The Kansas City Chiefs emerged as the winners of the Super Bowl LVIII, and it became the second consecutive victory for them and the third in four years. The record-breaking betting volume at the game was supported by the participation of 38 states and Washington, DC, where some form of legalized sports wagering was offered leading up to the event.
However, Texas did not participate in this, causing the second-largest state by population to miss out on substantial tax revenue associated with the most bet-on sporting event in the US. Former Gov. Rick Perry from Texas has been calling for the state to legalize sports betting and, just days before the Super Bowl, he renewed his efforts to push for regulated sports betting.
In a video produced by the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, Perry emphasized the need for Texas to protect itself from illegal offshore betting sites while keeping the money generated from betting within the state to benefit Texans.
Perry estimated that Texans are currently wagering $8.7 billion through offshore sites, a figure that some analysts and industry observers believe to be exaggerated. He suggested that legalizing mobile sports betting in Texas could potentially generate $556 million per bi-annum for the state.
Currently, Louisiana is the only neighboring state to Texas that offers mobile sports betting. However, the vast expanse of the Lone Star state makes it inconvenient for most Texans to travel to Louisiana to place bets.
Gaming companies are particularly eager for Texas to legalize sports betting, given its status as one of the four largest states by population. In comparison, New York already permits sports betting but with a high tax rate, making profits difficult. Florida allows mobile betting only through the Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock app, and California does not currently permit regulated sports betting anywhere.
Despite the potential financial benefits that legalized sports betting could bring to Texas, both casino and sports betting legislation in the state was ultimately defeated last year. It is unlikely that these issues will be raised again this year.
In conclusion, Perry sees sports betting as a potential moneymaker for Texas, but it represents only a small percentage of the state’s overall budget. While the potential for generating substantial revenue exists, the future of sports betting in Texas remains uncertain.