Will Texas Lawmakers Approve Sports Betting And Casinos? [Opinion]
Last week I spent a few days in Austin, broadcasting both Wednesday and Thursday from the Texas State Capitol and over the next few days I will write about a few different issues that we covered last week and got more insight from lawmakers on.
One of the topics we covered last week was legislation that would allow for sports betting via apps like Fan Duel and Draft Kings. Another piece of legislation would allow for resort style casinos to be built in select areas of Texas.
Last Wednesday, State Representative Jeff Leach, a Plano Republican, joined The Chad Hasty Show and discussed his legislation that would allow sports betting in Texas. Leach told the audience that he was confident that he would get 2/3rds of the House and Senate to vote for the legislation. Leach was very, very confident during the interview that his bill would be successful. This was after other Republican lawmakers refused to take a stand in other interviews that I had.
If anything is going to pass, at some point it's going to have to get past Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and the Texas Senate. And as confident Leach was with his prediction of passage. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick was just as confident that casino gambling had zero Republican support in the Senate and that sports betting had "2-3" Republicans supporting it in the Senate.
Patrick told the audience that he wouldn't allow the Democrats to pass gambling or any other piece of legislation and that for the legislation to be called to the floor, by him, for a vote he would need to see 15-16 Republican Senators. And that is a number that as of today, seems pretty unlikely.
So while the Governor and Speaker may be open to it. And public polls show a vast majority of Texans, both Republican and Democrat want sports betting and casinos. The chances are slim and I wouldn't cancel any trips to Las Vegas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, or New Mexico and their casinos.
If you missed either of the broadcasts from the Texas Capitol, download and subscribe The Chad Hasty Show podcast on Apple, Spotify, and Google. You can also find the podcast here under Radio On Demand.
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