Texas lawmakers will meet Wednesday, March 22 to discuss several measures including potential sports betting bills. The House State Affairs Committee will review HB 2843, HJR 155, and HB 1942. These bills aim to regulate sports wagering locally, establish a Texas Gaming Commission, and authorize mobile and online sportsbooks in the Lone Star State.
Could Texas finally enter the U.S. sports betting industry?
Texas Sports Betting Issue Sees Committee Wednesday
The committee meeting will see each of these measures presented. Lawmakers are aiming for a constitutional amendment that would allow for casinos to open across Texas that would be run by local tribes. These locales would be able to offer retail sportsbooks as well.
While the state does have a few tribal casinos, they only offer a limited selection of gaming options with no sports betting. The aim is to see more gambling options altogether with measure HJR 155 bringing casinos to metropolitan areas. Cities like Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Corpus Christi would be prime locations for these retail operations.
The Texas Gaming Commission would oversee both the regulated casino industry and the sports wagering market in Texas. This will help streamline the regulations and launch process in the Lone Star State.
Optimism Ahead Of The Meeting
The sports betting industry in Texas has support from lawmakers in both political parties. Additionally, major figures like Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and former Governor Rick Perry have all endorsed bringing sportsbooks to Texas.
Several supporters of the potential market have also formed the Texas Sports Betting Alliance. This organization is comprised of local professional teams, sports betting operators, and other Texas figures who aim to see sportsbooks launch.
The Sports Betting Alliance estimates approximately $648.7 million in state taxes from sports betting within the first five years of the industry. This is based on the projected 10% tax rate on betting.
The alliance has been lobbying for sports betting to launch in the Lone Star State. This committee meeting will show whether its labors bear fruit at the current time.