Sports Betting a Long Way from being Legalized in Texas
Earlier this year the supreme court overturned a Federal ban that made sports-betting illegal outside the state of Nevada. With the new amendments in place, several state governments went into action to regulate legal betting in their own states. Betting taxes have been levied and betting operations are being set up in an attempt at generating income from the latest gambling avenue.
But, while most of the other states have embraced the legalization of sports betting Texas holds firm in its opposition to the new law. Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton are united in their stand against legal gambling in the state. However, even though the most powerful men in the state oppose gambling and betting, the residents still actively bet on sports. With online betting, it has become easier for individuals to bet anonymously within the state.
It is estimated by the American Gaming Association that both legal and illegal sports betting combined is a $150 billion industry. Other sources believe that the figure is closer to $60 billion which is about the same as what Americans spend on lottery tickets annually. In Texas, the lottery contributed $1.3 billion to schools in the state last year.
Sports betting in Texas does not just face opposition for the people sitting at the State Capitol. The General Baptist Convention of Texas, a three million individuals strong organization in Texas, is also opposed to legalizing sports betting. A representative for the organization said that he didn’t think that legal betting was required as another stream of revenue for the state.
The organization claims that many betters are already on government aid and charging them a tax on betting is just giving back to the government what the government gave to them. This argument might have some merit as studies have shown that lower income individuals are more prone to gambling.
It is however not all bleak for sports betting in Texas. Attitudes towards betting are changing as the rest of the country moves towards removing bans. Texas too has its gambling supporters lobbying for a change in the laws. What could have been a baby step in the directing of legal gambling was a bill introduced by Rep. Richard Pena Raymond, D-Laredo to legalize fantasy sports games like DraftKings in Texas.
For now, it looks like Texas still has a long way to go before any amendments are made that will legalize sports betting in the state.