Texas Sports Betting Legislation Has Advanced In House Committee

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Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
Texas Sports Betting House Bill

Despite Lt Gov. Dan Patrick believing there are no votes in the Senate for sports betting legislation in Texas, House bills are progressing towards that potential legislative dead end. HB 1942 and HJR 102 advanced in the House State Affairs Committee to a 9-3 vote. This pushes the legislation to the Calendars Committee. Texas sports betting has gotten its first successful vote.

Texas Sports Betting Gains Momentum

During the committee meeting, no amendments were made to the legislation. The measures would allow for online sports betting to be regulated and taxed in the Lone Star State.

This measure grants the Texas Lottery Commission regulatory authority over the sports betting market. Operators would be taxed at a 10% rate with three-year mobile license applications requiring a $500,000 fee. A renewal fee of $100,000 would be required thereafter.

Casino legislation also advanced in the committee. These legislations would allow for retail sports betting as well.

There are likely to be amendments to the legislation that includes the local Kickapoo Tribe on the bills. The Kickapoo Tribe has expressed they wish to include sports betting in an updated tribal compact with the state. This compact would be supported under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

Bill sponsor Rep. Jeff Leach expressed during the meeting his willingness to work with the tribes. These amendments could take place ahead of the next committee hearing.

How Likely Is Texas Sports Betting Passing In 2023

While Rep. Leach is confident in his bill at least passing in the House, problems will arise once the measure hits the Senate. Lt Gov. Patrick is adamant that there is not a single vote supporting sports betting legislation in the Senate. There are currently two identical legislations circulating in the Senate that do not appear to have much support.

The legislative session in Texas ends on May 29, however, giving the bills plenty of time to garner support should lawmakers lobby successfully. The aim is to have sports betting legislation on the 2023 November ballot for locals to vote on. If the measures make it that far, it would be in the hands of residents.

The struggle would simply be getting legislation that far.