Texas Sports Teams, Operators Line Up Behind Sports-Betting Bills

February 7, 2023
Back
Texas legislators on Monday (February 6) launched the latest effort to legalize sports betting in the Lone Star State through a pair of bills backed by an alliance of national sports-betting operators and more than a dozen Texas sports franchises.

Body

Texas legislators on Monday (February 6) launched the latest effort to legalize sports betting in the Lone Star State through a pair of bills backed by an alliance of national sports-betting operators and more than a dozen Texas sports franchises.

Senate Bill 715 and House Bill 1942 would regulate mobile sports betting in Texas if a separate set of bills amending the state’s constitution succeed.

The latter bills, Senate Joint Resolution 39 and House Joint Resolution 102, require a two-thirds majority in each chamber and voter approval in November.

“I introduced SB 715 and SJR 39 because Texas needs to bring security and safety into the world of mobile sports betting,” said Senator Lois Kolkhorst, a Republican, in a statement released by the Sports Betting Alliance.

The alliance includes the 12 Texas-based major professional sports teams and five national sports-betting operators: FanDuel; DraftKings; BetMGM; Barstool Sportsbook; and Fanatics.

“It makes sense to rein in all of the illegal offshore betting and keep sports wagering funds here in Texas,” Kolkhorst continued. “This is a sensible plan, which is why so many states have already passed similar legislation.”

The bill would authorize major professional sports teams, the PGA Tour, and three horseracing tracks to receive mobile sports-betting licenses, regulated by the Texas Lottery Commission.

“Sports betting is going to happen whether it is regulated or not,” said Jim Crane, owner of Major League Baseball's Houston Astros.

“Rather than having Texans betting illegally through unknown companies in foreign countries, this bill will allow controls and safeguards for sports betting in Texas while generating significant revenue that will be used to reduce everyone’s property taxes in Texas.”

“A legal and regulated sports-betting market is what’s best for Texas and I applaud Senator Kolkhorst and Representative [Jeff] Leach for filing this legislation,” said Jerry Jones, owner of the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys.

“It will give Texans the ability to decide for themselves if they want this activity safely regulated or continue to be conducted in the shadows by out-of-state betting platforms,” Jones said.

The bill would give each sports team and racetrack one mobile betting skin for a $500,000 permitting fee, which would grant a three-year license. Renewal of the permit would cost $100,000.

The proposal also includes a tax structure favorable to the sports-betting industry, featuring a 10 percent tax on adjusted gross revenue that includes full deductions of free bets and other promotional offers.

Operators would also be allowed to deduct federal excise tax payments and have the ability to carry over monthly losses to offset later revenue.

The bill is the second major gaming expansion proposal to be filed in as many business days, following a bill filed Friday that would authorize up to seven destination-resort casinos in the state.

However, any type of gaming expansion faces several hurdles.

In addition to the high threshold for passage in the legislature, Republican Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has consistently voiced his opposition to any type of gaming expansion, which is problematic because Patrick effectively controls the floor agenda in the Senate.

Our premium content is available to users of our services.

To view articles, please Log-in to your account, or sign up today for full access:

Opt in to hear about webinars, events, industry and product news

To find out more about Vixio, contact us today
No items found.