Texas, the second-largest state in the US in terms of population and area, is one of several states that currently do not allow legal sports betting. Neighboring states such as Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, and New Mexico all have legalized sports betting, leaving Texas behind in this aspect. However, efforts towards legalization continue, with former Governor Rick Perry expressing his support for the Sports Betting Alliance (SBA), a group of US operators advocating for safe and legal sports betting.
In a video released, Perry revealed that he joined the SBA to support the legalization of sports betting across Texas. He highlighted the significant size of the illegal sports betting market in the state, estimating that approximately $8.7 billion in bets are placed in Texas via illegal, unlicensed offshore betting operators. Perry raised concerns about the risks associated with using these illegal operators, including threats to personal information and the lack of guarantee for payouts.
Perry emphasized the need to end the offshore, illicit market for sports betting and create a consumer-protected online sports betting market in Texas. He also mentioned the support of Texas’s 11 major professional sports franchises for the legalization of sports wagering. According to Perry, legalization would benefit both the state and its residents, as well as the integrity of sports competitions.
The former Governor highlighted the economic potential of legalizing sports betting in Texas, estimating that it could generate up to $556 million annually for the state. He expressed his disappointment that Texas continues to fall behind in this regard compared to the majority of states that have already legalized the activity.
Perry stressed the importance of implementing robust rules to safeguard the integrity of sports competitions while providing legal options for Texans to wager on. He urged the state to recognize the opportunity to keep the money within Texas instead of benefiting neighboring states. Overall, Perry’s support for the legalization of sports betting in Texas aligns with the SBA’s mission to create a safe and regulated environment for this popular activity.