Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick doused the hopes of pro-gambling proponents, saying that the proposals are not a conservative priority and he will not let them distract from other issues in the closing days of the legislative session.
Taking to Twitter on Saturday, Patrick said, “I’ve said repeatedly there is little to no support for expanding gaming from Senate GOP. I polled members this week. Nothing changed.”
“The Senate must focus on issues voters expect us to pass,” he explained. “We don’t waste time on bills without overwhelming GOP support. HB1942 won’t be referred.”
House Bill 1942 was passed by the House on May 11 with 82 yeas and 51 nays. The bill would legalize sports wagering, establishing a regulatory framework for the industry in Texas.
The following day, Patrick continued, “Texas is a red state. Yet the House vote on sports betting was carried by a Dem majority.”
“The Texas Senate doesn’t pass bills with GOP in the minority. The GOP majority guides our path,” Patrick said. “HJR102 also will not be referred. Cant’s waste committee/floor time in the last days.”
House Joint Resolution 102 passed the House on May 11 with a vote of 101 yeas to 42 nays. It proposed a constitutional amendment that would enable sports betting and allocate the tax collections to reducing property taxes.
Sports betting analyst Brad Allen responded on Twitter to the announcement, “Seems like that’s that then.”
Similarly, the account for ACL Sports, a sports betting handicapping service, remarked, “Sports betting in Texas is effectively dead after this tweet from the Lieutenant Governor today.”
“Can’t make up this level of stupidity if you tried.”
However, others applauded Patrick’s stand, appreciating his hardball politics with the House. State Republican Executive Committee member Rachel Horton replied to Patrick’s tweets, saying, “Texas IS a Red State. We sent Republicans to do our oversight work.”
“We didn’t ask for gambling bills. We asked for: Transparency (no Dem Chairs), Election Integrity, Border security, Education quality, Protections for Children,” she added.
“Thank you, @DanPatrick for understanding and acting on these iconic concerns,” Horton concluded.
With sports gambling dead on arrival in the Senate, it will likely be at least another two years before the proposals are brought back forward again in the 89th general session of the Texas Legislature.