Should Texas Legalize Gambling? Las Vegas Sands is Pushing for It
What if you could visit a world class casino resort without having to fly to Las Vegas? Two Texas lawmakers are trying to make that a reality, and they've got backing from a major gambling entity.
Paradise, Nevada-based Las Vegas Sands, which develops "integrated resorts" designed to attract tourist dollars, is very much interested in expanding into Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. The Texas Tribune reports that Republican State Representative John Kuempel of Seguin and Democratic State Senator Carol Alvarado of Houston have introduced legislation that would grant special licenses for casino resorts, horse tracks, and greyhound tracks in Texas, while also legalizing sports betting.
A representative with Las Vegas Sands recently said Dallas in particular would be an area of focus, as so much money from that area goes to Oklahoma for gambling. Table games would be taxed at 10%, while slot machines would be taxed at 25%.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the bills would require a two-thirds vote in their respective chambers because they call for amending the Texas Constitution, which contains bans on most types of gambling. If either bill passes, it'll be up to the people of Texas to vote yes or no.
While Governor Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dave Phelan haven't come out in opposition to legalizing gambling, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has said he's not a fan. Patrick has considerable sway over legislative priorities in the State Senate, so keep that mind.
What do you think? Should Texas lawmakers open the door for casino resorts to operate here? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.