The Texas Sports Betting Alliance believe they may have garnered enough support to push Texas sports betting legalization through to the November 2023 public ballot. Carla Gustafson, a Texas Sports Betting Alliance spokesperson said: “We believe the voting threshold is there to get two-thirds support in both chambers and to get it to the November 2023 ballot.”

Who are the Texas Sports Betting Alliance?

The bills, bill SB 715 and companion bill HB 1942 were filed by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and Rep. Jeff Leach. The Texas Sports Betting Alliance includes the following teams, betting platforms and racetracks:

  • Austin FC
  • Houston Texans
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Speedway Motorsports
  • Dallas Stars
  • Texas Rangers
  • Dallas Wings
  • PGA Tour
  • FC Dallas
  • BetMGM
  • Houston Astros
  • DraftKings
  • Houston Dynamo FC
  • FanDuel
  • Houston Dash
  • Barstool Sportsbook.
  • Houston Rockets
  • Fanatics Sportsbook

The same Alliance backed similar bills in 2021 but made little progress in the Lone Star State which has thus far remained vehemently anti-sports betting despite growing pressure from team owners and lobbyists. A key difference here could be that Sen. Lois Kolkhorst is an ally of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the president of the Texas State Senate who has long opposed legal gaming expansion in Texas.

Will TX be another CA?

The aforementioned alliance will be hoping to take it to public ballot, where the public can likely expect a repeat for Texas sports betting as we saw for CA sports betting: adverts plastered everywhere and record spend from commercial operators seeking to grab a slice of the Texas online gambling pie. The reaction from the voting public in California went the wrong way, with sports betting opinion completely divided and unable to enter legislature until 2024 at earliest.

Poll figures from a Dallas Morning News study conducted in 2021 show more positive signs for TX sports betting hopes:

“Currently, sports betting is only allowed on horse racing at licensed tracks in Texas. Would you support or oppose a Texas law to legalize sports betting on sporting events?”

  • 43% Support
  • 26% Oppose
  • 31% Doesn’t matter to me

Should TX go to ballot, the ability to sway the 31% could prove key for both the ‘for’ and ‘against’ lobbies.

What’s the journey for Texas sports betting to be legalized?

The journey for legalization and hurdles to overcome are far from small. The above bills must first pass through the Senate and House with a two thirds majority before gaining the approval of Gov. Greg Abbott and passing through a public ballot in November. If California mobile sports betting legalization is anything to go by, public vote is far from guaranteed. The pro-gambling alliance in California were shocked when their CA sports betting proposition was crushed, receiving just 16 percent of the public vote in November 2022.

Texas sports betting legalization is one of the most coveted and desired states by commercial operators. The state has a larger population than New York, who legalized NY mobile sports betting this year and destroyed all records for revenue, and tax for the state. New York online casino is next on the menu, although that too will face large opposition.

Commercial operators will hope that should TX go to ballot, other elusive states may head the same way. Florida sports betting is not yet looking likely, and given the tribe-dominated gambling landscape in Oklahoma, there’s no guarantee of any movement in OK online sports betting imminently, either.