A group of Texas-based professional sports teams are lobbying state lawmakers to move forward with a bill that would legalize Lone Star sports betting. It’s a far cry from the days when professional sport team owners and their cronies cried endlessly about how legal sports wagering would be the end of legitimate sports as we know it, but here we are.
According to multiple published reports, representatives from the Dallas Cowboys, the Dallas Mavericks and the Texas Rangers are throwing their considerable weight behind an initiative from Representative Dan Huberty to bring legal sports betting to the Lone Star State as soon as this year.
So why are these organizations suddenly on board with the idea that sports betting and professional sports can peacefully co-exist? If you guessed “money” you’re probably right, but that’s not the reason the teams are giving. They say that the threat of black market sports betting is the real problem and that it steals badly needed tax revenue from deserving efforts such as community development. If you’re wondering how illegal sports betting steals tax revenue from a state where sports betting isn’t even legal, you might not feel comfortable talking to politicians in Texas.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was recently quoted by the Hill offering a more coherent reason saying, “It makes no sense for us to force Texans to go to neighboring states to gamble in casinos.”
Despite a long-held aversion to regulated gambling in the Texas, most observers think that regulated sports betting has a pretty chance of becoming the law of the land in Cowboy (Maverick, Astro, and Stars) Country.
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