- Texas has three bills in the 2021 legislative session that would like to legalize sports betting in the state.
- House Bill 2070 is an all-encompassing bill that would open sportsbooks at professional team stadiums in the state as well as offer mobile applications and other establishment locations in Texas.
- The Texas Legislature adjourns for the year on May 31.
AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Legislature has three bills that want to legalize sports betting currently up for discussion but only one would allow professional sports organizations to run their own sportsbooks if they chose to dive into the industry.
On Tuesday, a bill was filed by Representative Dan Huberty that calls for an amendment to the state’s constitution to allow sports betting.
This subject would be placed on the November ballot for residents to have their say on the legalization of the market. Should a majority vote be in favor of legal sports betting, the law would go into effect on January 1, 2022.
But all of this is a long way off as House Bill 2070 first needs to get through the legislative process with approvals before the public can even consider weighing in on legal sports gaming.
The Latest Texas Sports Betting Bill
House Bill 2070 would make land-based and mobile sports wagering legal. Professional sports teams would be eligible to open sportsbooks, partnering with operators to have gambling done at their venues.
There are 13 different professional teams in Texas that would all be allowed to take part in the market. Each operator statewide would be able to have a brick-and-mortar venue as well as one online platform through licensing.
There is a cap of one mobile sportsbook platform license per establishment. There is a 10% tax rate set on all GGR and collegiate betting would be made available through this proposal. The voters simply have to vote yes if and when the subject of legal sports betting makes Its way to their November ballots.
While TX HB 2070 has it all, the fact that it calls for a constitutional amendment makes it a harder sell for lawmakers. Historically, amendments to the constitution are typically avoided unless absolutely necessary although some states have no issue going that route. Texas, however, is very conservative which would make the task more difficult to approve.
The Other Bills
The other two bills on the table in the Texas Legislature are House Bill 477 that is focused on making sports betting a Class III gaming option as it seeks to legalize all forms of Class III gaming. Texas currently only has legal gambling at a Class II level. Sportsbooks would be made available at the coastal casinos in the state through this proposal.
The only real competitor against House Bill 2070 is House Bill 1121. But what TX HB 1121 offers by way of legal sports betting in Texas is unmatched to House Bill 2070. House Bill 1121 would be a completely mobile sports wagering market without any retail gambling available.
Only five operators would be allowed to open their platforms in the state and the tax rate is set at 6.25% on all GGR which would result in lower profits not just from the number of operators but the lowered tax rate on revenue. Collegiate sports betting is prohibited under this proposal, making for another thing that it is lacking in comparison to its competition.
What’s Next For Texas?
The Texas Legislature has not yet put any one of these bills on the schedule to be heard on the floor.
Of them, the most profitable for the state would be House Bill 2070 but the easiest to get legalized would be House Bill 1121. It’s quite a conundrum for lawmakers to make their final decision on these bills but sports bettors in Texas hope to see gambling on sporting events legalized in the 2021 session.
The legislature adjourns on May 31 for the year making real discussions a priority for the state soon.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.