Political Analysts Say Texas Unlikely to See Casinos Added
An effort to bring four destination casino resorts to the state of Texas has no chance to passing soon, according to political analysts.
For quite some time, an effort has been ongoing in the state of Texas to create destination casino resorts. Several top operators have shown interest in offering services in the Lone Star state including the Las Vegas Sands. However, the legislative effort on the table does not seem to be going anywhere and political analysts are now saying that the bill will not pass anytime soon.
What’s at Stake?
The proposal would create commercial casinos in the city of Austin, Houston, Dallas-Forth Worth area, and San Antonio. Senator Carol Alvarado and Representative John Kuempel introduced the bill. In the House, the bill is known as the Joint Resolution 133. In the Senate, it is called Joint Resolution 49.
New commercial casinos would be taxed 25% on slot revenue while table games would be taxed at a lower 10%. Operators who want to developer a venue in an area that has less than five million people will need to invest a minimum of one billion dollars on a project. In areas with a large population, a total of $2 billion must be invested.
The bill will also allow existing tribal casinos to offer slot games. This would increase the overall casino gaming offerings in several regions of the state.
Currently, residents of Texas are traveling to neighboring states where gambling is legalized to play games. Revenues are headed out of state when they could very well stay there and benefit citizens. Supporters of legal gambling expansion feel that the industry would create tens of thousands of jobs and stop illegal gambling from taking place in the state.
Along with the casino bill, sports betting is on the table. Representatives Dan Huberty and Harold Dutton recently submitted a sports betting bill in the House. The measure would see 10% of revenues from the new industry go towards special education needs.
The Public is Supportive
For a gambling expansion to work, the residents of a state need to want the option. In Texas, it appears that support is there. A poll was conducted by the University of Texas and Dallas Morning News, which shows that over 50% of residents surveyed were in support of casino gaming. Only around 29% were totally opposed. As far as sports betting is concerned, around 43% were in favor.
Despite support and legislation on the table, one analyst does not feel that the bills will pass this year. Mark P. Jones of Rice University’s Baker Institute commented that the latest bill offers something for everyone with the destination casino resorts.
According to Jones, it seems that the Dallas-Forth Worth area would go to Las Vegas Sands and Tilman Fertitta will be taking the Houston spot. This would mean huge gaming and hotel options for the areas with plenty of experience to ensure success.
Jones said further that the legislation on the table right now will lay the groundwork for another proposal. He feels that the legislation is dead right now and we won’t see any new movement on the matter until 2023.
Right now, the option is heavily opposed by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, which does not help the process. the Lt. Governor is working hard to block the legislation. According to Jones, if he does not support, he bill then the option for the measure to even reach the Senate floor is a long shot.
Only time will tell as to what will take place. For now, Texas remains behind its neighboring states as casino and sports betting options are offered in a retail setting as well as online via desktops and mobile. The state will only continue to fall behind as they delay legalizing any new gambling options.