Any momentum Texas sports betting had last week was stomped out in one fell swoop by Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick’s (R) social media posts over the weekend.

Despite the Texas House of Representatives approving a referendum and online sports betting bill to put the issue to a vote in the upcoming November election, Patrick again reiterated that he will not call the legislation to the Senate floor for a hearing or vote.

The measures are Democrat led, Patrick reminded Texas residents, and will not be called for a vote to the Senate floor without majority GOP support.

Texas sports betting must wait until 2025

Despite sports betting legislation moving farther in the Lone Star state than ever before, Patrick put an end to any discussion about it possibly squeaking through the Texas Senate.

Patrick has long been an opponent of legalized sports betting and previously said there is not enough traction in the Senate for sports betting to be approved this session.

Patrick appeared on 660 AM’s Mark Davis Show in late April and said from the first day of the legislative session there was no support for either sports betting or expanded gaming in the Senate.

Patrick said there are currently no votes in the Senate for a casino bill or a sports betting bill. Unless 15 or 16 Republican Senators are in favor of the bill, Patrick said he will not bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote.

Texas is a red state, Patrick said, and the Senate cannot “waste committee/floor time” in the last days of the legislative session on a bill that is not support by the GOP.

Historic House vote all for naught

The Texas House of Representatives approved Rep. Jeff Leach’s (R-67) referendum, HJR 102, on third reading last week by a vote of 101-42. It received the necessary 100 votes for a referendum and was sent over to the Senate.

The House also voted in favor of Leach’s online sports betting bill, HB 1942, by a vote of 82-51.

It was the first time sports betting legislation had been approved in the Texas House of Representatives.

Leach’s online sports betting bill is supported by the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, which is comprised of Texas professional sports franchises, sports leagues, race tracks, and sports betting platforms. The proposed laws will allow for the legalization of online sports betting through Texas professional sports teams. If approved, WNBA, MLS, MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL franchises in the state will be eligible for online sports betting licenses.

An amendment was approved to allow NASCAR to participate in sports betting as well.

Leach’s bill sets the online sports betting tax rate at 10% of adjusted gross sports betting revenue and each license will cost $500,000.

Next step for Texas sports betting

Barring any sort of miracle in the Senate, Texas sports betting hopes are now dead for 2023. Adding to the difficulty of the Senate’s decision to not hear the bill, discussions on sports betting in the Lone Star state will not able to continue until 2025.

Texas only holds its legislative sessions once every two years, with the next scheduled for 2025. If a sports betting bill and referendum successfully moves through the Senate and House in 2025 and a ballot question is held during the 2025 general election, sports betting likely wouldn’t launch until 2026 at the earliest.

Patrick’s current term runs through 2026 and he has indicated he will run for reelection as well.