Former Gov. Rick Perry supports legalizing mobile sports betting in Texas

Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Sports teams and betting platforms are hoping that a new push will increase their chances of legalizing mobile sports betting in Texas.

The group called the Texas Sports Betting Alliance has appointed a powerful spokesperson: former Texas Governor Rick Perry.

A bill to legalize mobile or online sports betting is being developed for the next legislative session starting in January.

You cannot watch sports on TV without watching multiple advertisements through sports betting platforms. But while you can bet on a game or match live on your phone in 35 states, Texas is not one of them.

Perry, who said he once opposed the idea, now supports it in the Lone Star State.

“We’ll have people betting on sporting events in Texas, and you know what I think. That’s fine. But it has to be regulated. There has to be oversight.”

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He said censorship could protect consumers’ information from bad operators.

The alliance is made up of a variety of sports betting platforms, and the state’s professional sports teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Stars, Dallas Mavericks, FC Dallas, and Texas Rangers.

A fully passed and developed state of Texas, they said, raises up to $550 million for a two-year budget cycle by taxing profits.

But opponents such as Rob Kohler, a consultant with the Committee on Christian Life, said betting risks can come at a high cost.

“We don’t think it’s a good idea to put sports betting on phones and expose their use. The points aren’t so out of touch that people can get into a lot of trouble financially.”

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Benjamin Early said that while he does not gamble, he supports the idea.

“I don’t see a problem with that at all because it’s going to be done online one way or another. And it’s another way to generate taxes. Less money out of the pockets of taxpayers unless they gamble.”

Before it becomes law, the Texas constitution must be changed.

This means that a majority of lawmakers in the House and Senate need to approve it before the decision is left to the voters.

Perry said his message to state lawmakers is simple. “If they are wise enough to put their trust in you by voting for you, I think we should trust them to decide on this matter.”

But Koehler disagreed.

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“People are talking whenever they send people to Austin, and they’re in their communities telling them what they think is best for the state. We don’t see that changing.”

A recent review by the state of Colorado revealed some issues with the mobile sports betting industry.

It includes a country that does not apply appropriate controls to determine whether revenue estimates are accurate.

If approved, Perry said, Texas would need to put in place proper controls.

While speaking on behalf of the Texas Sports Betting Association, the former governor said he is not lobbying for the organization.

Follow Jack on Twitter and Facebook: @cbs11jack


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