New poll shows Texans are divided on legal sports betting

What is going to end up happening down the road for people who want sports betting in Texas to finally be given the green light? Everything is up in the air, though the earliest things can even be presented for a potential vote will be 2023. After missing out in previous years, a change could be becoming. Having said that, a new poll shows Texans are divided on legal sports betting actually going down.

According to a local report, a recent survey of Texans citizens was held. In this study, 41 percent of people were in favor of sports betting being legalized. However, 38 percent said they were not in favor of the move. On top of that, 21 percent said they’d be unsure which direction they’d want to vote for. This tells us all that there really is a divide among the potential voters on which way to go.

Because of this, it’s most certainly causing concern for those who do want to see things taken to the next level. After things weren’t passed previously, sports fans have had to become patient on whether or not the legislature would re-open the window. Once 2023 arrives, the discussion will ramp back up, with folks wondering if a bill will be presented on the ballot for people to vote on or not.

“Texas is historically very culturally conservative with a very strong sort of religious component to the Legislature in that a lot of their lawmakers do display these kinds of at least outwardly a very, like, no gambling, no taboo industries here kind of attitude,” Becca Giden, director of policy for Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, told KUT radio in Austin on why things may not go down.

Texas knows it’s losing millions each month with no legal gambling

With everything in the state still up in the air, Texas knows it’s losing millions each month with no legal gambling. This is because while legal activity hasn’t passed, people are still finding illegal methods to place their bets. Whether it be through an off-shore account, a local sports bookie, or making bets through friends out of state, people are still checking out the different sports odds.

As soon as they find odds they like, they then will find a way to place wagers. It’s frustrating for officials, as so much money is being exchanged illegally on sports betting. We’ve said it here before on MyTopSportsbooks, but there’s simply no excuse for this to not be regulated by now. The more time passes, the more money is being moved illegally on sports betting.

Take the college basketball season for example. An unreal amount of money was bet on, as people keep on checking out March Madness odds. Countless states out there will reap the benefits and record huge revenue numbers from their sports betting. This money is often used to fund different initiatives, which is a win-win for so many different people.

However, this isn’t the case in Texas. Millions of dollars could be coming in for the state that they could use to tackle the different issues they have. Until sports betting is cleared, though, the government won’t be able to put the money to use. Instead, sports games and futures picks will be bet on illegally. Criminals are getting away with their illegal sportsbooks, and Texas isn’t stopping it. It’s tough to see.

Addiction is a main concern for people against sports betting

It goes without saying, that addiction is a main concern for people against sports betting. In the same recent report that asked people about their issues with things getting passed, they made it clear they had a worry with people going too far with it. This is a fair concern, as we’ve all seen how addictive betting can become for some people. However, should this really impact everyone in the state?

“A lot of times we lump gambling, sex, cocaine altogether, because all of those targets what’s called a dopamine neurotransmitter in the brain, which is the brain’s pleasure center, and that dopamine gets elevated,” Texas resident Chris Anderson, who used to be addicted to gambling, told KUT in Austin. “In other words, the gambler is high in anticipation of the outcome.”

With this, Anderson does bring up a good point. What will happen if people continuously check out the best-rated sportsbooks for odds, which includes Super Bowl odds, and bet irresponsibly. While the state would love to bring in revenue on a consistent basis, they don’t want to see people start to lose their homes, cars, and more due to gambling addiction. You see these kinds of horror stories all the time.

With that said, though, it’s not the state’s job to babysit people and how they decide to bet moving forward. This will 100 percent be a concern for citizens moving forward. Say betting is made legal by 2023, people won’t stop voicing their concerns over things. Right now, it’s a wait-and-see, but we’re quickly learning people in Texas are split on which way they want things to end up going. 

Chris Boline

Chris Boline is an avid sports fan and currently works within the sports industry. He has previously written for outlets covering the NBA G League, Los Angeles Chargers, Mountain West Conference football and basketball and has been a writer for over 10 years. Chris is very involved within his local community and spends his free time working with community organizations, sitting on boards, and spending time with friends and family.