Texas furniture mogul Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale is all for placing high-dollar wagers on Texas sports teams. However, as some lawmakers in the Lone Star state continue their push to legalize sports betting, McIngvale is not fully sold on the proposed bill.
On Monday, state Sen. Lois Kolkhurst anchored a new piece of legislation that is slated to put the state in favorable position to permit sports betting. The new bill also has a higher chance of becoming law because of Kolkhurst’s relationship with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
The new legislation comes after an initial bill failed to gain steam in 2021, despite backing from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Astros owner Jim Crane.
Now, McIngvale—who previously had been an advocate for the state’s sports betting aspirations—believes state leaders need to keep a close eye on some stipulations in the bill, saying that “all that glitters is not gold.”
“Everything I do, I bet legally,” McIngvale told the Houston Chronicle. Driving to Louisiana for two hours is not that much of an inconvenience. … They’ve [leaders] got to look at it, because I’m concerned that the revenue estimates, as far as what’s going to come into the state, are overblown.
“My change of heart is that I know myself and I’ve seen the light as far as impulsiveness on me to sports gambling. Because I’ve got to drive to Louisiana, it limits those impulses by a factor of 1,000. So I’m not in favor of sports gambling in Texas.”
McIngvale recently lost a $2 million bet when the Cowboys lost to the 49ers in the NFC divisional playoff round. Despite the loss, he remains one of the most notable sports gamblers in the world. McIngvale won $75 million, the largest payout in U.S. sports betting history, in ’22 when the Astros won the World Series.