Texas sports betting bill dead, says sponsor

There will be no last-ditch efforts to convince Lt. Governor Dan Patrick that an online sports betting bill in Texas should go to the polls.

“No. The bill is dead,” Rep. Jeff Leach, the bill’s sponsor, told LSR via text message Thursday.

Patrick has already put a stop to the TX online sports betting bill after it passed the House for the first time.

The Texas legislative session ends Monday. With state legislators meeting on a rotating basis, the Lone Star State won’t have another opportunity to pass sports betting legislation until 2025.

Texas sports betting hopes dashed

Proponents of stand-alone legislation had hoped it might pass the House and Senate, setting up a public vote on Nov. 7 for Texans to decide its fate.

However, after passing the House, Patrick dashed those hopes in a pair of tweets over the weekend of May 13-14.

“Texas is a red state,” wrote Patrick, who chairs the Senate. “Yet the House vote on sports betting was carried by a Democratic majority. The Texas Senate doesn’t pass bills without the GOP in a minority. The GOP majority guides our way.

“HJR102 will also not be referred. Impossible to waste time in committee/parliament in recent days. #txlege”

Betting advocates can’t sway Patrick

Patrick has long taken an anti-gambling stance. The industry considered it perhaps the biggest stumbling block in terms of passing.

The industry hoped he would soften his stance. But that turned out to be more based on rumor than reality.

Industry insiders thought it was as simple as Patrick not wanting to betray his religious and conservative voter base.

The Cowboys owner apparently tried

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has approved legal sports betting in Texas. We think Jones tried to change Patrick’s mind.

“At the end of the day, Patrick’s hurdle was one that even Jerry Jones couldn’t overcome,” an industry source told LSR.

Under the legislation, sports betting would have received market access through the state’s professional sports teams.

Texas sports betting hopes for 2025

There is plenty of time between now and 2025. Yet voters have just re-elected Patrick and Governor Greg Abbott, so they would still be in power in the next cycle.

This leaves the industry wondering what it would take for things to change. An industry insider speculated it might depend on where Texas stands with its budget.

“Will they need money to reduce property taxes or fund education? said a source.

The state currently has a budget surplus of $32.7 billion.

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