I found myself in Louisiana this weekend, and as I walked through the parking lot of the Golden Nugget Casino/DraftKings Sportsbook, I noticed something: Almost every single vehicle had a Texas license plate.
I placed two bets that won big – UT destroying OU… and the Dallas Cowboys upsetting the Super Bowl champion L.A. Rams. I placed my bets both in person and on the casino’s app. I met people from Houston and Beaumont who made the trip to wager on NFL action. It’s a nice sportsbook in Lake Charles, approximately 30 miles from the Texas/Louisiana border.
This got me thinking about sports gambling in Texas. Part of me is pessimistic our state will ever allow it. Can you imagine a rocking sportsbook in San Antonio? It’s been a fantasy of mine since I turned 21. I find myself either going to Vegas or using an international website to place some action. I’m not the only one.
Another part of me remains hopeful, however. Over the past few years, we’ve seen Poker rooms open all over the state. I have played at many of them and the experience is no different than playing in Las Vegas. However, when it comes to sports betting, I get the feeling that it’s still taboo and we need to hide in the shadows to do it.
I don’t understand this logic. We should be able to wager on games, no different than how we risk our money on Bingo, Powerball, Scratch-Offs, or Poker. There is NO difference. I wonder how much money Texas loses in revenue because of casinos that border our state – in Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico. I’m guessing hundreds of millions of dollars.
The argument against legalizing sports gambling is that it could be harmful and create an addiction. That makes no sense to me, either. Alcohol is legal. Tobacco is legal. Poker is legal. Horse Racing is legal. Fast Food is legal. Heck, there are even legal amounts of cannabis allowed. All of those activities can be addicting. Yet, somehow sports betting is more offensive. Maybe I should just shut up. I wouldn’t want those activities taken away from us.
What do you think? Should sports gambling be allowed in Texas? Let Michael know on Twitter @MikeESPNSA. You can listen to him on “Halftime,” weekdays from Noon to 2 p.m.