Texas Legislators Voice Support For Online Sports Betting Bill
Texas online sports betting legalization is once again getting a push from lawmakers in the Lone Star State, this time with bipartisan support.
State Senators Dan Huberty (R-126) and Juan Hinojosa (D-20) penned a bipartisan guest column for the Rio Grande Guardian in support of a proposed constitutional amendment – HJR 97/HB 2070 and SJR 39/SB 736 – that would give Texas residents a voice in legalizing sports betting later this year.
Give State Voters A Say On Legalization Of Texas Online Sports Betting
If approved, the amendment would bring legalized in-person and online sports betting to a vote for Texas residents in this November’s election, according to the state senators.
A legal, regulated sports betting market will help deter unlawful sports betting in and provide strict state oversight over sports betting operators while generating new revenue for state coffers. Creating a legal, regulated structure for sports betting has bipartisan support and is good for consumers and good for Texas.
According to HB 2070, “any sports governing body may enter into a commercial agreement with a sports wagering operator under which the sports governing body may share in the amount wager or revenues derived from sports wagering on the sports governing body ’s sporting events.”
The bill would allow for Texas professional sports operators to act as sportsbooks in the state. However, language in the bill only allows for sportsbook to offer “its sports wagering platform to the public under one brand.”
This likely means second skins will not be available.
Texas Online Sports Betting Plan Would Be Big Revenue
If sports betting is approved it could bring in more than $180 million in new revenue over the next two-year budget cycle, the senators wrote, and could see more than $1 billion in new revenue over the next decade.
The tax revenue from legalizing sports betting could go toward state programs in health care, education, property tax reform or even updating our power grid. This revenue will have a real benefit to Texas families.
Texans are currently placing nearly $5 billion in illegal sports bets per year with illegal offshore sportsbook, leaving Texans open to fraud and with little protections, the Senators noted.
In the current unregulated environment there are no protections for the most vulnerable in our state. A legal, regulated sports betting market will help deter unlawful sports betting in and provide strict state oversight over sports betting operators while generating new revenue for state coffers.
Reports of a Texas online and in-person betting plan began to accelerate earlier this year.