The year 2021 could be absolutely transformative for online gambling in the state of Texas.
With a lot of states having already given the green light for sports betting on the internet after the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2018, Texas is expected to follow suit in the near future.
New Jersey and Nevada have been among the frontrunners when it comes to sports betting, while legalizing gambling through the internet is said to have raised $1 billion in Colorado.
Being able to bring in large amounts of cash in revenues from the online gambling industry is without a doubt one of the reasons why Texas is moving forward with the issue.
Here is the Texan online gambling guide for 2021 – go to this page to see a list of online casinos that currently accept players from Texas if you are interested in signing up to play.
Current gambling laws in Texas
Even though a lot of people in Texas love sports, betting on the big game is heavily restricted. Casinos in the state are very rare – though Native American tribes have the legal right to open casinos – and there are not many racing tracks in the state either.
When it comes to online gambling, there will need to be a constitutional amendment in order for Texas to legalize sports betting.
Many believed that due to Texas having such conservative roots, it would be unlikely to give the green light to betting on sports through the internet. But this does not seem to be the case, with some big names involved in trying to push through a change to the law.
With Texas being home to nearly 30 million people, it is clear that legalizing online sports betting in the state could have a massive impact on the industry.
One of the popular legal gambling options in Texas right now is daily fantasy sports. Companies in this sector such as DraftKings and FanDuel are among those looking to make the most of changing legislation regarding online betting in America.
Texans are also able to use social slot game platforms as these are legal, meaning Big Fish and Slotomania are among the best options in the state for those who would like to have a bet online.
Lottery tickets are another form of legal gambling in Texas at this time. Residents of the Lone Star State have the option to buy Mega Millions and Powerball tickets, while there is also a state lottery in place in Texas too. Bingo halls are legal in Texas, as long as they run as a non-profit enterprise, while the legal minimum age for all forms of betting in the state stands at 18.
Key figures in Texas online gambling
Among those pushing for online gambling to be legalized in Texas right now is the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones, who has an equity stake in DraftKings.
Previously focused on daily fantasy sports, DraftKings has become one of the major players in the online betting world and is poised to make the most of changes being made to legislation.
A plan supported by Jones would see pro sports franchises such as NFL side the Cowboys being able to become license holders, along with Texas pari-mutuel facilities. As well as Jones, this proposal has the backing of Tilman Fertitta – the owner of the Houston Rockets – as well as Mark Cuban, who owns the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.
All three men have a stake in online gambling becoming legalized in Texas. Fertitta has Golden Nugget Online Gaming, while Cuban has made an investment in esports betting platform Unikrn. It is clear they could be in line to make a fortune when sports betting is legalized online.
Long-serving Rep. Harold Dutton Jr. (D-Houston) has introduced mobile-only sports wagering legislation with his proposal including a low tax rate of 6.5 per cent. This is much lower than the rate of tax for the industry in place in other states such as Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
What happens next for online gambling in Texas?
Although the omens for legalizing online gambling in Texas in the near future appear to be good, this is by far from being a sure bet.
One potential blockage could be the fact that land-based casino authorization is being pushed by the likes of Las Vegas Sands, which offers a different potential future for the sector. Las Vegas Sands is thought to be targeting Texas as a key market following the death of long-term leader Sheldon Adelson, with Robert Goldstein now in charge as chairman and chief executive.
Oklahoma tribes are battling against the proposed changes as they attract people from across the border and Gov. Greg Abbott is also believed to be reluctant to introduce online sports betting in Texas. Back in 2015, he confirmed he was against expanding gambling options in Texas, but it is thought his stance has softened on the issue over the last few years.
With the state’s finances having been hit hard over the course of the past year, the potential revenues that could be raised as a result of such a move might change his mind.
Texas’ finances are still thought to be in a better position than a lot of other states, though, which means legalizing sports betting might not be seen as a necessity.
All in all, it does seem inevitable that at some point in the future online sports betting is going to become legal in Texas, despite some vocal opposition in the state over the issue. Research recently conducted by the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs found a majority (70 percent) of Texans support the legalization of online casinos to raise revenues.
The repercussions of such a move remain to be seen but with Michigan recently giving the green light to its own legislation, the industry’s spread across America is gathering pace fast.