Advocates renew push for casino gambling legalization, but face steep uphill climb

SAN ANTONIO – A big push is underway to expand gambling in Texas, with momentum continuing to build after a encouraging showing in the 2023 legislature.

The Las Vegas Sands Corporation, a resort and casino company, is renewing their push to legalize casino gaming in the Lone Star state and to bring destination style resort casinos to the states big cities like Dallas and San Antonio.

Las Vegas Sands is owned by the Adelson Family, who is worth north of $30 billion. In December, the Adelson’s purchased a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks from Mark Cuban, who is also on record as being in favor of destination resort casino’s in Texas.

In the last few weeks, the Sans group re-activated their lobbying group (Texas Destination Resort Alliance) and began pouring money into those efforts.

“Momentum is building, and I think the momentum is building too positively for casino gambling,” UTSA political science chair Jon Taylor said. “The Sands company who owns obviously the Sands Casino in Las Vegas, among other things, would not have purchased 61% of the Dallas Mavericks if they did not think that casino gaming was not coming to Texas at some point in the near future.”

Right now in Texas, gambling is restricted to a few Native American casinos, the lottery, and some horse racing.

Advocates say expanded gaming will bring considerable revenue to the state as well as make it more of a tourist destination.

“Let’s be honest, there’s another driving angle here that we need to consider,” Taylor went on to say. “And that’s the fact that the state of Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico – they all have some form of gambling of some sort. And so, to be honest, we’re missing out on revenue.”

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