Seems like casinos and sports betting will soon be legalized in Texas! Many gaming advocates keep fighting for legalization, and the progress is noticeable.
A step towards legalization:
Two main proposals related to legalization of casino and sports betting in Texas are approved by the Texas House committee, and they will proceed to the state hearing. However, the Senate still doesn’t approve the legalization of casinos and sports betting.
Compared to the proposals that took place in the last legislative session, the situation is better. Last time, the Committee heard the proposals, but it hasn’t been voted out. But Las Vegas Sands and other casino and gaming advocates don’t seem to stop – they will keep an eye on the Texas market, as they do during the last two sessions.
The House State Affairs Committee decided to approve the legislation without further discussion on Monday. Now, it is up to voters to decide the destiny of gambling in Texas. The Republicans are against the legalization of casino and sports betting, but the final decision is yet to be made.
If the legislation is approved, the Texas Constitution will have to be changed in order for companies to start operating in the state. For that to happen, two-thirds majorities of both chambers have to agree upon that decision, and it will hardly happen.
The presiding officer of the Senate, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, thinks that the Senate doesn’t have much-needed GOP support, which can make the whole process much more difficult.
If the gambling advocates get lucky, House Bill 2843 will allow casino gambling, and House Bill 1942 will grant permission to online sports betting operators to offer their services to players from Texas. Betting on devices such as cell phones and desktop computers will be allowed, along with sports wagering in casinos.
The new version of the casino bill was requested by the committee members. However, the public doesn’t know what is written in the new “committee substitute.”
Las Vegas Sands is among the biggest supporters of legalization in Texas. The company invested unbelievable amounts of money in the campaign, which will promote sports betting and casino gaming in Texas.
Matt Hirsch, a spokesperson for the Sands’ lobby effort, commented on that: “The efforts to bring destination resorts to Texas made significant progress with today’s vote. Texans have made it clear that they want destination resorts in Texas, and we are now one step closer to ultimately allowing them to decide on this issue.”
The main opponents of the legalization are Republicans Shelby Slawson of Stephenville, Will Metcalf of Conroe, and John Smithee of Amarillo.
However, both parties have arguments: the gambling advocates keep talking about the economic growth backed by the money collected from taxes and licenses, and Republicans think about the social impact legalizing will have on people, including the risk of increasing gambling addiction among the players.