Texas State Representative Dan Huberty.

  • House Bill 2070 could bring regulated sports betting to Texas.
  • This bill would open retail and mobile sportsbooks in the Lone Star State in 2022.
  • HJR 97, a bill to get sports betting on the November 2021 ballot for Texans to amend the constitution to include sportsbooks would also need to pass alongside TX HB 2070 this session.

AUSTIN, Texas – A measure for regulated sports betting was introduced to the House State Affairs Committee in the Texas Legislature on Wednesday night where it was well-received. House Bill 2070 would regulate sports betting in Texas and put a large bulk of its revenue toward special education programs in the state.

Within the framework of House Bill 2070, a regulated system for sportsbooks would be implemented for the Lone Star State. Sponsor and State Representative Dan Huberty told the committee that his proposal would do good in both opening sports betting to a state that already engages in the activity daily and gain funding for special education at the same time.

House Bill 2070 And Backing Of The Industry

To open up sports gaming in Texas, it would require a constitutional amendment. HJR 97 is the bill currently in the legislature that would put the topic on the November ballot for Texans to decide. However, if both measures pass and then constituents vote on the market favorably, the landscape of TX HB 2070 would automatically become the foundation for the industry.

There is a 10% tax on all GGR for both retail and mobile sportsbooks set within the proposal. Mobile and internet operators would have the ability for their players to do everything remotely as there is no in-person registration required. Professional teams in Texas would be allowed to become licensed to open sportsbook businesses through this bill as well.

This is a big one for advocates of the market because many of the professional teams in the state like the Texas Rangers and Houston Rockets have come forward to speak in favor of regulating a Texas sports betting industry. Operators like Penn National Gaming and the Golden Nugget told lawmakers of the benefits that a regulated market would bring to the state and provided testimony for them to that effect.

Many Discussions On The Horizon

There was some pause due to the tribes in Texas not being mentioned in the present draft of House Bill 2070, but Huberty said he is open to changes to the bill and working with the tribes in order to get his measure passed. It is projected that a regulated sports betting market in Texas could see $90 million in yearly revenue through a conservative estimate

The measure is expected to be put on the calendar for its next hearing within the coming days. The Texas Legislature adjourns for 2021 on May 31. However, this looks like it could be the year that Texans will see sports betting on their November ballots and a sports wagering industry would open up for them statewide in 2022.

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