The Governor of Texas may be dead set against seeing any form of gambling expansion, but that doesn’t mean that proponents are backing off in their efforts to bring legal and regulated sports betting to the state. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said in a radio interview recently that sports betting was “not going to see the light of day” in the Lone Star State. Yet since, the start of the year, four bills in support of legal sports betting in Texas have been filed.
The latest bill to give sports betting fans in Texas some hope is HB 2070, introduced by Rep. Dan Huberty. The lawmaker is proposing a constitutional amendment so that the Texas legislature will be allowed to legalize sports betting in the state. The legislation seeks the right of Texans to vote on the issue on the November ballot. If passed, it would give certain parties, including sports teams, the right to offer sports betting operations online or at retail locations.
According to Rep. Huberty, he introduced the bill “to give Texans the freedom to decide whether to legalize and regulate sports betting in our state.”
“Sports betting is happening illegally in Texas right now and it is important for the state to take control. By implementing efficient state oversight of sports betting, we will allow Texans to safely engage with the sports they love while creating a new revenue stream to support education and other important state programs,” he added.
Recently, a collection of professional Texas sports teams, racetracks, betting platforms and fans announced the formation of the Sports Betting Alliance, which supports the legalization of sports betting in Texas.
The state is facing a significant budgetary shortfall, and supporters say that a legalized industry could raise as much as $1.8 billion over the next decade for depleted state coffers.
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