The efforts to legalize sports betting and casinos in Texas went further than ever before with the push in the House last week. However, a recent Tweet by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick conveyed that the progress is done for the year.
The casino measure failed to obtain the two-thirds majority in the House necessary to move forward on the second reading. The reading has been delayed several times since then.
The sports betting measure, HJR102, on the other hand, did obtain just over the 100 votes needed in the House to move forward, but as Patrick noted, as a policy, Texas Republicans do not move on measures with a Democratic majority.
Patrick’s comments do not come as a surprise given he has been quashing the idea the Lone Star State would actually get a sports betting measure on the ballot all year. Under Texas law, Patrick serves as Senate President. Gov. Greg Abbott, on the other hand, is a little more open to the idea, but was clear it had to be done in a thoughtful, “professional” manner.
On a personal level, Patrick has tended to be against gambling expansion in the state. Chickasaw Nation, which operates tribal casinos in Oklahoma, has been a recurring donor to Patrick’s campaign.
The Texas legislative session concludes on May 29. Since the lawmakers only meet in odd numbered years, it will be 2025 before the industry can take another crack at bringing sports betting to the state. This mots recent effort featured a number of high profile Texans advocating on behalf of sports betting, including former Gov. Rick Perry and sports teams owners Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones.
Earlier this year, research from the University of Houston showed that Texas residents were in strong support of gambling expansion in the state.