Austin (KXAN) – In a recent radio interview, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gave Texas lawmakers a few words about legalizing sports betting.
Speaking at the K&C Masterpiece Show on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Jones said that sports betting “really needs a solution right now” while the 88th Texas Legislature is in session.
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“There are a huge number of games going on around the sport at the moment, and in order to have all the advantages and control them, they need to be recognized, as well as to introduce parameters and discipline into them. Benefits could lower property taxes, certainly help educate the children of our great state… all of these things could be enhanced by something that is currently happening on a grand scale. We must benefit from this as citizens of Texas. Other states surrounding us. It’s time to set some rules and follow them.”
Jones, along with other high-profile Texans, legalizes sports betting in the Lone Star State. Former Gov. Rick Perry expressed support for this, stating that “neighboring states are cashing in on Texan bets.”
“Texans are already participating in mobile sports betting. Legalization will be a victory for all involved,” he said.
Perhaps the most famous Texas sports bettor is Jim “Mattress Mack” McKingvale, owner of a Houston furniture gallery. McInvale traveled to Louisiana, Iowa and Nevada to bet that the Houston Astros would win last year’s World Series. When the Astros beat Philadelphia in six games, McInvale made almost $75 million. Most recently, McInvale made 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.
For sports betting to become legal in Texas, an amendment to the Texas Constitution must be made. Texas Senator Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) filed SJR 17 to create the Texas Gaming Commission and “permit and regulate casino gaming at a limited number of commission-licensed resorts and facilities, authorize sports betting requiring professional licenses to conduct gambling and demand a tax.
Two-thirds of the House of Representatives and the Senate will have to approve the bill, and then it will be submitted to Texas voters for final approval. Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick told KXAN that there is “a lot of talk, but I don’t see any movement on this” regarding the push to legalize sports betting.