Illegal March Madness Bets Have Been a Big Issue in Texas

While people continue to wait and see if Texas sports betting will come soon, the debate is hotter than ever. On one hand, plenty of people have spoken in favor of the legalization, as they feel it would be massive from a financial standpoint for the state. However, others are completely against it, which doesn’t make a ton of sense. For the proponents, they’ll be able to bring up that illegal March Madness bets have been a big issue in Texas. This is not good at all.

Per a report, Texas indeed has seen a spike in illegal activity from start to finish for the NCAA Tournament, both for the men’s and women’s tourneys. At a recent House State Affairs Committee meeting, republican Jeff Leach, who has a sports bill written for lawmakers and officials to look at, brought up that illegal activity has been through the roof over the past few weeks. In Leach’s eyes, something needs to change as soon as possible.

Leach’s House Bill 1942 would bring in legal, regulated sports betting for Texas. As things stand, things need to be approved by the House and the Senate. Then if things go according to plan, the local citizens will be able to vote on things in the fall. There feels like there’s a split on things, but Leach is ready to go all in to make something happen. Only time will tell if his bill is approved or not.

Texas sports betting could arrive in time for NFL bets

With things potentially moving forward, it’s important to remember that Texas sports betting could arrive in time for NFL bets to be placed. In a perfect world, one of the sports betting bills that have been pre-filed will reach the voting stages in November, and then people will approve it. Things won’t be launched overnight, but you better believe that Texas officials will be ready to get things moving shortly after.

With that, there’s the potential for legal sports betting to be an option shortly after. This could lead to people checking the NFL betting odds for late in the regular season and the postseason as well. It goes without saying, but people are going to be checking the Super Bowl betting odds with a passion if things are given the green light. The Super Bowl is always one of the biggest betting events of the year.

In terms of the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys are the most popular team in the state and that’s never going to change. It has been a busy offseason for the Cowboys, as they’ve improved on both sides of the ball. As soon as training camp arrives, people are going to be tuned in on quarterback Dak Prescott, as he’s got a ton of pressure to deliver in 2023. He’ll have to do so without Ezekiel Elliott, as the former Pro Bowl running back was released.

People would love to be able to place bets on the Cowboys, especially in the playoffs. Dallas has strong odds to win the NFC East, as they’ll be ready to battle it out with the Eagles and Giants for that banner. If Prescott can have a strong year, and we see CeeDee Lamb take the next step as a No. 1 receiver, then it could prove to be a huge year for Dallas – and their fans will be ready to bet on them if it’s allowed legally.

Texas officials must get on the same page for betting

In order for things to move forward, though, there’s no doubt that Texas officials must get on the same page for betting. There has been far too much division on both sides, which is having a negative impact on the overall push to get things forward. At all of these different meetings and hearings, you have several people, including Leach, explaining why sports betting would be great for the state, while others aren’t buying into the project.

One of the main issues that people against Texas sports betting have is the worry over potential addiction. This is something that has been discussed countless times, as we have seen gambling addiction become an issue across the United States over the years. That’s something that people need to keep in mind.

However, the fact of the matter here is that people are still placing their bets, but doing so illegally. This is something that can’t continue in Texas. It would be much better for this form of gambling to be regulated, which is a big part of the argument for Leach and others. The benefits of legal sports betting far outweigh the negatives. This is something people all over the state hope lawmakers can agree on soon.

Chris Boline

Chris Boline is a renowned sports journalist with a lifelong passion for the industry. Originally from Reno, Nevada, he is a key business development figure in college athletics, with over a decade of experience with the NBA G League, Los Angeles Chargers, and Mountain West Conference. Boline holds an MBA from the University of Nevada. He has received MVP and "Best of" honors from the NBA/Sacramento Kings, Nevada Press Association, and more. His work has been showcased statewide and nationally. Boline has established himself as an expert in MLB and legal sports betting developments. When he's not immersed in the world of sports, Chris finds joy in exploring nature's wonders.