Texas Sports Betting Alliance, a lobby group has engaged former Texas Governor Rick Perry to increase pressure on legalising sportsbetting in Texas. The alliance is one of two major camps pushing to for sportsbetting in Texas. It includes a number of sportsbetting platforms as well as professional sports teams that include Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Stars, Dallas Mavericks, FC Dallas, and the Texas Rangers.
The other pressure group pushing forward for this legislation is led by gaming empire Las Vegas Sands. This is also a way for Texas to generate new tax income streams. Once this bill is passed Texas will collect up to an additional US $550 million over two years from tax winnings.
In 2018 the US Supreme Court removed the federal law that prohibits states from legalizing sportsbetting. This opened the door for individual states to decide whether to legalise and regulate the sector. The gambling sector in Texas has seen this as an opportunity to transform the industry in the State of Texas to become a pioneer in sports betting.
Mobile sports betting is already available in 35 states. In Texas sports betting platforms are not legalised yet. It is envisaged that former Senator Perry will be instrumental in pushing the initiative forward to make it happen very soon. He was once opposed to the idea but his views have changed and he believes that sportsbetting in Texas needs to be regulated without any further delays. However, delays may happen as passing this bill needs changes to the Texas Constitution and this will take more time and both the House and Senate will need to approve it.
We’re going to have people betting on sporting events in the State of Texas, and you know what I think. That’s okay. But it needs to be regulated. There needs to be oversight.” Former Senator Rick Perry
They said once passed and fully developed Texas collects up to $550 million dollars for a two-year budget cycle by taxing winnings.
There are opponents of course like Bob Kohler who is a consultant of the Christian Life Commission and speaks about the repercussions and risks as a result of betting.
We don’t think it’s a good idea to put sports betting on phones and expose their use. The dots aren’t too far to connect that people can get in a lot of trouble financially.” Bob Kohler from Christian Life Commission, opposed to mobile sportsbetting
Perry points out that the Government of Texas will need to formalise controls to generate taxes and determine accurate revenue estimates. For example in a recent survey, the state of Colorado reported issues with the implementation of controls to generate revenues through mobile sports betting. The former Governor said that “Texas would need to put in proper controls”.
While the former Governor is speaking on behalf of the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, he said he is not lobbying for the organization.
Future of Texas sportsbetting
The Texas Sports Betting Alliance is confident that it has the support needed to pass legislation for online sports betting sites in the state. The legislation would place the Texas Lottery Commission in charge of licensing and regulating online sportsbooks, with teams, leagues, and racetracks eligible for licenses. Operators would be subject to a 10 percent tax on adjusted gross wagering revenue, with a US $500,000 licensing fee. Bettors would have to be aged 21 or older to wager. The legislation would only come into effect in 2024 if a constitutional amendment is approved by voters.
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