Dallas Cowboys co-owner Jerry Jones has offered his support for sports betting to become legalized in Texas, stating that it is ‘time to set the rules up’.
Speaking to Dallas Morning News, Jones stated that Texas sports betting laws should be passed because of the ‘huge amount of gaming’ going on in sports at the moment, both inside and outside state boundaries.
“Well, I think it’s really a thing that needs to be addressed at this time,” Jones told the local outlet. “One of the reasons why I think it does is because it’s happening at this time.
“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.
“Then, also the benefits that can go in Texas could adhere to the right kind of people, or some property tax. Certainly help educate our great state’s children. All of those things can be enhanced by something that’s presently going on in a big, big way.”
Legal forms of gambling in Texas are currently limited, with only the state lottery, charity gaming and limited tribal bingo permitted. Two tribal casinos are present in the state in Eagle Pass and Livingston.
However, there is a big appetite for gambling in the Lone Star State – the Texas Lottery recorded $8.7bn in sales during the last financial year, posting one of the largest lottery turnovers in the US during 2021/22.
And there seems to be gathering momentum for Texas sports betting and other forms of gambling expansion.
Two bills have been filed in Texas as legislators battle to gain support for their causes; Sen. Carol Alvarado pre-filed a joint resolution to amend the state constitution to allow for Texas casinos, as well as the legalization of sports betting.
Whilst vague, the bill did intend to create a gaming commission that would have the power to ‘authorize’ sports betting in the state.
Prominent figures such as Rick Perry of the Sports Betting Alliance has come out in favor of the move, whilst businessman Mark Cuban has spoken about his desire for expanded gambling in the state – proposing a Las Vegas-style resort.
The Sports Betting Alliance is proposing a public vote in the fall to decide whether to legalize the activity.
Jones, like the SBC, believes that the argument is coming down to the fact that Texas should not want to miss out on the party.
Nearby states such as Louisiana, Arizona, and Kansas have all launched sports betting in some form or another, and Jones believes that Texas should not miss out on revenue because bettors are going to other states.
He added: “We should be getting the benefit of it as other states surrounding us are. So, it’s time for us to, I think, set the rules up and execute on it and get the benefits of it.”