San Antonio Spurs Managing Partner and Chairman Peter J. Holt is the latest owner a Texas professional sports franchise to throw his support behind a pair of recently introduced sports betting bills.
San Antonio Spurs players huddle during a recent game. Team owner Peter Holt is supporting Texas sports betting legislation. (Image: Darren Abate/AP Photo)
The owner of the five-time NBA champions announced his underpinning of legislation introduced last week by State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) and Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano), which if passed, would amended the Texas constitution to allow voters a say on the matter of mobile sports betting.
Texas has the best fans in the country, and legal sports betting is an exciting new way for Texans to engage with their favorite teams,” said Holt in a statement issued by the Texas Sports Betting Alliance. “Sen. Kolkhorst’s bill will provide Texans the same opportunity that sports fans across the country now enjoy — the chance to utilize mobile sports betting in a responsible manner.”
The bills floated by Kolkhorst and Leach deal specifically with mobile sports wagering, not casino gaming, though there are other recently proposed bills that address both issues.
Holt Support Pivotal for Texas Sports Betting Prospects
All of the Texas teams from the from the four major sports leagues are members of the Sports Betting Alliance, so it’s not surprising that Holt is backing the aforementioned sports wagering bills.
Still, his support is relevant and critical because not only does he run the lone pro team in one of the state’s fastest-growing cities, but also because his family’s Spurs Sports & Entertainment owns several other Texas-based teams, including the San Antonio Rampage (AHL), San Antonio FC (USL Championship), and the Austin Spurs (NBA G League).
Holt joins Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Houston Rockets boss Tilman Fertitta in backing regulated sports wagering in the second-largest state. Those are the three NBA franchises located in Texas.
Holt’s great-great-grandfather founded Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), the largest maker of construction equipment. Today, the family runs HOLT CAT — the biggest Caterpillar dealer in the US. Spurs Sports & Entertainment also runs AT&T Center and Toyota Field, the former of which is home court for the Spurs.
Voters Support Texas Sports Betting, Too
In addition to team owners underpinning sports betting legislation, Texas voters want to see those bills come to life, too. A recent study by the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs indicates 69% of voters surveyed want online and retail sports betting in the state.
There’s strong bipartisan support for the issue, too, as 74% of Democrats and 66% of Republicans say they approve of Texas legalizing sports wagering. Interestingly, 62% of those that identify as Christian say they’re on board with the state allowing sports betting.
The University of Houston poll also confirms there’s strong support for Texas sports betting among men and women, the various generations and among Black, Latino and white voters. Texas voters living in the state’s border communities, rural towns, suburbs and urban areas overwhelmingly support sports betting, according to the poll.
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