Texas Betting Expected To Increase This Fall

All signs point toward Texas’ sports betting landscape picking up big time between September and December (and if they’re lucky, even January 2025). However, the biggest beneficiaries will be elsewhere. Allow us to explain how the coming conference realignment is set to be a boon for sports betting in and around the region.

Texas SEC-Bound, Betting To Pick Up Too

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know things are changing in college football. Dozens of teams found homes in new conferences, while the PAC-12 died altogether. One of those teams in new places is the Texas Longhorns — one of the biggest brands in all of American sports. They, along with rival Oklahoma, are now in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

Of course, the SEC is the biggest powerhouse in game too. With big-name teams like Alabama and Georgia, they command the most betting interest of all. That can only benefit betting in Oklahoma and Texas. The thing is, both states have sports wagering banned. They are among only a dozen states yet to legalize sports betting in the U.S.

The two states loss is another gains though. Louisiana — a neighbor to Texas and not far away from Oklahoma (depending which part of the state you live in) — is expecting to pick up their scraps. At least that’s what Casey Lewless is saying, and he manages two Louisiana sportsbooks for Penn Entertainment (who owns the ESPN Bet platform).

“This new conference (alignment) leads to better games for the book and better opportunities for the player,” Casey Lewless said in a recent interview.

One of the sportsbooks managed by Lewless is the Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana. In this resort, which is frequented by Texans, Lewless says he anticipated a bump of about 30% in college wagering — that’s a staggering increase, folks. The other casino is Boomtown Casino Hotel, which is expected to jump in college betting activity too.

Lewless even mentioned that Texas could find a new rival(s) in the SEC. One is neighboring Arkansas — surely a matchup that’ll tug at Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. He’s an Arkansas grad, but obviously made his name (and wealth) in the state of Texas. The other new feud could be with Texas A&M — which can be billed as an in-state civil war of sorts. Their 2024 matchup is slated for the final week of the year, which is reserved for rivalry games.

Oklahoma actually loses a rivalry with the conference switch. Staying back in the Big-12 is Oklahoma State and the two schools will not meet this year. The Texas-Oklahoma game remains on tap though as both will duke it out in the SEC for the first time come October 12.

Sports Betting Legality Split In The SEC

Ironically, or perhaps unironically, the 16-team SEC is split down the middle when it comes to legal sports betting. By that, we mean half allow it and half don’t.

The SEC states with legal sports betting:

  • Arkansas (Arkansas Razorbacks)
  • Louisiana (LSU Tigers)
  • Kentucky (Kentucky Wildcats)
  • Tennessee (Tennessee Volunteers and Vanderbilt Commodores)
  • Mississippi (Ole Miss Rebels and Mississippi State Bulldogs)
  • Florida (Florida Gators)

The SEC states with sports betting still banned:

  • Texas (Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies)
  • Oklahoma (Oklahoma Sooners)
  • Missouri (Missouri Tigers)
  • Alabama (Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers)
  • Georgia (Georgia Bulldogs)
  • South Carolina (South Carolina Gamecocks)

Obviously, the South prides itself on its conversation values — God, family, and yes, college football. The latter could be interpreted in two ways. The first is to allow betting in the region’s favorite sport. The second is, well, take the route of Texas and Oklahoma, and protect the sanctity of college sports by not allowing wagers on amateurs. You could argue both sides and that’s how you end up with this 50-50 split in legality.

Neither Oklahoma nor Texas seem to be moving toward legalizing either. The Texas Senate shot down two bills this year and its lieutenant governor — the second-highest in-state position after the governor — has repeatedly said he has no appetite for legalization. Oklahoma, on the other hand, does want to get it passed but has made an enemy out of native tribes, which control betting inside state borders. This has resulted in a legislative deadlock between the two.

Texas and Oklahoma Bettors Have Other Options

Driving to Louisiana is certainly one option for Longhorns and Sooners fans itching to bet on their teams in the SEC. However, it’s far from the most convenient — who wants to spend on gas and a hotel in this economy? Thankully, there are easier options and that’s going to a top-rated offshore online sportsbook. If we were you, we’d start with one of the five bookies listed below:

Per our latest online sportsbook reviews, these sites are the “best of the best” in the offshore marketplace. These sites work perfectly fine in Texas or Oklahoma or any state or country in the world. That accessibility makes them a worthy place to wager at. Start here this football season if you want to bet!

Eric Uribe

Eric was born and raised in Nevada — the center of gambling in the United States. Throw in his natural interest in sports, and Eric was destined to be a sports bettor. This came to a head once Eric turned 21. Already a working sports journalist while in college, Eric began betting at his local sportsbook. Despite massive losses (at first), Eric continued to chip away at wagering. Eventually, he got half-decent at it. Now Eric is a trusted betting analyst. Not only is he skilled at making picks, but also breaking down the state of the industry — legalization, revenue, and innovation. You can read Eric's writings exclusively on OSB.