Published: May 21, 2023

Texas Sports Betting, Casino Legislation Falls Short In 2023

There will be no sports betting legalization in Texas in 2023.

The state, one of the least gambling friendly jurisdictions in the U.S., saw its House pass a sports betting proposal in May. However, the Republican-controlled Senate declined to take up the issue for a vote.

Also on the table was a plan to bring Las Vegas-style casinos to Texas, an idea championed by the likes of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Las Vegas Sands Corp., one of the largest casino developers in the world.

Under the proposed legislation in Texas, the casinos would be called “destination resorts,” as they would be built alongside other amenities similar to Las Vegas.

“By authorizing destination resorts that include hotel accommodations, meeting space, entertainment facilities, shopping centers, restaurants, casino gaming and sports wagering, and a combination of various other tourism amenities and facilities, the State of Texas would be better equipped to compete with other states in attracting some of the largest conventions and millions of leisure travelers a year,” according to a legislative analysis.

Casinos in Texas could create 48,000 full-time equivalent jobs, labor income of $4.5 billion, an increase in GDP of $8.3 billion, and initial construction expenditures with 25,000 jobs per year.

The bill would have established a regulatory regime necessary for implementation, including provisions relating to the structure, powers, and duties of a new Texas Gaming Commission, the process for licensing casinos, and the conduct of casino gaming and sports wagering in Texas.

However, the Senate, led by the state’s lieutenant governor, balked.

“I’ve said repeatedly there is little to no support for expanding gaming from Senate GOP,” Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said in a statement on Twitter. “I polled members this week. Nothing changed. The Senate must focus on issues voters expect us to pass. We don’t waste time on bills without overwhelming GOP support. HB1942 won’t be referred.”

“Texas is a red state,” he added. “Yet the House vote on sports betting was carried by a Democratic majority. The Texas Senate doesn’t pass bills with GOP in the minority. The GOP majority guides our path. HJR102 also will not be referred. We can’t waste committee/floor time.”

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