Push For Texas Casinos in 2021 Could Lead To Sports Betting
In the past, sports betting has been a non-starter in Texas. But there will be a renewed push in the state in 2021 to bring legal casino gaming, and that could open the door for sports betting.
If you’re going to allow commercial casinos, sports betting is the next logical step. And if one of the big three states — California, Florida or Texas — adds sports betting, it would be a game-changer nationally to an industry that’s already seeing more than $3 billion in monthly handle.
Those three states have the highest population and have yet to legalize sports betting.
One name gives Texas sports betting and casino gaming a chance: Sheldon Adelson.
The Las Vegas casino magnate and top Republican Party donor will reportedly ramp up his lobbying efforts to legalize casino gaming in Texas when the legislative session starts in January.
A lobbyist for Adelson’s most famous property, the Las Vegas Sands, told a conference in Texas in December that the state is indeed a priority for Adelson’s company, which is reportedly looking to unload its Las Vegas casinos.
“We view Texas as a worldwide destination and one of the top potential markets in the entire world,” the lobbyist, Andy Abboud said, according to the Texas Tribune. “Texas is considered the biggest plum still waiting to be out there in the history of hospitality and gaming.”
Casino gaming and sports betting would help Texas create jobs and generate tax revenue amid the coronavirus pandemic.
What to Expect in Texas
The developments in other states near Texas could give lawmakers the push they need. Arkansas already has legal sports betting and Louisiana voters approved it in 55 of 64 parishes in November. It could get started in Louisiana in 2021.
If that doesn’t sway Texas lawmakers, maybe Adelson’s efforts will do it.
The Texas legislature meets in odd-numbered years. A proposed bill that would have made sports betting legal stalled in 2019. The state has just two tribal casinos, but also has legal social casinos, lottery, bingo and Daily Fantasy Sports options.
Thunderstorms likely. Although two sports betting bills were introduced in 2019, they didn’t go anywhere, and sports betting still has a long road in Texas. But Adelson’s reported push could open the door for casinos, and sports betting could follow in a state looking to add tax revenue.
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