. This is a state issue. So two-thirds of the states have already said, you know what, this is going to go on. Let’s regulate it.”Rick Perry, Former Texas Governor Via Fox 7 Austin
The Sports Betting Alliance estimates roughly $8.7 billion are wagered illegally in the state. Texas bettors who only have these illegal methods to wager are giving away potential tax revenue to these illegagl outlets. Perry stands on the side of educating lawmakers to bring the market to life. The goal is also to create safe sports betting options in the Lone Star State.
“That’s why we need to do it in the state of Texas,” continued Perry. “I want to say about $8.7 billion worth of bets last year in the state of Texas.”
The Sports Betting Alliance projects that Texas could rake in more than $250 million in taxes from yearly sports betting revenue. Texas is the second-largest state by population with more than 29.7 million residents. If they offered sports betting it would be the most populated betting market.
Lawmakers recognize this and this is why there is such a major push to bring sports betting to residents in 2023.
Texas Lawmakers Make Push For 2023
Lawmakers have already prefilled SJR 17 for the 2023 legislative session. This bill would create the Texas Gaming Commission and open the gates for a sports betting market. This bill was presented by Sen. Carol Alvarado who presented SJR 49 in 2021 to do the same thing. This bull died on the committee floor without a vote.
Other lawmakers are also making a push. Several Senators and House Reps are expected to present legislation during the session to see a constitutional amendment in Texas and allow for sports betting. A regulated market could be on the horizon for Texas locals with so much support.