The State of Texas won’t be legalizing sports betting this year. As LSR reports, the Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick, rejected the proposal for an online Texas sports betting bill to be put on ballot after the bill passed the House for the first time in the Lone Star State legislation.
Sports betting Bill Rejected:
bill proposal was approved by the Representatives and sent to Senate for further consideration but the Senate chairman seemingly had no doubts to put down any chances for bill approval in this year’s session. “No. Jeff Leach, a bill proponent who reportedly spoke on 25 May, said that the bill was dead. Patrick made his decision just 2 business days prior to the end of 2023 Texas’ legislative session. As state legislators meet every second year, the sports betting bill will be put on hold to be waiting for another opportunity in 2025.Chairman’s Resolution:Hoping that the bill would pass the House
Senate, proponents of the sports betting legislation has already designated November 7 as the date for public vote and awaited fellow citizens to decide the sports betting measure. According to the source, Patrick announced the fate of the bill in a few public statements on May 13 and 14.He reportedly stated: “Texas is a red state. The House voted on sports betting with a majority of Democrats. Texas Senate does not pass bills without GOP minority. Our path is guided by the GOP majority. Can’t waste committee/floor time in the last days.” Can’t waste committee/floor time in the last days.”Most Significant Obstacle:
Patrick has been keeping his anti-gambling attitude
for years and the gambling industry perceive the Senate chairman as the most significant obstacle to legalize sports wagering operations in
Texas. The industry reportedly hoped that Patrick would change his views on the matter but the Lieutenant Governor doesn’t seem ready to disappoint his conservative voter base.LSR also reports that Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys owner, has tried to persuade
Patrick into approving sports betting in the state, but an industry source reportedly said that ‘‘the Patrick obstacle was one even Jerry Jones couldn’t overcome.” Jones reportedly supported the bill as the legislation would allow sports books to access the state market through the local professional sports teams.Awaiting the 2025 Session:At the end of the day, the sports wagering bill will wait for the 2025 session
to hope for the better outcome next time.
Patrick, and Gov. Greg Abbott was recently re-elected, and will now have the power to decide on the bill. The industry must find ways to convince legislators to change their mind. The industry is reportedly considering Funding Education and Property Taxes as options to gain approval for 2025. However, the state has a budget surplus of $32.7 billion.