Proposal by Sen. Alvarado

Texas lawmakers to renew push for legal casino gambling, sports betting in new legislative session

Texas legislature.
Reading time 1:52 min

Texas lawmakers are pushing for casino and sports betting to become legal in the state this year, as we head into the new legislative session. The proposed resolution would authorize a number of resorts and facilities to carry out gambling activities, resembling the bill Democratic Senator Carol Alvarado has been filing since 2009. 

Alvarado is optimistic that Texans are ready to vote this year on the issue. The proposal calls for a constitutional amendment to “foster economic development and job growth, and to provide tax relief and funding for education and public safety by creating the Texas Gaming Commission.”

It would authorize and regulate casino gaming at a limited number of destination resorts and facilities licensed by the commission, authorize sports wagering, require occupational licenses to conduct casino gaming, and require the imposition of a tax

According to Alvarado, this allows Texans to go to the polls “and vote on whether or not we should have gaming" in Texas. "The way it’s crafted, it would be very specific for casinos, Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. It would have to have several components, starting with a four-to-five-star hotel, a complex for conventions, conferences, and entertainment, restaurants, and shops,” she said, as reported by ABC13.

The senator added it is about stimulating the economy and creating jobs, as well as making Texas a destination for leisure vacation and entertainment. In Houston alone, Senator Alvarado believes it would bring “hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

Governor Greg Abbott has recently said he would be open to the idea of limited legalized gambling. In contrast, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has previously said gambling is not an issue that will see the light of day in the Senate. 

The bill would need two-thirds support by the state legislature, and then Texas voters would have the final say if it passes. The legislative session begins on January 10. But Alvarado is sure that Texans love to gamble. “I guarantee, you go to Louisiana to any casino, and the majority of license plates are going to be from Texas,” she pointed out. 

Her optimism is based on the belief that the issue has been overshadowed in previous years, and she now has a Republican sponsor in the house, which she expects will be key to bipartisan support. 

The legalization of casino gambling and sports betting would be welcome news for many stakeholders, including Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. Late last year, the businessman said he has his eye set on a new spectacle for the franchise, involving a Vegas-like arena in Dallas. "My goal, and we’d partner with Las Vegas Sands, is when we build a new arena, it’ll be in the middle of a resort and casino," Cuban recently told The Dallas Morning News

Leave your comment
Subscribe to our newsletter
Enter your email to receive the latest news
By entering your email address, you agree to Yogonet's Condiciones de uso and Privacy Policies. You understand Yogonet may use your address to send updates and marketing emails. Use the Unsubscribe link in those emails to opt out at any time.