Sports Betting in Texas Could be as Profitable as Legal Gambling in New York

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Sep 4, 2022 08:00 PM
Sports Betting in Texas Could be as Profitable as Legal Gambling in New York

Legal sports betting in Texas has long been considered a matter of "when" rather than "if." And while the "when" of it all remains an unknown, certain lawmakers and sports betting experts are already preparing for the state to enjoy a massive financial windfall once they give sports wagering of all forms the green light. Just how much money are we talking about? The answer might surprise you.

It can sometimes feel useless to talk about the future of sports betting getting legalized in Texas. Not only hasn't it been legalized yet, but the state doesn't even have a concrete timeline for when it might be given the stamp of approval. Even so, we can't stop talking about it—in large part because of how lucrative Texas legal sports betting stands to be. So lucrative, in fact, recent estimates suggest it will generate just as much revenue as, if not more revenue than, New York legal sports betting.

These projections help explain why Texas sports betting remains such a hot-button issue. It doesn't quite explain why sports betting still isn't legal in Texas, mostly because it begs for just the opposite. Regardless, though, the most recent forecast has many believing that we'll see sports betting get legalized in Texas by 2023.

Projected Texas Sports Betting Revenue Continues to Rise

Cobbling together estimates for sports betting revenue remains a difficult task. Experts are able to weigh the results of similar markets, since sports betting is legal in more than half of the United States, but there will never be a more accurate measure of a market's earning potential than the actual results themselves.

Still, Texas is a special case. They have one of the largest sports markets in the country, both at the collegiate and professional levels. That allows people within the industry to provide a more accurate gauge of how much money they stand to make through the legalization of sports betting.

Most recently, the sports betting potential in Texas has been compared to the results in New York. Since rolling out legal sports betting at the top of the year, The Empire State has taken in more than $6 billion in total wagers. For the mathematicians keeping score at home, that's over $1.6 billion per month.

What's more, this is in a debut year, when the profit margin is supposed to be lower, as people still get used to funneling their bets through the proper channels. This figure could continue to rise in the coming months—and definitely in the coming years—as sports betting in New York becomes more accessible and more commonplace.

In the event Texas matches the numbers coming out of The Empire State, they're looking at about $15-plus billion in total bets getting placed during the first year of operation. This, of course, isn't pure profit. Sportsbooks need to pay out winning bets, and then the state will get a percentage of what's leftover. Given what we know about the proposed sports betting tax in Texas, though, we're still talking about billions of dollars in potential revenue.

Are Texas Sports Betting Estimates Accurate?

It's natural and perfectly acceptable to wonder whether these Texas sports betting estimates will be all that accurate. Again: We can't be assured of the results until we actually see them. At the same time, the conditions in Texas are ripe for an avalanche of revenue.

For starters, just look at the state's population. New York has accumulated more than $5 billion in bets through the first one-third of the year against a population of 19.3 million. Texas, meanwhile, is the second-largest state in the country, trailing only California, with a population of more than 29.7 million people. That's more than a 50 percent increase over the residency numbers in New York.

With that said, The Empire State is home to some of the most popular sports franchises in the country. These teams have large swathes of fans not just in New York but all over the USA. Clearly, their numbers are being inflated by widespread allegiance.

We won't argue that point. But we will note that Texas is suited to follow the same model.

The Dallas Cowboys of the NFL are perhaps the most popular professional sports franchise in the world outside of the major soccer clubs. Beyond them, Texas is also home to multiple franchises with big and loyal fanbases, such as the Dallas Mavericks (NBA), San Antonio Spurs (NBA), Houston Rockets (NBA), Houston Astros (MLB), Texas Rangers (MLB), Houston Texans (NFL) and Dallas Stars (NHL), among others. Simply having multiple sports teams in just about every league gives Texas an inherent advantage over the sports-betting competition. And this says nothing of the college sports betting scene, which will ride the popularity of nationally acclaimed programs like Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Houston University and the University of Texas.

So...When Will Sports Betting Come to the Lone Star State

Relative to how much money is at stake, we'd be inclined to guarantee that legal sports betting will come to Texas sooner rather than later. But before you go cannonballing into our reviews of the top online sportsbooks to find your eventual home for all your online wagering, we must continue encouraging you to be patient.

After the latest sports betting measure failed to pass at the end of 2021, Texas isn't slated to vote on the matter again until the end of 2022, during the November elections. This essentially means the soonest they can have legal sports betting up and running is the start of 2023. 

The good news? This isn't that far away. And at least it offers a light at the end of the tunnel. The sentiment coming out of Texas can of course, still change, but given how many prominent figures, both in the government and from pro sports franchises, have offered support to legal sports betting, we'd be genuinely shocked if online gambling wasn't standardized in The Lone Star State by 2023.

Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your sports wagering needs:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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