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Texas Law Embraces New Casinos
The world of casinos is changing as certain brands have been expanding in their originating countries and abroad. Many US casino brands have expanded across the States and there’s a current wind of change in Texas regarding casinos.
State Representative Charlie Geren of Fort Worth, Texas has filed HJR 97, which would ultimately lead to the establishment of seven new casino resorts in the state. This new legislation outlines a framework that will in turn need a change to the Texas Constitution. According to Geren, Texas is losing billions to neighboring states that already have casinos and he believes this is something that the state needs.
The proposed resolution might enrich the Dallas-Fort Worth area with two casinos, and the Houston area with 2 casino establishments. The resorts would include not only casinos but also other establishments such as restaurants, hotels, showrooms, and retail spaces, which would generate jobs for the community as well as revenue for the state of Texas.
Will the Proposal Bring Changes?
The Sands Corporation, a major casino operator with locations in Las Vegas and across the globe, has advocated for this change in the past and has recently placed a digital ad during an NFL playoff game to push for the idea again. The Texas Destination Resort Alliance is also a brainchild of the corporation. The Chickasaw Nation, which is in charge of the Winstar Casino and Lone Star Park, has also expressed support for the establishment of casino resorts in Texas.
However, there are opponents to the legislation, including Matt Shaheen, a State Representative, who is concerned about the social issues that may be consequences of legalized gaming, such as increased homelessness and domestic abuse. Geren’s legislation also proposes the legalization of sports betting.
Separate bills are being supported by the Texas Sports Betting Alliance that would only allow sports betting. Rick Perry, a former governor, is a spokesperson for the alliance and has expressed his support for the legislation filed by Lois Kolkhorst and Jeff Leach.
To make this a reality, the state constitution would need to be changed, which would require two-thirds approval of the House and Senate and then be approved by voters via election. Dallas resident Ethan Watts supports the legalization of sports betting and gaming, while another Dallas dweller, Kealon Clayborne, opposes it. Geren hopes that lawmakers will allow voters to weigh in on this issue and that the outcome will be determined by a vote.