Texas: Senator Vouches For Casino and Sports Betting Legalization

Texas: Senator Vouches For Casino and Sports Betting Legalization

Texas Casino and Sports Betting

Texas Senator has pre-filed a bill to modify the state’s constitution to permit casino and sports betting activities at a restricted number of licensed resorts and facilities. 

Senator Alvarado of Texas has pre-filed a bill to amend the constitution and legalize casino gaming and sports betting.

The bill proposes a 10% and 25% tax on the gross gaming revenue from table games and slot machines, respectively.

It is still being determined whether sports betting will be conducted in person, online, or a combination of both.

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Long Way to Go for Sports Betting Legalization in Texas

Two months prior to the start of the legislative session, Sen. Carol Alvarado introduced bill TX SJR17 to change the Texas constitution and authorize casinos. In addition, the measure provides for the legalization of sports betting provided the constitutional amendment is adopted by two-thirds of the legislature and state voters in a referendum held in November 2023.

The fact that Texas legislators are interested in legalizing casinos and sports betting is positive for proponents of sports betting and gambling expansion, who were unable to see their efforts materialize in 2022 due to the legislature’s inability to convene. 

The legislative session has not yet begun. Legislators in the Lone Star State will have until May 29, 2023, beginning on January 10, 2023, to enact all legislation, including TX SJR17, sponsored by Sen. Alvarado, which seeks to allow and regulate casino gambling and sports betting.

Rare in Specifics

Assembled as a plan “to promote economic development and employment growth and to give tax relief and funds for education and public safety… By authorizing and regulating casino gaming and legalizing sports wagering, the bill contains few specifics, especially regarding the legalization of sports betting.

TX SJR17 will legalize slot machines and table games and impose a 10% tax on table game gross gaming revenue and a 25% tax on slot machine gross gaming revenue. No tax rate is proposed for sports wagering in the law. Additionally, the measure does not indicate whether sports betting will be conducted in-person, online, or both.

Suppose the bill pre-filed by Sen. Alvarado wins the approval of 66% of Texas lawmakers. In that case, it will be placed on the ballot for approval by Texas voters in November 2023, before coming to Gov. Abbott’s desk for final signature, with an anticipated launch in 2024 at the earliest.

Kenneth Fuchs, the head of Sports at Caesars Entertainment, pushed the question of sports betting legalization in Texas to the forefront in a November interview in which he discussed the significant shift sports betting would bring to the state.

Last year, two bills, HB2070 and HJR97, sponsored by Rep. Dan Huberty and proposing constitutional amendments to legalize sports betting, stalled and did not receive a vote in either the Texas House or Senate before the end of the 2021 legislative session. Without gaining support from congress, it put an end to sports betting advocates’ hopes that Texas would finally emerge from the Middle Ages.

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About Lou De Aguila

Lou Aguila is a contributor to Golden Casino News. For over a decade, Lou has published news and featured articles for some of the most reputable sports betting and online casino sites in the world, including BetNow.UK, VegasOdds, and BWin. Apart from being a hardcore live casino punter, he also covers sports stories in North American leagues from time to time.