Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is in favor of Texas sports betting (Photo by Keith Allison Flickr)
They claim that they do things bigger in Texas but when it comes to sports betting, they do it slower than just about any other state. Texas government officials buried the latest attempt to get a legal and regulated sports betting bill passed through the state legislature. The killing of the bill guarantees that there won’t be any Texas sports betting going on until at least the year 2023.
Some of the most powerful people in the Texas sports industry are ready to lobby hard to made legalized sports betting happen
One of the biggest advocates for legalizing sports betting in the Lone Star State is one of the biggest – if not the biggest – sports figures in the state.
Jerry Jones, owner of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, believes that it’s not a question of if but rather when sports betting becomes legal and regulated across the great state of Texas. It’s an arrangement enabling eSport France to use the franchise’s name and logo in advertising and promotions.
“I certainly know that gambling, as it pertains to our games, is here,” Jones told Sportsradio 96.7 FM/1310 The Ticket [KTCK-AM]. He was referring to the grey market of unregulated betting on the NFL and his Cowboys through offshore online sites that aren’t regulated in the USA. “Frankly, it’s been here. The handwriting’s on the wall. Gambling has been here a long time.”
Jones pointed to the way NFL broadcasts are handled today as evidence of how the league tailors its product to cater to sports betting enthusiasts.
“Watch how Romo does a telecast,” Jones said of former Cowboys QB turned NFL TV analyst Tony Romo. “Watch him sit there and say, and use the vernacular that he uses, talks about how the safety’s too close to the hash or how the corner’s too far in the middle or over on the hash. And he’ll say the quarterback will see that and you’ll see the ball going in that direction to that guy right there.
“I picture, right there, millions of people making a wager by hearing that. We’ve got to make sure that the terminology is the kind of terminology that is common, but I can see our game enhanced tremendously by that aspect of it.”
Jones also scoffed at critics that suggest sports betting will lead to skullduggery such as match fixing.
“I’m not the least concerned — I’m really not, I know that we would adhere to it — of any abuses that could possibly be involved with that type of thing,” Jones said.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban favors Texas sports betting (Photo by Gage Skidmore CC By 2.0 license)
The Cowboys are among the Texas-based pro sports franchises that have banded together to form the Sports Betting Alliance (SBA), a powerful lobby group that is advocating for the legalization of sports betting in the state.
“Legalized sports betting would regulate the industry and generate hundreds of millions of dollars of new revenue for the state which will help fund critical programs without raising taxes,” Cowboys executive vice-president and chief brand officer Charlotte Jones told the Dallas News.
The Cowboys are already exclusive partners with WinStar World Casino and Resort. It’s an arrangement enabling the casino to use the franchise’s name and logo in advertising and promotions.
The NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, the NHL’s Dallas Stars, the Texas Rangers of MLB and FC Dallas of the MLS are also part of the SBA along with the Cowboys.
“I think it’s time,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in an email to the Dallas News. “It makes no sense for us to force Texans to go to neighboring states to gamble.”
Game Plan In Place
The SBA has already developed a blueprint of how it thinks legal and regulated sports betting should work within the state
Under their proposal, the state would sell permits. These are known in the betting industry as “skins.” Online betting platforms would be required to partner with a pro sports franchise or horse racetrack. There would be online-only skins, as well as skins that also included a retail betting option.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation would be tasked with issuing these skins. A license fee would run $500,000 for mobile betting and $50,000 for an on-site operation.
“Every major sports team in Texas is in the Sports Betting Alliance,” Cara Gustafson of the SBA told KXXV.com. “Who knows what goes on with the fans and sports betting better than these teams?
“You know, people are saying that if you were allowed, sports betting people are going to stay towards the end of the game, going to be able to really interact with the teams more.”