As far as US sports betting is concerned, many industry experts are having a tough time seeing a sportsbook in Texas. It is, after all, one of the hardest states to get legislation on gambling on. This is despite having a potentially large market of bettors, as well as those who would want to create a sportsbook of their own. But 2021 is bringing some hope for Texans, as a Texas bill open to sportsbook operations in the state is now being introduced in the state legislature.
Currently, there are no commercial casinos in Texas, there are no sportsbooks, and any form of online gambling. The only form of gambling residents have is horse racing, and the lottery. But now, there are two bills that are attempting to introduce gambling and sports betting in the state. Let’s a take a look at the details, and if these bills have potential.
Texas Bill Open to Sportsbook and Casino Operations
The first bill is HB 477 from Rep Joe Deshotel (D). This bill aims to promote retail or physical casinos in certain areas in the state. This bill specifically tackles helping casinos that are damaged by natural disasters such as flooding and windstorms. This is a common occurrence in areas in Texas. Meanwhile, HB 1121 is from another Democrat, Rep. Harold Dutton. This bill wants to legalize online and mobile betting. The bill will be very similar to that of Tennessee, where gambling is limited to mobile means. The bill also aims to collect a 6.25% tax rate on mobile sports betting.
Many sportsbook pay per head sites are earning more than ever, with a rise in demand for sports betting through online platforms. HB 1121 will go a long way in capturing a large market of sports bettors in Texas. Currently, bettors from the state either travel to Louisiana, Oklahoma, and online sportsbooks as well. Given how notoriously against gambling the state is, it is still unsure whether the bills will get more attention. But given that states need to generate more income, maybe they would be open to allowing online gambling at the very least.