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Mattress Mack vs Texas: Famous Gambler Opposes Online Sports Betting

Mattress Mack vs Texas Famous Gambler Opposes Online Sports Betting
Mike Noblin
Written by Mike Noblin
February 16, 2023

21+ to wager. Please Gamble Responsibly. Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS, NV), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Call 877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY) Call 1-800-327-5050 (MA).

Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, the legendary Texas furniture mogul and high-stakes bettor, has opposed a bill that would legalize online sports betting in Texas. McIngvale is well known for his massive wagers on Texas sports teams. Still, he believes the proposed legislation would be detrimental to the state.

McIngvale recently suffered a $2 million loss when the Dallas Cowboys were defeated by the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC divisional playoff round. Despite this setback, McIngvale remains one of the most well-known sports gamblers in the world. He famously won $75 million off a $10 million bet on the Houston Astros winning the World Series in 2022.

Though MvInvale refers to himself as "one of the biggest gamblers in the world," he also says he is "1,000% against it" when asked about his thoughts on the recent bill.

In spite of this success, he believes that legalizing online sports betting in Texas would increase problem gambling and other negative consequences.

McIngvale's stance has been met with mixed reactions from lawmakers and professional teams. While some support his stance, others believe that legalizing online sports betting could benefit the state economically.

All In: How the Texas Sports Betting Alliance is Pushing for Change

Sports betting has been a hot topic in Texas for some time now, with legislators pushing for its legalization since 2021. However, the bills have been shot down yearly due to opposition from state lawmakers and religious groups. The latest attempt at legalizing sports betting in Texas is spearheaded by the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, which includes all of the major professional sports teams in the state.

The proposed bill would require all operators to be licensed by the Texas Racing Commission and would impose a 10% tax on all wagers placed through the online platforms.

The proposed legislation includes the following:

  • A 6.25% tax rate on all online sports bets
  • A legal betting age of 18
  • A $250,000 application fee for operators
  • Allowing voters to decide whether to legalize online sports betting
  • Making it illegal to place an online sports bet within the state unless using an offshore site

Jim McIngvale: Houston's Well-Known Businessman and Philanthropist

Jim McIngvale, better known as "Mattress Mack," is a well-known businessman and philanthropist from Houston, Texas. He owns Gallery Furniture and has become a household name in the area due to his generosity and community outreach.

McIngvale has been active in his local community for years, donating time and money to various causes, such as helping assemble donation boxes for the elderly during Covid 19 and handing out masks during Winter Storm Uri. He also runs several charities through his business, including one that helps provide furniture for needy families.

Let the Games Begin: Support for Legalizing Online Sports Betting in Texas

On the other side of the debate are those who favor legalizing online sports betting in Texas. They argue that it would benefit the state's economy by creating jobs and generating revenue through taxes on gambling activities. Additionally, they believe regulating online sports betting would help protect consumers from fraud and other criminal activities associated with unregulated gambling sites.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has expressed his support for legalizing online sports betting. He said, "I'm open to it… I think it's something that we should look at and consider." Other supporters of legalizing online sports betting include Texas State Representative Dan Huberty and State Senator John Cornyn.

Also advocating for the legalization of online sports betting in Texas, the American Gaming Association (AGA) and National Basketball Association (NBA) see it as a win-win situation - creating jobs and generating tax revenue while protecting consumers' safety.

According to AGA, regulated wagering will offer fans an opportunity to show their fandom for their favorite teams or players with confidence that they are playing fair games – something echoed by the NBA, which also considers this legal avenue another source of income.

It remains to be seen if Texas will eventually legalize online sports betting. Still, for now, both sides remain firmly entrenched in their positions on the issue.

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21+ to wager. Please Gamble Responsibly. Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS, NV), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Call 877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY) Call 1-800-327-5050 (MA).

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