Texas legend Mattress Mack bearish on state wagering

texas betting news february 2024

Updated February 19, 2024By Chris Boline
texas betting news february 2024

For Texas sports wagering enthusiasts, it would appear that the wait for legalized gaming in the state is going to last longer, at least according to the most prominent sports bettor in the state. Per a recent article, multimillion-dollar sports bettor Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale doesn’t expect sports wagering to be legalized in Texas in the next few years – but he is happy placing bets next door in Louisiana. The Houston furniture store owner told one outlet last week that he “seriously” doubts Texas lawmakers will approve a measure to legalize sports betting when they next meet in Austin in 2025. “They can’t pass anything,” McIngvale, 73, was quoted as saying in a telephone interview. “It’s a fractured group.” 

For this report, SBS will be going over the latest gaming news coming from the Lone Star State and also more notes and info about the state of Texas wagering. 

Mattress Mack typically makes his wagers in Louisiana

As noted in the article, McIngvale, whose major bets in Louisiana and elsewhere usually attract media attention, said he has no problem making the drive over to Louisiana. The state line is about 100 miles from Houston where Mattress Mack is typically located. In Louisiana, bettors in most parishes can use mobile devices to place legal sports bets or show up to bet in person at a casino sportsbook. “I’m perfectly happy going to Louisiana,” McIngvale said. “All I do is sell furniture and go to Louisiana and bet.” McIngvale, owner of the famous Gallery Furniture, was noted in the same article saying he will bet this year on the NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournament and Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros. 

Moreover, he said it is too early to decide which team to bet on to win the March Madness tournament. He noted that the Houston Cougars (21-3), ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, have a talented team this season. McIngvale previously told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he was not putting any money on this year’s Super Bowl game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, held earlier this month. As many are aware, the Chiefs won the game in overtime, 25-22. 

Two years ago, McIngvale lost $9.5 million by taking the Cincinnati Bengals to win the Super Bowl, USA Today reported but won a record $72.6 million in 2022 by betting on his hometown Houston Astros to win the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Astros would go on to clinch the title, defeating the Phillies four games to two. McIngvale said the Astros are expected to be contenders this season. As referenced in the article, the team recently signed star second baseman Jose Altuve to a new contract. The Astros open the regular season on March 28 at home against the New York Yankees. 

Louisiana reaping benefits of Texas’ lack of gaming

Per the same article, previous legislative efforts to approve sports wagering and casino expansion in Texas have been unsuccessful. Among those seeking to expand gaming in the state is Miriam Adelson of Las Vegas Sands Corp. She recently purchased a majority stake in the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. As many regular readers of this space are aware, Texas is the nation’s second most populated state, only behind California in the number of residents. Neither state has legal sports betting. Across the country, sports betting is legal in 38 states and Washington D.C. 

As noted in one report, Ronnie Johns, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, previously told one outlet he doesn’t think Texas lawmakers will approve sports betting soon. At one Control Board meeting in 2022, he thanked Texas for sending all of its gamblers to Louisiana. The casinos in Lake Charles, Louisiana, only about 2.5 hours away from Houston, typically generate more gaming revenue than the state’s other metro markets, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Houston is the fourth-most populated city in the U.S. and Johns is a former state senator from Lake Charles. 

Moreover, per another article, Texas is not the only state where some people have expressed their doubts their legislature will approve a sports betting measure this year or in the near future. In Missouri, Garry Jenkins, an attorney and former Kansas City Police Department Intelligence detective, told one outlet that he doubts the Legislature, now meeting in Jefferson City, will approve any measures that would lead to legal sports betting. Jenkins noted Missouri is losing millions in tax dollars to bordering states where sports betting is legal. 

Other thoughts and information about Texas gaming

Once you are all squared away regarding the latest gaming news coming from the Lone Star State, make sure to check out the wide variety of information for you at SBS. Of course, for even more information on the topic at hand, our sports betting in Texas rundown has you covered with all the latest gambling news from the state. Moreover, for those on the go, the best betting apps guide is a must-read page that goes over all the perks of mobile betting. With this handy breakdown, you can learn more about the perks of mobile wagering and how you can make it work for you. Finally, if you are interested in some different deposit and withdrawal options, then look no further than the payment methods breakdown where you can find all kinds of options from cryptocurrencies to traditional banking routes. 

About the Author

Chris Boline

Chris Boline

As a devout aficionado of sports, Chris Boline has carved a career within the athletic realm. A skilled scribe, he boasts a decade-long portfolio that encompasses coverage of the NBA G League, the Los Angeles Chargers, football in the Mountain West Conference, and basketball.
Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is deeply invested in his community and dedicates his leisure hours to serving on boards, collaborating with community organizations, and cherishing the company of loved ones.

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