The Texas House of Representatives has voted through a constitutional amendment bill that would allow voters in the US state to legalize online sports betting.
HJR 102 cleared the House by a vote of 101-42 yesterday (May 11) and will now progress forward to the state’s Senate for further debate.
Should it pass into law, the constitutional amendment itself would not legalize wagering, but would permit a state-wide vote to be held on the issue. This would take place at an election on November 7 this year.
The accompanying HB 1942 bill, which sets out details as to how the market would run and be regulated, also passed through the House by a vote of 82-51 on the same day.
Key features of the bill included that licensed operators in Texas would be subject to a 15% tax rate on adjusted gross sports wagering. The original rate was set at 10%, but this was increased after an amendment was approved earlier this week.
The Texas Lottery Commission would be responsible for issuing all licenses to offer sports betting in the state, as well as oversee regulation of the market.
Operators applying for a sports wagering permit would need to pay a fee of $2.0m, though this would be refunded if their application was not successful, minus any expenses occurred by the Commission during this process.
The Commission would also offer service provider permits for applicants seeking to work with licensed operators in the state. These permits would each cost $25,000.
Should both bills pass and secure the approval of voter, the law change would come into effect from January 1 2024.