Cowboys, Rangers, and Mavs Strike Strategic Alliance to Advance Texas Sports Betting Bill

Big three form The Sports Betting Alliance

The Lone Star State’s three leading major league sports teams have joined forces to champion legislation that will give Texans the chance to vote on lifting the state’s sports betting ban.

According to The Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, and Texas Rangers yesterday formed The Sports Betting Alliance, “a coalition of franchises and betting platforms” with the single-minded purpose of pushing for legalization.

The Wakeland Sports Management program at Justin Wakeland High School in Frisco announced news of the coalition’s formation on Twitter:

The National Football League (NFL)’s Cowboys, the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s Mavs, and Major League Baseball (MLB)’s Rangers are spearheading the alliance, which will also include more Texas pro sports teams, the Morning News said.

Texas losing millions through out-of-state gambling

The Sports Betting Alliance is backing the sports betting bill GOP State Rep Dan Huberty will soon introduce. A current draft of Huberty’s bill reportedly reads that bettors could take home a maximum of 90% of their winnings, with the 10% collected going toward state education.

“It could generate several hundred million dollars,” Huberty said.

In order to legalize sports betting in Texas, the state constitution would need amending. For this to happen, it would require the yes vote from two-thirds of the legislature. Once the state is on board, the bill would go to a public referendum. Earlier this year, Texas lawmakers launched bills to legalize commercial casinos in set areas along the coast, and to introduce legal online sports wagering.

As most gambling in Texas is illegal – aside from the lottery, charitable bingo, and some pari-mutuel racing – it’s no surprise that a recent study revealed that Texans are shelling out at least $2.5bn annually in casinos outside state borders.

Dallas Cowboys executive VP Charlotte Jones embellished this fact, telling the Morning News that: “Unregulated and illegal sports gambling is already taking place in the State of Texas.”

It makes no sense for us to force Texans to go to neighboring states to gamble”

According to the Fort-Worth daily, Mavs owner Mark Cuban backs the legalization of both sports betting and casinos in the Lone Star State. “I think it’s time […] It makes no sense for us to force Texans to go to neighboring states to gamble in casinos,” he maintained.

Important revenue streams for states

Revenue generated from both sports betting and casino gaming has become highly attractive to states across the US seeking new markets to boost COVID-19-hit economies.

Sportsbooks have observed that the sports wagering market is maturing at a faster-than-expected pace. The CEO of FOX Bet, Kip Levin, said: “The tipping point is here. What we went through last year is the driver.” Levin added that even with the sporting calendar hit by coronavirus disturbances, 14 wagering states made over $1bn in revenue between them in 2020.

While 25 states have legalized sports betting since the Supreme Court overturned the federal sports gambling law in 2018, Texas joins other large states such as California and Florida in retaining a conservative attitude towards gambling.

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