As the state lottery starts the year crowning a new multi-millionaire, Texas gamblers wonder when their luck will bring legal sportsbook gambling to the Lone Star State.
Texas Lottery reports that the fortunate resident picked up the winning Quick Pick ticket for New Year’s Day drawing. They purchased the ticket at the Justin Road RaceTrac store in Flower Mound. Matching all six numbers ended up being worth more than $16 million. The winner came forward to claim the prize on January 14. He or she is remaining anonymous and taking the one-time payout of the more than $12 million prize, or an estimated $9.5 million after taxes.
How to play the Texas Lottery
Since 2019, theLotter Texas players can purchase tickets and play in the comfort of their homes. Texas lottery players safely buy tickets for theLotter Texas through an easy-to-use, digitally-secure website and app.
To play, a user makes a lottery game choice and registers their account to purchase for the upcoming draws. Players can use favorite numbers or make a random selection, just like buying lottery tickets in person.
With this online system, theLotter Texas puts Texans’ most-played games, like Cash Five, Texas Two-Step, and others, right at their fingertips. During the past year, theLotter has also added new payment methods. These include MasterCard and Visa debit cards, Skrill virtual wallets, and PayPal via bank transfers and ACH payments.
Where Texas sportsbooks launch stands at the start of 2022
Sportsbook gambling was under serious consideration during the 2021 legislative session.
On September 15, 2021, PointsBet became the official sports betting partner for Austin FC. However, since it’s still illegal in Texas, the deal with the Major League Soccer franchise doesn’t imply sports betting at Q2 Stadium. But if winds of change shift in Texas, the franchise has a gambling partner already in place.
In January 2022, Fubo Gaming announced a deal with the Houston Dynamo, potentially granting Fubo a Texas online sports betting license. Again, this is contingent on when sportsbooks become legal in Texas.
The future of Texas sportsbooks: Hurry up and wait
Despite a fair amount of activity in recent months, sports betting’s approval continues at a pace that demands a gambler’s patience.
In general, it seems that Texans are okay with bringing sports betting in the state. A survey conducted by the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs found 70% of Texans support legalization and taxing casino gambling. As the second-most populous state with no shortage of professional teams, online betting could explode once legalized here.
While awaiting sportsbook approval, Texas gamblers can always indulge in daily fantasy sports. Although the state previously has had issues with daily fantasy sports operators, there appear to be no obstacles to Texans playing them now. DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo currently operate DFS contests in Texas.
Texas’ border states only offer limited action for those willing to travel. While Louisiana recently kicked off sportsbook betting, neighbors Oklahoma and New Mexico currently limit sports gaming to reservation casinos.
If legalized, the Texas sports betting market would immediately become one of the most lucrative in the United States. The Texas legislative session only occurs during odd years. With that schedule, sports betting in the state won’t become a reality before 2023.
It’s unknown how many sportsbooks will launch in Texas since legalization is still some time away. However, several politicians involved believe that 2024 or 2025 could be realistic launch dates.
Who will be first? With DraftKings and FanDuel already operating DFS sites, they’re likely to launch the first sites once the time comes.