Sports Betting Bill Advances In State Of Texas

February 5, 2019 by Ella McDonald

Texas may see itself as the center for sports betting as legislators have introduced a new bill which seeks to regulate sports betting.

Historically, Texas is one of those states that frowned upon sports betting to the point that it banned all forms of gaming and betting during the infamous Black Friday. Now, sports betting may be legislated sooner than ever thanks to a push from legislators.

Rep. Eddie Lucero III has filed a promising bill that would make Texas one of the top sports betting states in the country should it gain approval. The bill known as H 1275 has all the important details outlining licenses, fees, criminal prosecution, taxation, and its regulation of the sports betting industry.

Before the bill was introduced, there was a study conducted by Oxford economics in 2017 which pointed out that Texas could possibly bring in $317.8 million in additional revenues should the state regulate and legalize sports betting.

As the bill has already been introduced, House and Senate will look at the bill and may want a few changes to be made to the bill. Should the bill gain their approval, the decision will then be in the hands of state voters who will have to decide on whether they would want this bill passed or not.

Bill Might Have To Go Through Changes

Given the fact that Texas has finally taken steps towards sports betting legalization after being so close to betting, it is indeed a positive sign. However, there are a lot of limitations in this bill that might need to be worked out and could consume more time.
For example, the bill has proposes that only five companies be authorized to operate in the state. Should there be more than 5 applicants; there is no clear information on how that will be processed as the bill does outline what criteria will be used to adjudge these applicants.

The good thing about Bill H 1275 is that the sports betting tax rate is fixed at 6.25 percent which makes it a lot lower than the tax rate in most states with legalized sports betting markets– which is 10 percent.

Legislators in Texas initially had the idea of passing sports betting laws that will allow Texas to offer inter-state betting i.e. attract bettors from other states. However, that appears to be a slim possibility given the recent reversal of the DOJ’s opinion over the Wire Act. One will have to wait and watch to see how Bill H 1275 plays out.