Sports betting

Texas considers sports betting with new bill

Sports betting market could be operational by 2020 under new proposals

Legislators in Texas will soon debate new sports betting legislation which could end the state’s long prohibition of gambling related activities.

House Bill (HB1275), sponsored by representative Eddie Lucio III, provides for regulated sports betting, allowing for the issuance of licenses and the taxation of sports betting operators.

The bill allows individuals aged 21 and above to place bets on sporting events in the state. However, in a departure from other sports betting bills, HB1275 would allow bets to be placed on collegiate sporting events.

Interested operators will be required to submit a full application form, including information on their background and experience as a sports betting operator, paying an application fee of $250,000.

Licenses are valid for three years and are subject to a renewal fee of $200,000. Under the proposed legislation, licensed operators are barred from operating more than two sports betting brands in the state and all operators must display their licence on their respective site.

Sports betting operators are taxed at a rate of 6.25%, which is according to the bill “is to be collected by the permit holder at the time the bet is placed”.

Addressing the recent Department of Justice memorandum on the Wire Act, the proposed legislation includes the stipulation that “sports betting offered to a sports bettor in this state must be initiated and received within this state unless otherwise authorised by federal law”.

At present, Texans are only allowed to place bets on horseraces and greyhound racing with other betting on games of chance and casino gaming expressly prohibited.

If the bill is passed by both chambers of the Texas legislature, it will be passed for a statewide referendum to vote on amending the state constitution. If voters approve the change, the Texas sports betting market could be open for business by January 2020.

Licence | Regulation | Sports betting | Tax | Texas