Bipartisan legislation filed to legalize casino gambling, sports betting in Texas
Dallas News – Lauren McGaughy
AUSTIN — Two state lawmakers are backing bipartisan legislation that seeks to legalize casino gambling and sports betting in Texas.
The bills by state Rep. John Kuempel, R-Seguin, and Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, would allow four casino resorts to be built in Austin, the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Houston and San Antonio and would also legalize sports wagering. The state’s three federally-recognized Indian tribes would also be able to expand full-fledged gambling, including slot machines, on their land, a right the state has long denied them.
The bills require a two-thirds vote of lawmakers because they seek to overturn the ban on most gaming enshrined in the Texas Constitution. If either bill passes the Legislature, Texas voters will then have the final say on whether to approve the gambling expansion.
“Now is the time to let voters decide on legalizing casino gaming across Texas,” Alvarado said in a statement. “Texas loses billions of dollars a year to our neighboring states that allow gaming and this measure would bring that revenue back to Texas, create tens of thousands of jobs and cut down on illegal gambling.”