Jones delivered his support of a review of sports betting last Friday on 105.3 The Fan, a Dallas radio station.
“I think it’s really a thing that needs to be addressed at this time,” said Jones. “There’s a huge amount of gaming going on in and around sports at this time. And, so, to have all of the benefits or all of the control over it, it needs to be recognized and parameters put on it and discipline put in it.”
Jones’s stance closely mirrors that of Abbott, who was a strong critic of sports betting during his time in office from 2002-15. Abbott still does not support the widespread growth of gambling, but he believes that there need to be regulations on the current gambling scene—one that he acknowledges exists.
“I’m not in favor of expansion of gambling,” Perry said in an interview. “This is a regulation of something that’s going on, and it’s not going to go away.”
Another reason that Jones wants lawmakers to take a look at the issue is the benefits that would come from legalization at the state level. A tax on gaming revenue would allow Texas to heavily invest in school systems, public health outlets, and infrastructural development.
For example, 63% of Austin’s 2,506-person homeless population was unsheltered, according to a 2021 report from The Texan. Houston was up at 49% (of 3,055 total), and San Antonio was at 43% of 2,932.
But while Texas needs the tax funds to improve its inner workings, other nearby states like New Mexico, Arkansas, and Louisiana are stealing the cut by offering legal gaming services.