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Texas sports betting bill facing Senate opposition

Texas gambling news - sports betting bill gets House approval

The hopes of legalizing sports betting in Texas this year have been dashed after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick revealed in tweet on Sunday that he will not be tendering the matter to the Senate floor.

According to Patrick, who serves as president of the Texas Senate, there is not sufficient interest in a gambling expansion bill among his fellow Republican senators.

Just last week, the Texas House of Representatives approved HB 1942, which would have made sports betting legal in the state, and its companion bill, HJR 102, which would have allowed the voters to decide on legalizing sports betting.

The bill proceeded to the Senate after receiving 101 votes out of a possible 143 – the most support a gambling bill has ever received in the Texas House of Reps.

As it stands, amending the state constitution, achieving a two-thirds majority in both houses, and voter approval are necessary for establishing a legal sports betting market in Texas.

However, with Patrick’s open opposition, not much will come of the bill’s progress, despite the strong bipartisan support for sports betting and casino gambling measures in the House.

For the people to be able to vote on amending the constitution to make room for legal gambling, there has to be a consensus in both lawmaking houses. To pass at the Senate level, the bills would require at least 21 votes out of 31, with Republicans currently holding 19 seats.

Meanwhile, Patrick’s tweet sparked various reactions, with critics accusing him of failing to represent the people and prioritizing politics over the desires of Texans who should have the right to decide on gambling legalization.

Legalizing sports betting has proven to be a challenging task in many of the country’s largest states. In Texas, the lack of a pressing need for tax revenue, unresolved issues related to tribal interests and opposition from religious groups have further complicated the gambling expansion process.

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