Proposed constitutional amendment could result in legalized sports gambling in Texas

Texas Rep. Dan Huberty wants to use money for state causes, like education

SAN ANTONIO – Could Texas see legalized sports gambling some time soon?

Just a few weeks ago, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said a bill on legalized gambling would never see the light of day, but Texas Rep. Dan Huberty recently proposed a constitutional amendment that could allow Texans to vote on allowing sports wagering.

Huberty said it would be money that he hopes to use for state causes, like education efforts.

“I’m talking already about $5.6 billion. It’s going out of the state for people that are already doing this. And that’s just, that’s just what we believe it’s to be. We believe it’s you know, it’s obviously much higher than that,” District 127 Texas State Rep. Dan Huberty said.

$5.6 billion is money that the state of Texas could really use.

“There’s no income being generated associated with that. And so we looked at that from a perspective that said, OK, if 25 other states have done it, 23 states are doing it today. We’ve been looking at this for a very long time,” Huberty said.

Huberty said this is a way that fans who are passionate about their teams can bet legally, but done so in a way that can help the state.

“Texas has lagged behind in our funding for special education and meeting what we call maintenance of effort over the years. And so, this will help bridge that gap as well,” Huberty said.

There are now four proposals revolving around sports wagering that are public, according to the Texas legislature database. You can find the four proposals by clicking here.

“The speaker of the House, Speaker Phelan, and certainly the lieutenant governor and all the appropriators have made education and funding education a priority. And so, is this a way to be able to at least have the debate -- is this something that we want to do? Is this something that we want the voters to be able to vote on? And we believe the answer is yes,” Huberty said.

And going forward, Huberty said he is cautiously optimistic.

“I mean, my hope is, we passed my hope. Long term that’s a victory is to be able to pass it and get it through and get it to the voters. And it is going to take some time. It’s going to be some hard work. But I think we’re going to have an opportunity,” Huberty said.

About the Authors

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.

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