February 6, 2023

AUSTIN, Texas – Today, February 6, Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) filed SB 715 and SJR 39 and Representative Jeff Leach (R-Plano) filed HB 1942 and HJR 102 to legalize and regulate mobile sports betting in Texas. The legislation is supported by the Texas Sports Betting Alliance comprised of Texas professional sports franchises, sports leagues, racetracks, and betting platforms.

“I introduced SB 715 and SJR 39 because Texas needs to bring security and safety into the world of mobile sports betting,” said Senator Kolkhorst. “It makes sense to reign in all of the illegal offshore betting and keep sports wagering funds here in Texas. This is a sensible plan, which is why so many states have already passed similar legislation. As a former collegiate athlete, I respect the purity of sports and feel SB 715 and SJR 39 will promote integrity through transparent licensing, permitting, and reporting requirements. Most important of all, it will stop underage offshore betting that is happening across Texas today.”

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen), who authored legislation to legalize sports betting in 2021, has signed on as Joint Author to Senator Kolkhorst’s SB 715.

“I am proud to partner with Senator Kolkhorst in filing this important legislation. It will serve to promote freedom and liberty in Texas and protect our citizens from the illegal and increasingly dangerous sports betting market that preys on unsuspecting consumers, including minors, putting their personal and financial information at great risk,” said Representative Leach. “It is time for the Lone Star State to join the 35 other states who have passed similar legislation – and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to ensure this referendum is on the ballot of Texas voters in November.”

“Senator Kolkhorst and Representative Leach understand the voters of Texas want the chance to vote whether to legalize mobile sports betting,” said Governor Rick Perry, Spokesperson for the Texas Sports Betting Alliance. “Revenue from legal mobile sports betting in Texas could bring in more than a quarter billion in the first biennium alone. Our neighboring states are cashing in on Texans’ bets and a smart, efficient legal framework will keep that revenue here to go towards much-needed property tax relief.”

“Sports betting is going to happen whether it is regulated or not,” said Jim Crane, Houston Astros. “Rather than having Texans betting illegally through unknown companies in foreign countries, this bill will allow controls and safeguards for sports betting in Texas while generating significant revenue that will be used to reduce everyone’s property taxes in Texas.”

“A legal and regulated sports betting market is what’s best for Texas and I applaud Senator Kolkhorst and Representative Leach for filing this legislation,” said Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys. “It will give Texans the ability to decide for themselves if they want this activity safely regulated or continue to be conducted in the shadows by out-of-state betting platforms.”

“Sunday’s Super Bowl is another reminder of the unifying force sports has in our community,” said Dan Hunt, FC Dallas. “In many states, fans can choose to engage in sports betting with the assurance that their bets are safe, legal and secure. We look forward to the day when Texans can enjoy that same freedom.”

“Fans betting on the outcome of sporting contests has been happening for years,” said Ray Davis, Texas Rangers. “It is time for sports betting to come out of the shadows so we can engage fans in an area where they are already spending time and money while enhancing the fan experience.”

“Texas has the best fans in the country and legal sports betting is an exciting new way for Texans to engage with their favorite teams,” said Peter J. Holt, San Antonio Spurs. “Senator Kolkhorst’s bill will provide Texans the same opportunity that sports fans across the country