Speaking on the K&C Masterpiece show on 105.3 FM The Fan, Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, reaffirmed his clear support for legalized sports betting in Texas.
“Well, I think it’s really a thing that needs to be addressed at this time. One of the reasons why I think it does is because it’s happening at this time. There’s a huge amount of gaming going on in and around sports at this time.”
With the current legislative session just getting underway, legislators have until March 10th to put forth sports betting legislation. PlayTexas currently sees the likelihood of legal Texas sports betting as close to a coin flip with the sustained endorsement of people like Jones.
Jones has shown support for legal Texas sports betting in the past
During the 2021 state legislative session, gambling and sports betting legislation were proposed, but none of them got off the ground due to concerns around COVID and the winter storm. At that time, Jones speaking on AM 1310 The Ticket, noted that “the handwriting’s on the wall. Gambling has been here a long time.”
In particular, he saw its manifestation within an NFL broadcast.
“Watch how [Tony] Romo does a telecast. Watch him sit there and say, and use the vernacular that he uses, talks about how the safety’s too close to the hash or how the corner’s too far in the middle or over on the hash. And he’ll say the quarterback will see that and you’ll see the ball going in that direction to that guy right there.
“I picture right there millions of people making a wager by hearing that. We’ve got to make sure that the terminology is the kind of terminology that is common, but I can see our game enhanced tremendously by that aspect of it.”
Jones, in alluding to in-game betting, saw his team in the center of the potential market. Which makes sense. If sports betting were legalized in Texas, the Dallas Cowboys would be the clear favorite to generate the most wagers from Texans.
Growing illegal betting market is revenue lost to Texans
Echoing the statements of former Texas Governor Rick Perry, now spokesperson for the Sports Betting Alliance (SBA), Jones touted the importance of regulating the market that is currently sending billions of Texas dollars offshore.
“And, so, to have all of the benefits or all of the control over [legal sports betting], it needs to be recognized and parameters put on it and discipline put in it. Then, also the benefits that can go in Texas, could adhere to the right kind of people, or some property tax. Certainly help educate our great state’s children. All of those things can be enhanced by something that’s presently going on in a big, big way.”
With the state’s budget surplus a hotly-contested issue in the current session, the need for legal sports betting might appear superfluous. However, lawmakers have cautioned against the inconstant nature of surpluses as means of funding education or defraying property taxes. In this regard, a stable and regulated sports betting market, while offering only a percentage of the current surplus, provides sustained funding for these core issues for all Texans.
Jones is not alone in his endorsement. The SBA comprises the owners of all the major sports teams in Texas, some of whom have already established relationships with sports betting operators.
While sports betting is still illegal in Texas, Cowboys odds are looking up
A suffocating defensive performance and inspired quarterback play from Dak Prescott led the Cowboys to a sound victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Wild Card game. This win not only represented clearing a major playoff hurdle for the Cowboys (their first road playoff win since 1993), but it also gave the current Cowboys some payback for their two previous matchups against the Bucs, both painful losses.
The Cowboys came into Tampa 2.5-point favorites after a lackluster close to the regular season. Their lopsided road victory blew up the spread and gave a good reminder that defense travels well, and the 49ers and third-string QB Brock Purdy may be in for a grueling game.
DraftKings currently has the Cowboys as 3.5-point underdogs in the game. They also have Dallas as sixth in line to win the Superbowl at +800.
Going into their second consecutive road playoff game, the Cowboys face a stout 49ers team on both sides of the ball. If safety Jayron Kearse cannot recuperate in time from an MCL sprain, the 49ers are looking at a much bigger field down the middle. However, Kearse has expressed optimism that he’ll be ready. Regardless of his absence, the game–as it should–will fall on Dak Prescott’s shoulders. Prescott showed Cowboys fans that he is tuned up, and if so, the Cowboys have what it takes to upset the 49ers.
Image Source: Phelan M. Ebanhack / AP