It appears that people in the Lone Star State would be on board with having more legal gambling options should lawmakers allow it.
A new survey from PlayTexas shows that 65% of Texans would support a ballot measure to expand gambling including, among other things, Texas sports betting.
Here are the Texas gambling survey results
Conducted in October, the survey asked Texans if they would support Texas gambling if it were regulated.
- Yes – 65%
- No – 11%
- Unsure – 23%
The survey also asked which type of gambling options they would prefer. Of the 750 responses, a majority favored some version of casino gambling.
- Casino gambling – 63%
- Resort casinos – 50%
- Online poker – 35%
- Daily fantasy sports – 32%
Additionally, respondents favored Texas online sports betting over traditional retail sportsbooks.
- Online sports betting – 39%
- Retail sports betting – 36%
Other survey metrics included were:
- Gender: Male (41%); Female (59%)
- Age groups: 18-24 (16%); 25-34 (25%); 35-44 (29%); 45-54 (15%); >54 (14%)
- Margin of error: 4%
A new gambling bill in the works
The survey also noted the parallels to recent legislation filed by Sen. Carol Alvarado.
Alvarado recently filed Senate Joint Resolution 17 (SJR 17), a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize casino gaming and sports betting. Per language in the bill, metropolitan areas would be required to invest $1-2 billion in land and development, depending on population.
The survey showed respondents favored casino gaming because of job growth (35%) and tax revenue (31%). SJR 17 proposes a 10% tax on gross gaming revenue for table games and 25% for slot machines.
The top two Responses for the use of gaming revenue include:
- Education – 18%
- Property taxes – 17%
Texas pro-sports teams are on board with more gambling
Although the bill is still in its early stages, some professional sports teams already support it.
Recently, Dallas Stars (NHL) President and CEO Brad Alberts, said passing a sports betting measure was critical to the team’s finances.
“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.”
Although efforts to pass a bill failed in 2021, Alberts thinks the upcoming legislative session will have different results. “I’m optimistic it’ll get through the House and the Senate. Everyone’s eyes are finally starting to open on this,” he said.
With California failing to pass a sports betting bill, experts believe major interest groups will turn to Texas as the next suitor for gambling expansion.