Destination Resort Bills in Texas Legislature Endorsed by Law Enforcement and Firefighter Groups

AUSTIN, TX – Proposed legislation to establish destination resorts and authorize casinos in the Lone Star State has garnered statewide support from law enforcement and firefighter groups in Texas. In offering their endorsement, these groups sent letters of support to members of the Texas legislature, urging them to allow voters to decide if destination resorts with gaming should be approved.

The public safety groups endorsing HJR 155 (R-Geren) and HB 2843 (R-Kuempel) include:

  • Houston Police Officers Union
  • Dallas Police Association
  • Dallas Fire Fighters Association
  • Ft. Worth Police Officers Association
  • Arlington Police Association
  • Corpus Christi Police Officers Association
  • Corpus Christi Professional Firefighters Association

These organizations touted the legislation for its proposed additional revenue that will go toward state and local public safety budgets, strong oversight to combat problem gaming by creating a state gaming agency, and massive job creation and economic stimulus for Texas communities.

“Our top priority in any legislation is the impact it will have on public safety,” said Mike Mata, President of the Dallas Police Association. “We have confidence that all matters related to maintaining the high standard of public safety we uphold in the City of Dallas are fully addressed in this legislation with the creation of a new regulatory agency and the availability of new state dollars that could expand current public safety programs.”

The endorsements from the public safety community underscores the momentum and support that this legislation has across the state.

“On behalf of the Corpus Christi Professional Firefighters Association, we would like to express our support for legislation that would allow Texans to vote on bringing destination resorts to the state of Texas,” said Johnny Stobbs, President of the Association. “We believe this proposal will bring numerous benefits to the state.”

The Texas House State Affairs Committee recently advanced Texas State Representative Charlie Geren’s (R-Fort Worth) House Joint Resolution (HJR) 155 and Texas State Representative John Kuempel’s (R-Seguin) enabling legislation, House Bill (HB) 2843. Those bills would establish limited-in-number destination resorts across the state and authorize casino gaming. If passed by the legislature, Texans will have the opportunity to vote on this constitutional amendment in November 2023.

“Texans regularly travel out of state to visit entertainment resorts with casinos and spend an estimated $5 billion every year that benefits the schools, infrastructure and state and local budgets of those other states,” said Douglas Griffith, President of the Houston Police Officers’ Union. “By allowing destination resorts in Teas, we can keep these funds in our state, and use them to fund important programs such as education, property tax relief and public safety.”

Destination resorts in Texas would increase state revenue by billions and create more than 125,000 construction jobs, 48,000 permanent full-time jobs. Additionally, the billions of dollars from increased business, leisure and tourism can be used for tax relief, public safety, infrastructure, public and higher education and more.