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EXCLUSIVE: Mattress Mack Pushes Sports Betting In Texas, Call Activity As "Stress Relief"

Date posted: May 2, 2021, 11:16 a.m.

Last Updated: May 2, 2021, 11:41 AM

Steve Bittenbender

Before Houston businessman Jim McIngvale could place a bet on the Super Bowl, he had to get on a plane first. America's most famous sports player, known primarily as "Mattress Mack," lives in a state that has yet to legalize the activity.

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Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale prepares to bet one of his bets on Essential Quality at Saturday's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. (Photo: NBC Sports)

It's a fact he hasn't lost.

We have to open up sports gambling in Texas, ”said McIngvale . "It would be a huge industry and it would put more money into the state coffers and prevent people like me from flying to Colorado to make a bet."

Two weeks ago, a Texas legislative commission received a testimony on proposed constitutional amendments that would legalize sports betting and casino games in the country's second most populous state. Las Vegas Sands reportedly invested millions in a campaign promoting extended games at Lone Star State.

However, these measures are opposed. Earlier this year, Texas Governor Dan Patrick (R) said there were not enough votes in the state senate to approve it.

The day before Mattress Mack put $ 2.4 million on Essential Quality in the Kentucky Derby, he sat down with to talk about the future of horse racing and share your thoughts on the spread of sports betting across the country.

Mattress Mack: Bettor and Believer

In addition to being a well-known gambler, McIngvale is also a person who actively professes his faith. His Twitter account contains as many, if not more, Bible-citing tweets than sports betting content.

He also opened Gallery Furniture stores in Houston as temporary shelters in times of crisis. Most recently, during the February winter storm that closed most of the state for a few days. For the Kentucky Derby, he worked with Churchill Downs to bring in 300 foster family members to the care system to watch the race as their guests.

It is a problem close to him. His daughter and her husband formally adopted their son two years ago as foster parents.

"I have seen with my own eyes the importance of foster care and Brodie has been a real joy in my life," McIngvale said in a statement by Churchill Downs.

Be silent before the Lord and patiently wait for Him; don't worry when people are successful in their ways, when they are carrying out their wicked plans. Psalm 37: 7

- @MattressMack (@MattressMack) May 1, 2021

These two sides of Mattress Mack are noteworthy, especially when many opponents of the expanded game cite religious or moral arguments.

While Texas doesn't offer much in the form of legal games it does have a state lottery game where the first tickets were sold almost 30 years ago. McIngvale called the lottery "the worst gambling ever," and said many who opposed attempts to expand Texas games had little to say about the lottery.

The country faces "bigger problems than gambling"

McIngvale added that he believes the country has "greater moral problems" it must address.

"One of the major moral issues we need to focus on is this: we don't have enough young people in this country," he said a few days after the US Census Bureau announced that the country's population was growing at its slowest pace since the 1930s. there are now more people in their 80s than there are 2, and that is a problem for the country's future. We need to focus on things beyond gambling. "

He then called gambling a "harmless attraction," although he noted that it could be addictive, as was drinking, sex, and other activities.

"When it comes to control, I think gambling is a good hobby for people," he added. “It is definitely a stress reliever for me.

"My wife keeps asking me": Do I have a gambling problem? No, I have a promotion problem " he joked. “Because every gambling I gamble is related to Gallery Furniture and promotes the business. And seeing success measured by results did not go so badly. "

In February, Mattress Mack staked nearly $ 3.5 million to Tampa Bay to win the Super Bowl. The Buccaneers ended up making over $ 2.7 million after their victory. These proceeds are used to compensate for the refunds received by customers as a result of Gallery Furniture's big match promotion.

Apart from sports betting, the only other bets he makes are on his horse stable. He added, however, that he doesn't bet much on them, unless they are longshots.

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