Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred has also advocated the league changing its stance on sports betting, with both Manfred and Silver noting that the scale of illegal sports betting makes opposition to betting meaningless. He also stated a willingness to "try to shape" any future legislation at federal level. This was noted as a marked contrast to former Commissioner of the MLB Bud Selig, with Manfred going beyond tacit approval and stating, "There is this buzz out there in terms of people feeling that there may be an opportunity here for additional legalized sports betting."
Until now, bettors looking to place a wager on their favorite sports team had two unattractive options: either open an account on a black market site, or seek out a corner bookie. In both cases, the party taking wagers was doing so illegally, and because illegal bookies are working in an unregulated space, there is nothing preventing them from offering poor lines, refusing to pay out winnings, or banning players without a reputable cause.
Despite having the ability to now operate and profit off of sports betting in Texas, lawmakers more than likely won’t take any action on this opportunity. Why? Well, both the House and Senate are controlled by a conservative majority. The GOP opposes expanded gambling as it poses not only a question of morality, but also tends to increase crime rates. While there’s no indications that crime rates would spike in Texas should they legalize sports betting, conservative party members aren’t willing to potentially alienate their constituents by taking that risk.
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