Four bills propose the legalization of sports wagering in Texas. While the lawmakers are still considering the legal framework, billions of dollars are leaking toward nearby states that offer sports betting legally. One way to legalize sports wagering is via Dan Huberty’s HB 2070 which calls for a constitutional amendment.
Texas Lawmakers Are Still Considering Sports Wagering Legalization
Texas is another US state, which is currently building a framework toward sports betting legalization. Undoubtedly, the prospect of capturing tax revenue by legalizing the activity is one of the reasons why the state considers gambling expansion. Currently, there are four bills proposing the legalization of sports betting.
However, before any of the bills move forward, it would need the approval of at least two-thirds of the representatives of the House. Furthermore, the Senate members would need to approve a bill with majority. After that, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick would also need to sign off the bill that is chosen.
Once all this happens, it would be up to the residents of Texas to vote on gambling expansion on the ballot in November. If Texas residents vote and approve the gambling expansion, sports betting may be legalized from January 1 next year.
Texas Residents Spend $5.6 Million on Sports Betting outside the State
Rep. Dan Huberty spoke recently to KSAT and estimated that $5.6 billion can be captured by legalizing sports betting. According to him, that money is going out of state, to jurisdictions where sports betting is already legalized. Furthermore, Huberty acknowledged that the amount may even be higher than $5.6 billion.
Considering that Texas falls behind in funding its special education, according to Huberty, the sports betting revenue tax may “help bridge that gap”. Furthermore, he said that both Governor Patrick and House speaker, Dade Phelan, “have made education and funding education a priority“.
Although last month, Governor Patrick said sports betting wouldn’t be considered any time soon, Huberty remains optimistic. He acknowledged that the sports betting legalization is going to be hard work, but according to him, the lawmakers are going to have an opportunity to be able to pass it.
Hb 2070 Proposes Sports Betting Legalization via a Constitutional Amendment
One of the possible ways to legalize sports betting is via HB 2070, introduced by Huberty. The bill seeks to legalize sports betting by introducing a constitutional amendment. HB 2070 proposes that all 13 professional sports franchises in the state should be allowed to team up with sports betting operators.
Furthermore, under the bill, horse race tracks in Sam Houston Race Park, Retama Park, and Lone Star Park would be allowed to offer sports betting. The proposal also calls for introducing sports betting at all greyhound racetracks too.