HomeTexas Sports Betting NewsTexas Sports Betting in 2025 a 50/50 Chance Says Dallas Stars President

Texas Sports Betting in 2025 a 50/50 Chance Says Dallas Stars President

The journey to legalize sports betting in Texas has been an arduous one, fraught with political roadblocks and complex stakeholder dynamics. Despite the increasing public interest and potential economic benefits, legislative efforts have repeatedly faced significant hurdles.

Image: IMAGO / Larry MacDougal

One of the primary obstacles is Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who has consistently opposed any expansion of gambling in Texas, casting a long shadow over the prospects for legalization.

Reflecting on the current state of TX sports betting legalization to Legal Sports Report, Dallas Stars president Brad Alberts stated,

“I think it’s in the same spot it was. The same challenges exist, which is a resistant Senate, led by the Lieutenant Governor (Dan Patrick). And I don’t think that that has changed. Obviously, those same personalities are still in office. I think the momentum of last session, getting it through the House is positive. But you still have to get it through the Senate.”

In the 2023 legislative session, efforts to pass a sports betting bill advanced further than ever before, only to be stymied by Patrick’s steadfast opposition. The bill had made it through the House and appeared to have momentum, but Patrick’s control of the Senate effectively halted its progress. As long as Patrick remains in office, which is assured through his re-election until 2026, the path to legal sports betting remains difficult.

Texas Professional Sports Figures Push For Legalization

Amidst these challenges, major sports figures in Texas have taken an active role in advocating for legalization. Mark Cuban, former owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has shown a keen interest in not just sports betting but also the broader legalization of casino resorts. Cuban’s recent sale of a majority stake in the Mavericks to Miriam Adelson and the Las Vegas Sands Corporation underscores his strategic efforts to usher in sports betting and broader gambling initiatives in Texas.

By aligning with a major player in the gaming industry, Cuban aims to leverage the expertise and influence of the Sands Corporation to overcome legislative hurdles and promote Texas gambling legalization.

Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Houston Rockets, has also been vocal in his support for legalized sports betting. Fertitta, who owns a vast portfolio of casinos and entertainment properties, understands the economic potential that legalized sports betting could bring. Despite his influence and attempts to lobby for change, Fertitta has faced the same political barriers that have stalled other proponents.

The Dallas Mavericks’ new ownership group, which now includes a range of high-profile investors led by Adelson, has similarly supported the push for legal sports betting. Their involvement underscores the broader support within the professional sports community for this initiative. However, even with the backing of influential figures and organizations, the political landscape remains a significant barrier.

Alberts’s 50/50 comment reflects the pervasive sense of uncertainty and the uphill battle facing proponents of sports betting legalization. Despite the support from various sectors, the entrenched political opposition creates a challenging environment for change.

The recent legislative efforts have not been entirely fruitless, as they have laid important groundwork and built awareness among lawmakers and the public. The Texas Sports Betting Alliance, led by former Governor Rick Perry, has played a crucial role in advocating for legalization and educating stakeholders about the benefits of regulated sports betting. Perry’s involvement has brought significant attention to the issue, but even his influence has not been enough to completely overcome the political resistance.

The experience of other states offers some hope. In New York, for example, multiple attempts were necessary before sports betting was finally legalized. This persistence may be required in Texas as well. The key stakeholders, including Fertitta and the Mavericks’ new ownership group, remain committed to the cause, and their ongoing efforts could eventually tip the scales in favor of legalization.

The journey to legalize sports betting in Texas is a complex and ongoing saga. The involvement of major sports figures and organizations has brought significant attention to the issue, but the political landscape, dominated by opponents like Dan Patrick, continues to pose a formidable challenge. As efforts continue and public support grows, the possibility of legal sports betting in Texas remains a contentious and uncertain battle, with proponents hopeful but realistic about the obstacles ahead.