Where does Texas Stand in the US sports betting map?

Gambling, such as casino games and sports betting, is a favourite pastime for many. According to Zion Market Research illustrated on Globe NewsWire, the value of sports betting worldwide was $104.31 billion in 2017. And by 2024, it’s estimated to reach a staggering $155 billion.

In Texas, political attitudes towards sports betting are shifting, leaving some Americans unsure about whether they are permitted to partake in sports betting legally. For insight into sports betting regulations, and recent rulings, and the impact it’s had on the gambling industry, look no further.

At the moment, Texas has not legalized sports betting. This is unfortunate because Texas is a state that’s swarming with people obsessed with sports – namely football tournaments, such as the NFL—identifying a missed opportunity for the Texan government to claim tax on sports betting, which is likely to be a very lucrative industry. According to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming predictions, if Texas were to pass new legislation for sports betting, it would become the second-largest sports betting market in the states.

Supreme Court approves sports betting

However, sports betting across other areas of the US has risen significantly in the past two years. This is due to a variety of states taking advantage of New Jersey’s Supreme Court’s decision to legalize sports betting in May 2018.

Following the Supreme Court decision to dismiss the professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), the legal sportsbook industry has accrued $20 billion in just two years.

Before PASPA was struck down, sports betting was reserved for Nevada. Now states have the power to permit its existence in their territory, a few states have passed legislation to allow it, such as Delaware and Mississippi. While other states are still in the process of trying to legalize it – such as Texas.

Whether sports betting will be allowed in Texas is still undecided. However, whether it’s legalized or not, it won’t stop Texas citizens from gambling – even if it is in an illegal capacity.

Illegal sports betting in the US

In Texas and other states across America, illegal gambling is everywhere. For example, masses of Americans continue to make bets illegally for the Super Bowl. In 2018, it was reported that 97% of bets made were through offshore gambling companies and illegal bookies, which amounted to over $4.6 billion.

According to VsIN founder and chairman Brian Musburger, who spoke to USA Today, offshore betting companies offer attractive incentives and pricing to entice and engage customers to gamble. Leading to an issue that while some states such as Texas seek to permit gambling, if they set the fees and tax bar too high, it could mean gambling companies are forced to set higher prices for customers. Thus, bettors are likely to turn to offshore businesses to place cheaper wagers.

However, Bill Miller, AGA’s president, and CEOs conversation with USA Today reveals an optimistic opinion about legalizing sports betting. Claiming that once people realize they can bet in a regulated and safe manner, they will. However, he’s unsure when the “tipping point will be.”

Texas proposes a bill for sports betting

Eddie Lucio III, a representative for Texas, introduced a bill detailing the regulations surrounding sports betting in Texas. The suggested legislation explains sportsbook operators must pay a fee of $250,000 and apply for a permit to accept bets legally. Equally, for each sporting bet made with a gambling company, a 6.25% tax charge would be applied.

How Texas compares to the other states

The rules and restrictions proposed by Texas are seemingly quite high in comparison to other states. Other territories have been much more welcoming of the Supreme Court’s Ruling. This is unsurprising considering each state has an opportunity to harness the gambling industries’ economic benefits.

For example, on 1st September 2018, Indiana became the thirteenth state to legalize sports betting on mobile and in-person. The people of Indiana are allowed to place bets on pro and college sports. Here at bookies.com, citizens can find a list of the top, safe, and secure sites to place sports bets in Indiana. However, citizens are not allowed to place wagers on high school sports or esports in this particular state.

Gambling companies that want to operate in Indiana must apply for a license from The Indiana gaming commission.

Legislating sports betting in Indiana has proved to be a smart choice. In July this year, the total amount of sports bets placed increased by 138% to a whopping $70.9 million.

While Texas continues to wage over whether expanding its gambling sector is appropriate. As one of the largest sports-centric states, Texas is most-likely missing out on a lot more money than Indiana.

Moreover, The Hawkeye state, Iowa, has also bent its rules to allow sports betting. However, Iowa has stated gambling operators must pay for a licensing fee of $45,000, and 6.75% shall be deducted from revenue for tax. While Iowa’s tax is minutely higher than what Texas is proposing, their licensing fee is a lot lower in comparison.

Other states that have approved sports betting include New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

The future of sports betting in Texas

There’s scepticism about whether Texas will change its constitution to allow sports betting, at least not any time soon. For instance, the new bill is being sponsored and put forward by a Democrat. And Republicans have opposed any increase in existing gambling activities for years and continue to do so.

Republican, Gov.Greg Abbott, for instance, has made his stance on opposing expanding legal gambling in Texas clear. While Texas is allowed to play the lottery, bet on horses and play bingo, bills submitted for Texas fantasy sports, and casinos have had an extensive history of not moving anywhere or amounting to anything.

While other parties and journalists have commented on the financial aspect, various opinions denote that Texas will not pass up on permitting sports betting if it means they could accumulate a lot of money from it.