New legislation introduced
Two more states have already introduced gambling legislation in this young year. In Texas, a sports betting bill and a casino bill are on the table, while in Virginia, lawmakers are looking to remove a cap on sports betting licenses.
Texas is one of the most conservative states in the U.S. when it comes to gambling, so the passage of this legislation would be a significant change for the state. The Virginia bill would allow the sports betting industry to grow much larger than initially anticipated.
Texas sports betting and casino bills
This month, Texas lawmakers introduced two bills to create a much larger gambling environment. The first, HB 477, was from Representative Joe Deshotel to legalize commercial casinos in specific areas along the coast.
Representative Harold Dutton introduced HB 1121, which would legalize online sports betting. The measure is only for online wagering because Texas does not have commercial casinos, typically where brick-and-mortar sportsbooks would be located. The bill calls for a 6.25% tax rate.
Texas is home to a few casinos operated by Native American tribes. The state also offers lottery and horse racetracks.
aim to keep gambling funds in the state
The two new bills aim to keep gambling funds in the state. Neighboring Louisiana and Oklahoma tend to pull in revenues from Texas residents as they travel across the border to casinos.
More license potential in Virginia
Though plans are underway to launch sports betting in Virginia very soon, legislation has been filed in the General Assembly to see the industry grow even bigger. The proposed bill would increase the number of sports betting licenses up for grabs.
HB 1847 would not remove the current cap on licensing, but would instead change the language in the law regarding locations and entities that count toward the licensing cap. Currently, state law limits casino licenses to a total of 12.
If the measure passes, it would make four more permits available. This would apply to casinos as well as any professional sports team that plays at least five of its regular season games in Virginia or is headquartered in the state.