The Sports Betting Alliance, consisting of several professional sports teams in Texas, backs a new bill that could bring legal online and retail sports betting to the state.
The biggest teams in the state are included in the Sports Betting Alliance, such as the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, and the Dallas Mavericks. But the NHL’s Dallas Stars and the MLS’s FC Dallas also joined the call, with more professional teams expected to follow suit.
Texas Set To Become A Huge Sports Betting Market
From the major D1 colleges to the many major league teams, the Lone Star State boasts one of the most sports-centric states in the country. With a population of over 29 million residents, it’s no wonder some estimates put the amount of illegal sports bets in the state at close to $2 billion per year.
Beyond sports betting, Texans spend a minimum of $2.5 billion at out-of-state casinos every year. While it’s safe to bet that Texas will legalize sports betting before they open up full-scale casinos, it’s still a good indication of the level of demand for in-state betting.
If the Sports Betting Alliance were to help push the state in the direction of legalized sports betting, Texas could become the largest legal sports betting market in the country.
California, the only state with a larger population, won’t be legalizing it anytime soon. And Florida, which has the third-largest population, seems even further away from legalization than California.
What The New Texas Sports Betting Bill Looks Like
While the details of the newly drafted sports betting bill in Texas have yet to be made public, the Dallas Morning News reports that it would allow anyone over 21 and physically located in the State of Texas to bet on college and professional sports both online and in-person.
The reasoning behind the Sports Betting Alliance backing this bill is crystal clear. If it were to pass, professional sports teams and racetracks would partner with sportsbook brands to offer an online betting platform as well as in-person sportsbooks.
That would generate a massive amount of revenue for these stadiums and tracks, which took huge financial hits during the COVID-19 attendance limitations.
Timeline For Legal Sports Betting In Texas
On top of the bill backed by the Sports Betting Coalition, the Texas Constitution would also need to be amended by a second bill. Voters would also have to approve that amendment.
That means two bills need to pass both state houses in Austin, then Texas voters would have to go to the polls. Those three hurdles mean three potential roadblocks.
However, if everything were to pass, sports bettors in Texas could have access to legal online sportsbooks before the 2022 Super Bowl.