AUSTIN (KXAN) — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had some choice words for Texas lawmakers about legalizing sports betting in a recent radio interview.
Speaking on the K&C Masterpiece Show on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Jones said sports betting, “really needs to be addressed at this time,” while the 88th Texas Legislature is in session.
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“There’s a huge amount of gaming going around sports at this time, and to have all of the benefits and control over it, it needs to be recognized and parameters and discipline put in it. The benefits could lower some property tax, certainly help educate our great state’s children … all of those things can be enhanced by something that’s presently going on in a big way. We should be getting the benefit of that as citizens of Texas. Other states surrounding us are. It’s time to set up some rules and execute them.”
Jones joins other high-profile Texans in making sports betting legal in the Lone Star State. Former Gov. Rick Perry has voiced his support for it, saying, “neighboring states are cashing in on Texans’ bets.”
“Texans are already participating in mobile sports betting. Legalization would be a home run for all involved,” he said.
Perhaps the most famous Texan sports bettor is Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, owner of Houston-based Gallery Furniture. McIngvale traveled to Louisana, Iowa and Nevada to place bets on the Houston Astros to win last year’s World Series. When the Astros topped Philadelphia in six games, McIngvale pocketed nearly $75 million. Most recently, McIngvale placed a $200,000 bet on the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC Championship and lost $3 million betting on the TCU Horned Frogs to win the College Football Playoff championship.
In order for sports betting to become legal in Texas, there needs to be an amendment to the Texas Constitution. Texas Sen. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) has filed SJR 17 to create the Texas Gaming Commission and, “authorize and regulate casino gaming at a limited number of destination resorts and facilities licensed by the commission, authorize sports wagering, requiring occupational licenses to conduct casino gaming, and requiring the imposition of a tax.”
Two-thirds of the House and Senate would need to approve the bill, and then it would go in front of Texas voters for final approval. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told KXAN there’s, “a lot of talk out there, but I don’t see any movement on it,” in regards to a push to legalize sports betting.