April 4, 2023 2 min read

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Texas House Committee Waves Through Two Sports Gambling Bills

The Lone Star State is doubling down on efforts to pass legislation that would expand gambling in its multiple forms

There is still a long road to go but the final destination seems in sight as a Texas House committee cleared two proposals on Monday, and the state is now gearing up to have its first-floor vote on the matter.

Small Breakaway Success Does Not Mean Legalization Prospects for Texas

The House State Affairs Committee did not spend much time on the matter, choosing to instead vote for the proposals without any discussion. The votes ended up 9-3 in favor of the proposals, with Republican representatives expressing their opposition.

To pass any proposal into law later on, the Texas Constitution would have to change, which requires a two-thirds majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. This is very unlikely to happen. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has repeatedly said that expanding gambling under his watch is very unlikely.

However, House Bill 2843 and House Bill 1942 give hope to people who want to gamble legally in-state and not least – companies such as Las Vegas Sands – that things can change for what they think is the better. The proposals target sports betting and mobile betting, which could lead to a huge windfall in tax revenue for the state.

The counter-argument runs on the old familiar lines with opponents fearing that expanding gambling would increase societal ills and lead to lost and ruined lives. Las Vegas Sands has been splurging a pretty penny on lobbying for gambling expansion as the company divested from properties in Nevada and is hoping to reinvest in a casino-style resort in Texas.

All Lawmakers Need to Be on Board for The Bills to Move Forward

However, things aren’t cut and dry. The representatives who voted against the bill in the House Committee are not alone, and they are likely to muster up more support. The issue is divisive enough to be polarizing, even though lawmakers mostly tend to keep partisanship out of sports and gambling regulation – a rare and welcomed attitude towards doing politics.

Either way, a unilateral passage of gambling in Texas is highly unlikely. These laws require bilateral work and endorsement, especially with the Lone Star needing supermajorities to enact constitutional amendments.

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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