Texas Legislature

  • Bipartisan support for a new sports betting legalization bill is a significant development.
  • 19 members in the Texas Sports Betting Alliance have supported the legalization movement.
  • Imposed tax rates have varied between bills from around 6.25%-10%.

DALLASSB 715 has been introduced in the Texas Senate in order to once and for all legalize sports betting in Texas. The bill importantly has garnered support by both sides of the political aisle – a development that certainly breeds confidence among proponents of legalization.

With support from Democratic politicians such as Christian Manuel as well as Republican lawmakers like Lois Kolkhorst, it may be time for the four-year struggle to legalize sports betting to finally come to an end. With legal betting sites estimating that about 50 million Americans combined to wager a collective $16 billion on the Super Bowl, the envy of being unable to have any stake in all that revenue may influence the passing of SB 715.

One of the biggest changes in the language of SB 715 is the substantially higher tax rate on sports betting transactions, which has been set at 10% of adjusted gross sports betting revenue. Former Governor Rick Perry, who is now a spokesperson for the sports betting alliance, estimated that Texas could bring in around $250 million per year.

This is a quite big departure from previously introduced bills such as HB 1275, which sought to put a tax rate of 6.25% on any wager placed by an individual.

Professional Team Support May Push SB 715 to the Finish Line

Among the various bills circulating throughout the Texas Senate and House, support from the major professional teams located throughout Texas may be the biggest boon for the potential passing of legislation.

The sports betting alliance in Texas was created in February of 2021 and is comprised of most major sports teams in the state as well as sports betting companies seeking to legalize and regulate sports betting via the use of licenses. Some of the members include the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Stars, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Texans, Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, DraftKings and more.

Through SB 715, each team would be eligible to apply and obtain a sports betting license, which they can then use to partner with an online sports betting platform. Each license is estimated to be around $500,000.

The bill has further gained support from the various team owners such as Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones, the latter of which tends to be a Republican supporter and may be one of the keys, alongside allied politicians, to pushing SB 715 past Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Patrick has thoroughly been against the idea of legalizing sports betting in Texas but may soon feel the pressure of the various powerful supporters like Jones and Lois Kolkhorst, who is a close ally of the Lt. Gov.

Overall, with the combination of bipartisan support as well as the 19-member alliance comprised of professional teams, sportsbooks, and major organizations like the PGA, Texas sportsbooks have all-time high levels of confidence that SB 715 will finally legalize sports betting in Texas.

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