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Texas Can Legalize Sports Betting in November, But With An Interesting Condition

Legal sports betting in Texas is now one step closer to making the November 2021 ballot, but if approved, it’ll come with an interesting condition.

Texas representative Dan Huberty filed a bill that would put legal sports betting on this year’s ballot, Daniel Wallach of The Athletic reported Tuesday. If approved, Texas’ professional sports teams would hold sports betting licenses rather than casinos and gaming operators.

News of the bill comes just a few weeks after Morgan Stanley predicted Texas would become one of 12 states to legalize sports betting in 2021. If approved, professional sports teams in Texas could apply to obtain licenses and begin operations.

While professional sports leagues and teams currently have partnerships with casinos and sports betting operators, none operate the wagering themselves. The move would be unprecedented, but that may have been the plan all along. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is an investor in DraftKings, and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta owns the Golden Nugget.

Still, there are obvious concerns about conflicts of interest. It’s unclear whether teams would need to partner with independent groups to ensure integrity. They could also still potentially partner up with gaming operators like FanDuel.

Twenty-three states have legalized sports betting, with 20 states already operating. It comes as no surprise that sports betting has proven to be a boon for state economies.

There’s no telling how much revenue sports betting could generate for a state as populated as Texas. Michigan, which authorized online sports betting to operate on January 22, handled over $115 million in its first ten days.

Opponents, however, don’t believe the added revenue matters. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick isn’t budging from his position.

“I’ve never been in favor of it,” Patrick said on a Texas local radio show. “Every year, I say the same thing. Don’t talk about revenues. The teams and casinos trying to push sports betting say they could generate $150 million a year by their numbers. That’s a lot of money. But it pays for half a day of our yearly budget.”

It’s still an uphill climb, but it’s encouraging to see Texas legislators, who have opposed legalized sports betting for decades, finally open up to the idea. For many in Texas, legal sports betting is long overdue.

If you’re new to sports betting, consider our partners at the FanDuel Sportsbook. Right now, new users can place their first bet risk-free up to $1,000. You can sign up by clicking this link.

For betting news and tips, follow @ErickValenciano on Twitter. Make sure you’re following our sports betting account, too: @OutKickBets.

Written by Erick Valenciano

Erick Valenciano is a So Cal native who moved to Las Vegas to pursue a career in broadcasting and sports betting. A graduate of Cal State Fullerton, Erick paid his way through betting on sports and selling event tickets. He's also a mid-90s golfer and insists nobody will ever break his heart worse than the Chargers have.

2 Comments

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  1. Oy. Am I the only one that thinks that sounds super hinky? A team owns the betting license? I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know what that means (!), but instinctually, it sounds like a conflict of interest. Players can’t bet on games, but owners can own betting licenses for their own team?

    Enlightenment, anyone?

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