The Texas Sports Betting Alliance has been vocal about legalizing sports betting in the Lone Star State since 2021, and now 2023 seems like could be the year they manage to accomplish that. In the end, however, no matter what happens with the legislature, it will be Texans who have the final say.
High Hopes Bring Life into Conversation
A recent KPRC 2 Investigates interview with Kenneth Fuchs, head of sports at Caesars, brought back to light the conversation about legal sports betting in Texas. According to the interview, this could be a very impactful change not only for the state but also for the operator. This is thanks to the fact that Texas has been touted as a potential competitor to Illinois, Nevada, New York and California, at least in projections for what the industry could look like in the state.
While it’s generally expected to have conflicting numbers in speculations, it’s also true that most industry experts who have had their say about sports betting in Texas agree it has great potential. Numbers by and large settle around the $200,000 to $300,000 range, depending on how optimistic the person you’re talking to is, with the Alliance mentioning $250,000 on its website.
The Alliance operator partners include BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and Barstool Sportsbook, and multiple teams support the idea of legalizing sports betting in Texas. The target for 2023, however, does seem unlikely if any kind of launch is in the talks, given the fact that legislation is nowhere near ready.
Setting the Stage for Legislative Session 2023
Nevertheless, with the approaching 2023 legislative session, it’s worth taking a look at what’s currently happening and seeing how it compares with previous periods. The 2021 legislative session saw a big push to at least start talking about sports betting in the second-largest state on a more serious level. Texas lawmakers shut that down, however, with a few bills dying in committee.
The Texan population was also supportive of expanding gambling in the state in general, with more being eager to see casino gambling, and sports betting getting less attention. Regardless, this still prompted the legislature to act and start considering betting in the state more seriously. As past years weren’t as successful in even sparking action by lawmakers, this was still considered a win by proponents.
This year’s push has been the biggest one yet, with lawmakers now devoted to finding a workable solution and introducing casino and sports betting in the state. Las Vegas Sands (LVS) launched a campaign in Texas back in 2021, and this year saw the creation of Texas Sands – a political action committee (PAC) devoted to supporting casino and race gambling in the state.
Add to that multiple teams supporting sports betting, as well as numerous more examples and the stage for next year’s legislative session is pretty much set. Texas lawmakers will reconvene for the 88th legislative session on January 10, 2023, which will end on May 29, 2023. During these 140 days of the regular sessions, lawmakers will have the opportunity to try and expand gambling in the state of Texas.