Texas, California and Florida are unlikely to pass sports betting bills in 2020.

  • Over 20 states will have legalized sports betting in 2020.
  • The three biggest states for the market are not part of those states but have been in favor of legalization.
  • California, Florida, and Texas have faced either tribal or political opposition on the issue.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Nationwide sports betting legalization should be making waves in 2020. Since the overturning of PASPA in 2018, states have been slowly legalizing the wagering of sporting events.

There are currently 13 states that offer their residents some form of legal sports betting with many more in the process of launching once their rules and regulations have been put into place.

Rhode Island has been cleaning up this NFL season as they’re the only state to offer legal sports betting in an area full of New England Patriots fans. Needless to say, they have been overloaded with bettors placing wagers every weekend. However, three of the biggest states for the market have yet to make this type of gambling legal, leaving the rest of the country scratching their heads as to why.

The Big Three Opposers

Three states that make up 27% of professional sports franchises across the country (and 27% of the nation’s population) have not decided in favor of legalization. This is surprising due to how large the market for it would be, should they offer it to their residents.

These states are California, Florida, and Texas.

Each has their own reasoning behind their hesitancy but two out of the three are due to tribal casinos and former agreements between the state and Native American tribes.

California is not only home to 17 pro teams in various leagues, but they also make up an eighth of the entire nation’s population. The state’s existing casinos are run by the California Nations Indian Gaming Association. Through the compacts that the tribes have with California, they have a very big say in the legalization of sports betting. They have spoken out against making California sportsbooks legal fearing any outside competition would hurt their operations.

Florida also holds a tribal issue for making sports betting legal. Of the eight casinos within the state, seven are run by the Seminole Tribe. Not only is the tribe against a Florida sports wagering expansion, but Disney World is also behind them.

The popular destination in Orlando is not in favor of legalization and they hold a big say over what’s to be done, as their park helps out the economic status of the state immensely. The only way Florida would be able to see legal sports betting would be to amend the state’s constitution and this would only be allowed to happen through a 60% vote by Floridians come voting season.

And then there’s Texas. The Lonestar State is known for two things, sports and barbeque. The state has eight major teams that call them home.

For Texas, it’s more of a political issue that is holding them back from being in favor of sports betting. The highly conservative state believes that gambling only hurts the lower-class population. Legalizing Texas sports betting is highly unlikely unless the views of the lawmakers change.

“Dollars don’t come from the sky,” said Rob Kohler, a Texas lobbyist. “They’re coming out of people’s pockets.”

Legalization Of Sports Betting In the USA

Colorado, Illinois, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., and Tennessee have all legalized sports betting and will join the 13 states that already offer the industry.

The first state that is expected to launch is New Hampshire which could see a mobile sports betting platform operated by DraftKings in January. More states will be joining as the new year goes on and legislators are in session once again.

But, the three biggest states may still see some opposition in trying to make sports betting legal to their residents in 2020.

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