Stars CEO Believes Texas Legislature Will Submit Gambling Expansion Proposal

Written By Derek Helling on November 29, 2022
sports betting texas gambling bill legislation

Brad Alberts‘ job is to put together a team of people that become adept at accomplishing goals. He’s optimistic that another group of people in Texas will accomplish the goal of expanding legal Texas gambling in 2023.

While the Dallas Stars CEO’s comments focus on legal sports betting in the Lone Star State, gambling expansion in Texas could occur more broadly. It should be obvious to all Texans why Alberts has such an interest in sports betting and he isn’t trying to hide it, either.

Dallas Stars CEO talks Texas gambling expansion

Alberts commented on the issue of legislation to expand gambling in Texas for Ben Swanger of D Magazine. Alberts has been with the NHL franchise since 2011, ascending to his current role as CEO and President in 2020.

He characterized the legalization of sports betting in Texas as a method to capture new revenue for the state. Additionally, he cast it as a way for Texas to stay competitive for business interests.

Alberts explained in a bit more detail why the issue is pertinent to the Stars.

“Every year, the salary cap goes up, and part of that is due to the increased revenue in sports betting. If the Stars can’t bring in that revenue, then we can’t keep pace with the cap and our ability to fund a competitive team suffers.”

This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following previous attempts at expanding legal gambling in the state. The Stars are part of a Sports Betting Alliance that is lobbying for such legislation in Austin.

Swanger also quoted Dallas Wings CEO Greg Bibb affirming Alberts’ stance.

“If you look at the Phoenix Mercury, who have a very lucrative sports betting partnership, revenue for their business is significantly enhanced, and that creates competitive advantages for their athletes.”

Alberts’ and Bibb’s desires do not guarantee Texas legislators will be as enthusiastic about gambling expansion, however. Despite past failures, Alberts believes things are looking up for the new year.

Alberts believes 2023 will be the year for gambling expansion

In 2021, legislation that would have sent the issue of gambling expansion to Texas voters died in the state Senate. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick refused to hold a vote on the bills on the Senate floor.

Despite Patrick’s reelection, Alberts thinks 2023 could be different.

“I’m optimistic it’ll get through the House and the Senate. Everyone’s eyes are finally starting to open on this.”

Texas Sen. Carol Alvarado has pre-filed a proposal to amend the state’s constitution to allow for not only sports betting but brick-and-mortar commercial casinos as well.  Should the events that Alberts has predicted play out, Texans could vote on such an amendment in November 2023.

It’s unclear if Alvarado’s bill proposal will be the only such measure the legislature will consider in its next session. Accompanying bills to implement the gambling expansion amendment, should voters approve it, are probable.

Those could get support from Gov. Greg Abbott after the legislature enacts them as well. Alberts could be among those applying pressure on officials in Austin to approve such bills.

If that does end up being the case, Alberts and other members of the Sports Betting Alliance will have scored their biggest goal.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

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