Updated January 16, 2024By Chris Boline
Even with 2023 in the rearview mirror, the current state and future of Texas sports betting remains murky in the early days of the new year. Per a recent report from KXAN in Texas, after a multimillion-dollar lobbying push from powerful casino interests like the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the Texas legislature made more inroads toward sports betting than ever before. In May of last year, the Texas House passed a bill to legalize sports betting for the first time – but all measures failed to become law. “Maybe it will happen in 2025. Maybe, as we get closer to the session, the momentum will start building. But from where I sit right now, I just don’t see it,” regulatory writer for XLMedia Robert Linnehan told KXAN in the early January article.
In this article, SBS will be going over what to look for in the latest gaming news coming from SBS and also more notes and information about the state of Texas wagering.
Lt. Gov. Patrick continues to oppose TX sports betting
Per the same article, there’s one state leader whom observers single out when “throwing cold water” on the prospects: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick who is a familiar name in this space. Patrick, the leader of the Senate and the most powerful legislature in the state decides what legislation moves or dies. He has repeatedly cast doubt on any sports betting or casino bills.
“From day one, we had zero support for casino gambling or sports betting, ” Patrick said in March, midway through 2023’s regular legislative session. “Unless I have 15, 16 Republicans – meaning it’s a Republican-driven bill because we’re a Republican-driven state … I am not bringing a bill to the floor. I need to have consensus by the Republicans. Otherwise, it’s a bill that the Democrats are passing. We don’t do that in the Senate.”
As noted in the recent article from KXAN, in May of last year, the Texas House passed a sports bill on an 82-51 vote. Still, only 35 Republicans voted in favor. Citing a lack of Republican support, Lt. Gov. Patrick did not refer the House’s bill to a Senate committee.
“Patrick and the Republicans in the Senate have sort of dug in their heels, and there’s not an appetite for it,” Linnehan said. “With Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, in power through 2026, I think casino expansion and sports have an extremely difficult hill to climb.”
New Mavericks owner Adelson cited as tide turner
As reported on in this space and noted in the same article, last month, the NBA approved the sale of the Dallas Mavericks to the Las Vegas Sands casino company. This was a purchase that has renewed speculation about the growing push for gaming in Texas.
“It’s a new ally for Texas gaming expansion,” Linnehan said. “They may be able to bend some ears that Mark Cuban wasn’t… But look, the truth of the matter is you had one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, franchise owners in the history of sports in Jerry Jones publicly stumping for legalized sports betting in the state the last couple of years, and nothing has happened.”
Per the same article, since the beginning of 2022, the Sand Corporation has donated millions to Texas lawmakers. Donations include at least $225,000 to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, $300,000 to House Speaker Dale Phelan, and $200,000 to Gov. Greg Abbott. Per another article, this deal purchasing the Mavericks puts one of the richest women in the world closer than ever to the center of Texas business and politics. Moreover, it comes as the Las Vegas Sands, the gaming empire started by her late husband Sheldon Adelson, continues its push to legalize casinos in Texas. It is a cause she has in common with Mark Cuban, the former majority owner of the Mavericks, who wants to make Dallas a top casino destination.
Adelson has not yet commented on what the sales of the Mavericks could mean for the future of gaming in Texas, but Cuban has said the prospect of a “future resort casino” played a role in his decision to sell. Moreover as noted in one article, pro sports teams occupy a rarefied space in Texas politics. Owners like Tilman Fertitta (Houston Rockets) and Jones’ Cowboys are especially close with GOP leaders. However, in a sign of the limits of their influence, they too have lobbied for more gaming in Texas, with little to show for it.
Even more notes and info about Texas wagering
After you are all dialed in regarding the latest gaming news and information coming from Texas, make sure to check out the wide variety of info for you only at SBS. Of course, for even more insights on the topic at hand, our sports betting in Texas guide has everything you need to know about Texas sports betting news and what lies ahead in the state. Conversely, for those looking to get the most out of their wagers this year, make sure to check out the best bonus betting sites rundown. This page includes a catalog of different welcome bonus offers and tips for getting the most out of promotions across various sites. Finally, for those on the go, our best betting apps rundown is a must-read page where you can learn more about the perks of mobile betting and how you can always stay on top of the action on the go.
About the Author
As a devout aficionado of sports, Chris Boline has carved a career within the athletic realm. A skilled scribe, he boasts a decade-long portfolio that encompasses coverage of the NBA G League, the Los Angeles Chargers, football in the Mountain West Conference, and basketball.
Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is deeply invested in his community and dedicates his leisure hours to serving on boards, collaborating with community organizations, and cherishing the company of loved ones.
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