You can bet on Texas standing its ground when it comes to sports betting prohibition.
The San Antonio Express News reported that the state is unlikely to pass sports betting legislation any time soon even if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to strike down the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.
According to political observers, Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott and members of the legislature are indifferent towards sports betting even if it could mean an additional $1.7 billion to the state coffers and the creation of more than 9,300 jobs.
Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas, attributed their apprehension to sports betting to the state leaders’ “conservative” ideals.
“The biggest base of opposition (to the expansion of legal gambling in Texas) is a moral one and comes from political conservatives — and they are a powerful constituency in the state right now,” Henson explained, according to the news outlet. “You have to look at the chances [of legalizing sports betting in Texas] being pretty slim at this point.”
At present, Texas’ strict anti-gambling law only allows lottery products, “social gambling,” and some pari-mutuel wagering on horse and dog races. The state government has also dragged casinos operating on Native American lands in Texas to court on numerous occasions.
Florida gambling amendment loses steam
In Florida, proponents of a gambling amendment that seeks to let voters decide on the future of gambling expansion are scrambling to get enough signatures for it to be included in the November ballot.
Florida Politics reported Voter Control of Gambling in Florida legislation needs a total of 766,200 in order for the ballot to be approved. It will also need 14 signature quotas in the 27 congressional districts across the state of Florida.
Gambling amendment proponent Voters in Charge has so far gathered 725,942 valid signatures for the legislation, three weeks before the February 1 deadline.
Voters in Charge, with the help of big time donors like Disney, has reportedly spent nearly $5 million to ensure that the legislation will be approved.