Legislators in Texas are currently debating two bills concerning the establishment of a legalised, regulated sports betting and gambling market in the Lone Star State.

One bill would oversee the construction and opening of casinos in the state’s major metro areas. The second concerns legalised online sports betting, which has become increasingly commonplace in numerous states across the country.

Figures show that over 7.6 million Americans bet online using web-based operators such as DraftKings, FanDuel and others, a 63% increase on the 2020 figure. 

Speaking to San Antonio-based media outlet KENS 5, Professor Jennifer Alexander of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) outlined her opinions on the introduction of sports betting to the state.

“I think that state and local governments, based on everything I have seen, are in far worse shape now than they have been in the past 20 or 30 years,” she said. 

“The states that are making money are not going to back away, and the states always have to consider that if they don’t offer something people will just go to a neighbouring state.”

However, Alexander also acknowledged that the introduction of a betting market could be at loggerheads with the conservative political and moral philosophies of many Texans, expressing doubt at the monetary advantages of such a sector.

She added: “I don’t know that this is going to be a boom to revenue that our state and local governments really need.

Jason Minnix of ESPN San Antonio also shared his views, outlining the sports industry’s interest in the potential financial benefits of a betting and gaming market in Texas.

He remarked: “You’ve sold someone a ticket, you might sell them something in the pro-shop – some merchandise – you’re going to sell some beer and some food. If you can make some money on the in-game bet that he made – the NBA is going to do that.

“It would be so hard for one individual over a long period of time to impact a lot of games without getting caught. If you’re Player X, and you put $5 million on a game, that’s going to raise a red flag in all the sportsbooks. If you bet $10,000, that’s probably not going to raise a red flag in a sportsbook, but are you willing to risk the millions you’re making over a $10,000 bet? And the answer is no.”

“It used to be taboo, now it’s part of the regulator run down. It’s part of the game, gambling is there and it’s not ignored.”

Source – KENS 5 YouTube Channel

Online gambling legislation enters the political debate in Texas