Analysts Predict Evolution of Texas Sports Betting Debate by 2025

Lawmakers in Texas are currently debating several gaming-related bills, but experts caution that legalizing sports betting in the Lone Star state is a longshot this year. The Texas House of Representatives State Affairs Committee is considering three gaming bills, two of which include casino licensing and sports betting, and another that focuses solely on sports wagering. It is possible that the bills containing casino licensing may be altered to exclude sports betting if the issue appears to be too difficult to pass.

The proposed online sports betting bill will allow Texas’ professional sports teams and racetracks to apply for a license, which will cost $500,000. If awarded, they may partner with one online sports betting operator, and the tax rate for adjusted gross sports betting revenue will be 10%. Currently, Texas restricts wagering to bingo facilities, a state-run lottery, and greyhound and horse racing.

There is some momentum for mobile sports betting in Texas, supported by the state’s professional sports teams, the PGA Tour, and the Sports Betting Alliance, of which former Governor Rick Perry is a spokesman. It is believed that if the state’s constitution is amended to allow sports betting, it will pass in a referendum if put to a vote in November 2023. However, there is significant opposition to this, including anti-betting organizations, Oklahoma tribal casinos, and commercial gaming entities.

The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, which operates Class II casino gaming in the state, has also expressed interest in having a say in the matter. Louisiana’s casino operators are not among the opponents of sports betting in Texas, and they may likely have a hand in the Texas sports betting market if it comes to fruition.

Despite the support, there are multiple challenges to sports wagering being passed in Texas this year. These include the opposition of Republican Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, the lack of budget shortfall that could be plugged by online sports betting, and the limited amount of time for the legislature to pass the bills before the session ends on May 29. Therefore, sports bettors in the state may have to wait until 2025 for sports betting to be legalized.