South Texas Lawmaker Floats Bill to Legalize Sports Gambling

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, striking down a nationwide ban on sports gambling, one Texas lawmaker has announced that he will file a bill legalizing it here, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

State Rep. Eddie Lucio II (D-Brownsville) says he's not sure if it will be just for pro sports or college athletics, too.  But he says if Texas does not make the move, we'll fall even further behind our neighbors.

"Given the prompt response that other states had, that's just going to take more and more tourism dollars out of Texas," he says.

And it comes at a time where shrinking oil and gas revenues have put a strain on the state budget.  

When lawmakers meet in January, his pitch will revolve around the bottom line.

"We're a growing state with growing needs, and if we can’t find opportunities like this, we're going to be in a position that we don’t want to be in," he explains.

No matter how the bill is crafted, Lucio iii expects opposition from groups worried about the negative effects of gambling.  

"But if we had a concern with addiction or the negative impacts of certain impacts in Texas, we would do away with all fast food restaurants, all alcohol and all cigarettes."

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