McAllen state senator files bill to legalize sports betting in Texas

State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa. (Nathan Lambrecht/The Monitor)

Sports betting could soon become legal in Texas if a gamble made by a few state senators pays off.

Texas Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, along with state Sen. Lois Kolhorst, R-Brenham, co-authored and filed Senate Bill 715 and Senate Joint Resolution 39 earlier this week.

If passed, the bill will let voters choose on whether sports betting should be legal in Texas.

“Texans are all about freedom of choice,” Hinojosa said in a news release. “The Legislature should provide our voters the right to decide for themselves if they want to engage in legal sports wagering.”

The state senator said that voters should have an opportunity to decide if they would like to legalize sports betting in November.

“If these bills are passed, the state would be able to regulate, license and tax sports betting activity, which would bring us in line with 36 other states,” Hinojosa continued. “Texans are already placing illegal bets on sports to the tune of billions of dollars per year – in many cases offshore sports books that offer no protections against bad actors and leave Texans with no legal recourse.

“The current status quo is unacceptable. It is only right that we give Texans a voice on this important issue.”

To find a comprehensive list of bills filed — and the status of those bills — visit and click the 88th Texas Legislative Session tab, which has an interactive spreadsheet and a comprehensive list of AIM Media Texas’ legislative coverage.