Backed by Texas Destination Resort Alliance

Las Vegas Sands launches bid to legalize casino gambling in Texas, files petition

Dallas city, Texas.
Reading time 1:35 min

Las Vegas Sands, the company that acquired a controlling share of the Dallas Mavericks in December 2023, is making headlines once again as it files a petition aimed at legalizing casino gambling in Texas, famously known as the Lone Star state.

The petition is backed by the Texas Destination Resort Alliance, established in 2021, which envisions bringing a range of luxury offerings, including resorts, entertainment, and fine dining, closer to Texans by advocating for the expansion of casino-style gambling in the state.

This move marks a persistent effort by Las Vegas Sands to alter Texas' stance on gambling. In 2022, the company launched the Texas Sands political action committee (PAC), allocating $2 million to lobby for legalized casino gambling.

Despite facing significant challenges, the company remains steadfast in its pursuit. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick expressed skepticism about garnering enough support among Republicans in the state Senate for such legislation. However, Miriam Adelson, representing Las Vegas Sands, has been vocal about her aspirations to introduce casino gambling to Texas.

In February, State Representative Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) introduced HJR 97, proposing a framework for amending the Texas Constitution to permit casino resorts, laying the groundwork for potential legislative changes.

The Chickasaw Nation, operators of the Winstar Casino in Oklahoma and owners of Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, voiced their endorsement of casino resorts in Texas. Additionally, the upcoming launch of the Choctaw Landing Casino and Resort in Oklahoma's southeast corner is anticipated, providing further impetus for the discussion on gambling legislation in Texas.

Parallel to these efforts, there are separate bills advocating for sports betting, with backing from the Texas Sports Betting Alliance. Former Governor Rick Perry, serving as a spokesman for the alliance, lends support to legislation proposed by Texas Senator Lois Kolkhorst and Representative Jeff Leach.

Joining the chorus, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, as part of the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, emphasized the importance of regulated gambling, stating, "It will give Texans the ability to decide for themselves if they want this activity safely regulated or continue to be conducted in the shadows by out-of-state betting platforms."

However, changing the state constitution to legalize gambling requires significant legislative support. Two-thirds of both the House and Senate would need to approve the legislation, followed by voter approval in an election.

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