New Survey Finds That 75% Of Texans Support Sports Betting In The State

On Jan. 26, University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs released a report of their survey that found widespread support for the legalization of sports betting and other forms of gambling in the state of Texas.

SJR 17 and Texas Sports Betting

The online survey assessed preferences and opinions about a piece of legislation – SJR 17 – that is set to be discussed in the 2023 legislative session. Sen. Carol Alvarado filed the bill in November 2022.

If approved by both chambers, SJR 17 would be voted on by Texans in November 2023. The legislation calls for a casino resort in the state’s four major cities: Houston, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio. It also allows limited casino gambling at horse and race tracks, legalized sports betting, and tribal communities to operate slot machines or casino gambling.

Survey Findings

The survey interviewed 1,200 people across multiple socio-demographic lines. It found that 75% of interviewees support the legislation in some way or another. 41% said they strongly support it and 34% said they somewhat support it. 25% of Texans oppose the passage of SJR 17, including 13% who strongly oppose it.

This bill has support from both sides which bodes well for getting support during the legislative session. The survey found that 80% of Texas Democrats and 72% of Texas Republicans support the passage of SJR 17.

“It’s not just that a majority of Texans support expanded gambling,” a senior research fellow at the Hobby School, Mark P. Jones said. “We found a majority of people in urban, suburban and rural areas support it, and that cuts across racial, ethnic, partisan, religious, and generational lines.”

The survey found that if an alternate piece of legislation was proposed that only legalized online and in-person sports betting and nothing else, the support would decrease. 69% of Texans would support that cause and 31% would oppose it, including 17% that would strongly oppose it.

Sports Betting Support Gaining Traction

Other supporters for legalizing sports betting in Texas include Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and former Texas governor Rick Perry.

In December, Cuban announced that he wants to rebuild the Mavericks arena in the middle of a resort and casino. This announcement came just a few days after Perry joined the Sports Betting Alliance and pledged support for the legislative efforts in getting sports betting legalized in Texas.

Jones, a key founder of the Sports Betting Alliance, recently reiterated his position on the topic. “There’s a huge amount of gaming going on in and around sports at this time. And, so, to have all the benefits or all the control over it, it needs to be recognized and parameters put on it and discipline put in it,” Jones said in a KRLD radio interview in January. “Then, also, the benefits can go in Texas, could adhere to the right kind of people, or some property tax. Certainly help educate our great state’s children.”

Other supporting members of the Sports Betting Alliance in Texas are: the Texas Rangers, FC Dallas, Dallas Stars, Houston Astros, Houston Texans, Houston Rockets, Dallas Wings, and several more.

The ongoing support is great, but it isn’t that easy – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has not always been keen on sports betting in the state, and his support (and signature) is needed to get SJR 17 before voters in November.

Mia Fowler is a graduate of Chapman University where she studied business marketing and journalism and played on the women’s soccer team. Following her 16-year journey with soccer, she started writing for Lineups.com. She specifically enjoys analysis of the NFL.

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