Texas Sports Betting Region Generated $3.1 Billion in 2022 Gaming Revenue

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Aug 14, 2023 12:00 AM
The region that would include Texas sports betting generated over $3 billion in revenue for the 2022 fiscal year.

The National Indian Gaming Commission recently released their earnings report for the 2022 fiscal year, and as it turns out, the region that would include Texas sports betting, turned a multibillion profit.

This isn’t necessarily surprising. The region in question, referred to as the “Oklahoma City Region,” includes 72 tribal gaming operations

And yet, the final number is still somewhat staggering when you consider sports betting throughout Texas isn’t legal. How is the Oklahoma City Region able to churn out so much gaming revenue without it? Let’s dig into the numbers—and, equally important, the logistics.

Texas Sports Betting is Not Mission Critical to Regional Gaming Revenue

Many confuse these yearly earnings reports strictly as a review of annual sports betting revenue. That’s not the case. The National Indian Gaming Commission is reporting all types of gaming profits. This encompasses not just sports betting, but any casino, cardroom, video lottery terminal, etc. operations. 

In the latter half of each year, the National Indian Gaming Commission releases the profits generated from the previous year. So, because we’re in the back half of 2023, this gaming revenue data is for 2022. And in 2022, the Texas sports betting region finished with $3.1 billion in total revenue. That’s a 4 percent increase compared to 2021.

Incremental growth isn’t necessarily shocking. Brick-and-mortar gaming remains strong throughout The Lone Star State. Though Texas hasn’t agreed to commercialize the casino industry, they still house at least 20 locations throughout the region. And since anyone living along the southern borders of the state don’t have access to domestic sports betting alternatives in neighboring states, it increases the value and overall earning potential of tribal operated casinos.

Still, the idea that this region turned a $3-plus billion profit is pretty mind-melting. After all, it only includes two states: Texas and Oklahoma. And just as it is for The Lone Star State, there is no sports betting in Oklahoma. The Sooner State has shown more of an appetite to discuss legal sports gambling during annual legislative meetings, but they’ve yet to push any initiatives through both the House and Senate.

This invariably raises the issue of Texas’ sports betting potential. If their gaming region is already making billions every year, how much money are they leaving on the table by refusing to legalize gambling on sports

Is Texas Costing Themselves Billions of Dollars in Sports Betting Revenue Every Year?

It is impossible to know, with absolute certainty, how much sports betting revenue Texas can generate on an annual basis. However, we do know that The Lone Star State profiles as the second biggest sports betting market in the USA. They have a multitude of pro franchises across every major North American League, as well as a smattering of Division I college football and college basketball powerhouses that would further elevate their earning potential.

Experts throughout the industry, of course, have tried to ballpark how much money Texas could make with the legalization of sports betting. Their projections have varied, somewhat starkly, given the sheer size of the market.

There’s also the matter of how Texas would choose to legalize sports gambling. Most of their proposals to date would not allow the best online sportsbooks in the United States to operate independently. While some Texas online sports betting initiatives have been brought to the table, policymakers have generally shown the most affinity for in-person structures that don’t fully commit to commercialized gaming.

With all of this in mind, the folks over at Legal Sports Report recently projected that “sports betting revenue in Texas could be $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion the first full year.” And this presumes The Lone Star State implements a relatively average tax rate. They have the market appeal to be more aggressive with how much they charge operators—especially if they agree to legalize online sports betting and start taxing corporate Goliaths.

The Market for Sports Betting in Texas Exists, But will State Law Ever Follow Suit?

Numerous polls over the years have shown that the majority of Texans would support some form of legal sports betting. But this stance has yet to be adopted by the state’s lawmakers. 

Marginal progress was made on a Texas sports betting bill this past year in the House of Representatives, but the issue remains mostly taboo in the Senate. Some are optimistic this could change in time for an initiative to make the 2024 electoral ballot. We’re more skeptical.

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who carries plenty of influence over the Senate’s agenda, remains vehemently opposed to legal sports gambling. Many thought his issue was more partisan; he wouldn’t support measures championed by Democrats. But the latest bill to legalize Texas sports betting was actually driven by Republicans, and Lieutenant Governor Patrick still didn’t make it a priority during the 2023 legislative meetings.

Until he changes his tune or the state undergoes a shift in legislative power, we’d be fairly surprised to see Texas sports betting make any material progress. At the bare minimum, it feels like we won’t see The Lone Star State approve a sports gambling ballot before the 2026 general elections. And although this is a decision that’ll cost Texas billions of dollars, the region is clearly not hurting for gaming revenue as presently constituted.

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Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan first began writing about sports back in 2011. At the time, his expertise lied in the NBA and NFL. More than one decade, that remains the case. But he's also expanded his catalog to include extensive knowledge and analysis on the NHL, MLB, tennis, NASCAR, college ba...

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