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Texas Online Sports Betting – 2024 Outlook
Texas is one of the few states with no forms of legal sports betting as such the list of Texas betting apps is quite limited. The state also has no dedicated retail gaming outlets, as no casinos are currently in operation. However, Texas does have a state lottery, and some lawmakers aren’t keen on the idea of disrupting the current system. State legislators voted to legalize daily fantasy sports (DFS) games in 2019 after establishing that they are games of skill and not chance.
US online sportsbooks are patiently waiting for Texas to permit online betting, but lawmakers have considered eight different bills since 2015, with none receiving approval from both chambers of the Texas legislature. With 12 professional sports teams and a population of 29.5 million, Texas could become one of the biggest sports betting markets in the country if and when the activity is made legal for residents.
The Latest on Online Sports Betting in Texas
The most recent sports betting bill introduced in Texas was HB 1942 in February 2023, which was backed by several professional sports teams in the state. The resolution proposing a constitutional amendment to allow sports betting, HJR 102, passed the House during the session by a 100-43 margin but was blocked by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who also serves as president of the Senate.
While there was bipartisan support for both bills in the House, Patrick took it upon himself to speak for all Senators, saying in a tweet, “We don’t waste time on bills without overwhelming GOP support.” The Republicans hold a slight majority in the House and Senate after the 2022 election and have a governor and lieutenant governor who are both staunch opponents of online sports betting in Texas.
Is Momentum Gaining for 2024?
Texas gambling legislation saw a significant effort by House lawmakers to pass online sports betting in 2023, which was stopped from a vote on the Senate floor before the end of the session in May by Lt. Gov. Patrick. The Texas legislature only assembles once every two years, meaning lawmakers must wait until the 2025 session to introduce any new bills.
While Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta are both campaigning for online sports betting, Patrick has been adamant in opposing an amendment to the Texas Constitution. He will be in office through 2026 and says he will run for another four-year term, meaning Texas sports bettors could possibly wait another three years or longer before they can start placing legal wagers.
Current and Future Texas Betting Apps
Online betting apps are prohibited in Texas, with many residents either traveling to neighboring states like Louisiana and New Mexico to place their bets. If online sports betting is ever approved in Texas, most big operators and many smaller ones will attempt to gain their share of the lucrative market.
If legal online betting is legalized, Texans can expect to see brands like BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel, which dominate the sports betting market in states where it’s legal to wager online, enter their market. Other established sports betting operators that could enter the Texas betting arena are BetRivers, bet365 and PlayUp. Newer platforms such as Fanatics and ESPN Bet could also make a bid to provide online sports betting in the state.