The Texas Rangers, and Dallas Cowboys and Mavericks have come together to form the Sports Betting Alliance in an effort to legalize sports betting in the state of Texas.
According to The Dallas Morning News, the Sports Betting Alliance has the backing of many of the state’s professional sports teams with more partners set to be announced in the coming days. These teams include FC Dallas and the Dallas Stars although neither team has yet to make a comment on the push for betting legislation.
The Alliance hopes that a decision on the legalization of sports betting can be put to the state electorate with a complete reversal of the state ban on sports betting being the ultimate goal.
To achieve that goal, the state would need two pieces of legislation — one to amend the constitution to allow sports betting and another to outline the regulation of state-licensed gambling.
GOP State Rep. Dan Huberty has already authored a sports betting bill that would see the state collect a 10% tax on all in-state wagers. The tax would then go towards special education programmes.
Speaking of his draft, Huberty said:
“It could generate several hundred million dollars,”
Huberty’s claim is based on a 2019 study published by the Dallas Morning News. The study found that Texans are currently spending as much as $2.5 billion in out-of-state casinos.
Speaking of the Alliance, Charlotte Jones, the Dallas Cowboys’ Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer, took the same view as Rep Dan Huberty, saying:
“Unregulated and illegal sports gambling is already taking place in the State of Texas. Legalized sports betting would regulate the industry and generate hundreds of millions of dollars of new revenue for the state which will help fund critical programs without raising taxes.”
However, while the Sports Betting Alliance is obviously in favor of the legalization of sports betting, it has yet to make any statement on the establishment of a casino industry.
Casinos have been a talking point in Texas for some time now with Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson lobbying for their introduction to the state prior to his death.
According to GOP consultant and chairman of the Travis County Republican Party, Matt Mackowiak, the general feeling is that sports betting will be an easier sell. After all, Texas is a state that is famously conservative in its views towards casinos.
When asked for a comment Mackowiak said:
“My view is that Texas is going to be one of the 10 last states to allow gambling. I do think [sports betting is] a lighter lift, and it may be where they end up.”