Texas sports betting legalization appears to be only matter of time: Jerry Jones

Texas sports betting legalization appears to be only matter of time: Jerry Jones

Legalization of sports betting is just inevitable in Texas and granting it the legal status appears to be only a matter of time, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said recently. In a recent interview, 78-year-old Mr. Jones said that legalizing sports betting will only help regulate the industry as the controversial activity is already taking place in the Lone Star State.
Stressing that legalizing of sports betting appears to be only a matter of time, Jones said, “I certainly know that gambling as it pertains to our games is here. Frankly, it’s been here. The handwriting’s on the wall. Gambling has been here a long time.”

However, any effort to grant legal status to sports betting in Texas -- the second-most populous state in the U.S., could take many years as the efforts will have to go through a long process.

Earlier in 2021, a bipartisan bill designed to legalize sports wagering and casino gambling collapsed in the state legislature. Now, state lawmakers will not meet again at the Capitol (Austin) until 2023. Even if state lawmakers approve sports betting legalization bill, it will not turn into a reality until a public vote is conducted and voters endorse it. The earliest public vote/referendum will likely not take place before 2024. It means, legal sports betting will likely not take place until at least the mid of current decade (2025).

Demand for legalizing sports betting in Texas has, in particular, been on the rise since its neighboring state of Louisiana granted legal status to the activity this summer. However, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) has yet to set the rules and regulations for the industry. While some are optimistic that sports betting will be up and running by football season in the fall this year, others say it will take time until at least early next year.

Jones, a former University of Arkansas football player, already has associated the Cowboys with sports betting/gambling interests. The earlier this year, the Cowboys hit a deal with the Texas Lottery to put the team’s logo on state lottery tickets. It is also worth-mentioning here that Mr. Jones owns stake in Boston-based publicly traded online sports wagering services provider DraftKings.

Proponents of the sports betting legalization say that it would provide a safer market for sports betting enthusiasts, in addition to creating a lot of new jobs and generating a new stream of revenue for the state exchequer.