Legal Texas Sports Betting Now Off The Menu Until At Least 2025 Following Senate Failure

USA Legal Betting


  • The Texas House passed a bill and joint resolution, both of which failed in the Senate
  • A group of sports betting companies, lobbyists, and local professional teams joined the Texas Sports Betting Alliance
  • Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who controls the Senate vehemently opposes sports betting

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry believes that, despite legal sports betting in the Long Horn State being dead until at least 2025, locals should have the opportunity to vote on the topic.

“We know that Texans want the freedom and liberty that our great state is known for, to participate in sports betting legally and safely,” Perry said in a statement released by the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, a pro-sports betting coalition. “Texans deserve the chance to vote on legalizing sports betting and we will continue working to put this initiative on the ballot in 2025.” 

Perry’s verdict comes after Texas’ legislative session ended without a compromise on legal sports betting Monday. Those legislators will not regroup until 2025, at which time sports betting figures to be back on the topics of discussion.

Attempts at progress

There was more momentum for sports wagering in Texas than there ever had been. The House produced both HB1942 and HJR102, a joint compromise and amended version of the HB1942 intended to appease members of the Senate.

HB1942, dedicated to legalizing online sportsbooks, had the full support of the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, which features Perry, sports betting industry giants BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Fanatics, and with owners and representatives of local professional sports teams and more.

The bill was not referred in the Senate, however, which led to the creation of HJR102. That resolution passed a referendum via a 101-42 vote. These marked the first and second instances in which the House agreed on sports betting legislation.

“We are thankful for and encouraged by the months of thoughtful policy discussion on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers this legislative session to bring a legal mobile sports betting market to Texans,” Perry said. “Because of the tireless work of our bill authors, Representative Leach and Senator Lois Kolkhorst, Texas made history when mobile sports betting legislation was overwhelmingly approved in a House vote of 101-42.”

Progress quickly stagnated for the joint resolution in the Senate just the same. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who controls that chamber of congress, is a longstanding and firm adversary to the legalization of sports betting and fulfilled his promise to kill and related measures that came before him.

Patrick said his reasoning was because the majority of the GOP, the in-power party (19 to 12) in Texas’ Senate, did not agree with sports betting.

Waiting for takeoff

The future of Texas sports betting is of great importance to local teams, betting operators, and lobbyists. Despite 37 states and Washington D.C. legalizing sports wagering, the country’s three most populous states (California, New York, and Texas) do not have operational markets.

There’s also a great likelihood that the sports betting timeline is actually closer to two and a half years away. Under the idea it is approved in 2025 (hypothetically speaking), local voters could not approve the idea until the November ballot. It would then need months, if not years, to have a market ready to roll out to the public.

The Texas market is overflowing with potential. It has major attractions such as the Dallas Cowboys, the world’s most valuable sports franchise, the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Astros, and many more. It is also the home to world-famous gambler Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale who constantly runs sales and giveaways tied to his sports bets and local team success.

Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys and member of the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, believes that a legal sports betting market is a necessity to both control the illegal market and ensure that the proceeds are being funneled to the proper channels.

“There’s a huge amount of gaming going on in and around sports at this time,” said Jones. “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.”

New York showed the potential new sports betting markets have when it produced over a $1.6 billion handle during its first month of operation. Sports betting has only grown in audience since then, in both positive and negative ways, but both with the bottom line of making it more visible and prevalent.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.