A recent survey conducted by the University of Houston found some Texas-sized support for regulated sports betting and casino expansions. It’s another sign that residents of the Lone Star State want more regulated gambling in their lives, but that’s not something the state’s authoritarian leaders are interested in providing.
The survey, conducted by the Hobby School of Business at the University of Houston, asked 1,200 Texans their opinions on Texas Senate Joint Resolution 17 (SJR 17). That bill, which would require approval by voters, would allow for casino expansion into four major urban centers, regulated sports betting statewide, and slot machine casinos for the state’s three recognized Indian tribes.
Researchers found that a whopping 75 percent of those surveyed supported the bill. Even better, for SJR 17 backers, 41 percent of those folks “strongly support” the bill. When it comes to regulated sports betting alone, 69 percent of respondents were supportive.
One person who isn’t necessarily supportive of expanding regulated gambling is Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. Patrick, who presides over the State Senate and can control what bills are brought up for consideration, is not interested in more legal Lone Star gambling. UH’s Dr. Mark Jones commented on the situation in a recent interview with ABC 13 saying, “The hard part is we literally are talking about one person. I think Patrick is conflicted between people lobbying him to pass it, and his own viewpoint that casino gambling would not be a good thing for Texas.”
Dr. Jones went on to say that the State’s Governor and Speaker of the House are both in favor of the bill and he’s optimistic that their influence will sway the Lt. Governor.