Texas lawmakers are making a big push to regulate sports betting in the Lone Star State. Four sports betting bills across the State Senate and House of Representatives have been presented. In the Senate, SB 715 and SJR 39 were pushed by Senators Lois Kolkhorst and Juan Hinojosa. Two identical bills were presented n the House, HB 1942 and HJR 102 by Rep. Jeff Leach.
New Bills To Bring Sportsbooks To Texas
Each measure aims to legalize online sportsbooks in Texas through partnerships with local teams. The bills would lead to a constitutional amendment, meaning a statewide vote would be required. Local residents would see the measure presented on the November 2023 ballot.
“I introduced SB 715 and SJR 39 because Texas needs to bring security and safety into the world of mobile sports betting,” said Lois Kolkhorst, State Senator in a statement. “It makes sense to reign in all of the illegal offshore betting and keep sports wagering funds here in Texas.”
Major proponents of the bills are the Texas Sports Betting Alliance. This organization consists of a combination of political figures, including former Texas governor Rick Perry, as well as professional teams, leagues, and local race tracks. The goal is to bring a Texas sports betting market to light.
“It makes sense to reign in all of the illegal offshore betting and keep sports wagering funds here in Texas,” continued Kolkhorst. “This is a sensible plan, which is why so many states have already passed similar legislation. As a former collegiate athlete, I respect the purity of sports and feel SB 715 and SJR 39 will promote integrity through transparent licensing, permitting, and reporting requirements. Most important of all, it will stop underage offshore betting that is happening across Texas today.”
Details Of The Bills
The bills would see each Texas franchise be able to host one online betting license. They can apply for these licenses and if granted, partner with online sportsbook operators. Texas is home to professional teams across the MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, and WNBA. Each franchise would be eligible for a sports betting license.
Current regulations would see a 10% tax rate on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) from sports betting. It would cost operators $500,000 for a betting license. There would be no restrictions on college betting based on the first iteration of the measures.
Texas sports betting may become a reality if these measures are successful. With the strong endorsement from several public figures, including Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, there is a strong desire for a local betting market. We will have to wait and see if these measures bare fruit.