Aug 5, 2022; Houston, Texas, US; A general picture of a Houston Texans helmet after training camp at the Texans practice facility.  Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Texas sports betting bills passes House

A constitutional amendment that could allow Texas voters to legalize sports betting in the state passed through the Texas House of Representatives earlier this week.

The bill, known as HJR 102 initially was approved by a vote of 100-43. This just hit the minimum vote total needed to pass the House with a 2/3 majority.

Because the vote was so close, a vote verification was called for and at first it seemed like one of the ‘yes’ votes went missing. It was quickly cleared up after two House members notified the chair that their voting machines had malfunctioned and should have shown ‘yes’ votes. After that clarification the final ‘yes’ vote total came in at 101 which is enough to send it to the Senate.

Texas sports betting bills passes House

There was also enabling legislation attached to HJP 102 which set up regulation of sports betting, including licenses, fees, taxes, and the decriminalization of wagering on certain sports events. The enabling legislation known as HB 1942 passed by a vote of 82-51. Since HB 1942 was not a constitutional amendment it required just a simple majority to pass through the House and move to the Senate.

Getting either bill through the Senate will reportedly not be easy. Lt Governor Dan Patrick has come out on the record that he believes there is not much support for sports betting in the Senate.

It the bills were to somehow pass through the Senate sports betting would appear on the ballot in November. Some other info included on the bill was a 15 percent tax rate, and allowing sports betting operators to deduct promotional bets from gross gaming revenue for only one year after receiving a license.